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Coleman Peterson  

Former Executive Vice President, Wal-Mart. President/CEO of Hollis Enterprises, LLC

Coleman Peterson, known as American’s top people person, served as Executive Vice President of People for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., where had had the distinction of being the Chief Human Resource Officer of the world’s largest private workforce (1.5 million associates world-wide).

Now President/CEO of Hollis Enterprises, he serves on two corporate boards: JB Hunt Transport Company and Build-a-Bear Workshop, chairing the compensation committees of both companies.

With Wal-Mart is a $345 billion a year retailer named as “America’s #1 Most Admired Company” by Fortune magazine, Peterson introduced his “Get, Keep, Grow” strategy to help build the people and Wal-Mart culture using the three elements of getting, keeping and growing associates. His main objective was to find diverse, highly motivated people to execute Wal-Mart’s business strategies around the globe. He helped diversify the workforce and Wal-Mart is now the country’s number one employer of African-Americans and Hispanics with a population larger than many US cities.

Peterson is involved in the community outside of his board work, consulting and speaking engagements. In 2004, he was appointed to the Board of the Northwest Arkansas Community College by the governor of Arkansas. He is still serving in that capacity, now as an elected member. He is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities and a member of the National Council of La Raza. He received the highest recognition within the human resource industry when he was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources. He is also a recipient of the Society for Human Resource Management’s Award for Professional Excellence and Linkage Incorporated also honored him with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Human Resources Excellence. His most recent recognition was presented in 2007, when he was honored with the Volunteer of the Year Award as voted by the Chancellor and Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas Fayetteville.

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Speech Topics


The Wal-Mart Experience

Corporate Culture

Organizational Effectiveness

Leadership Development

Diversity Achievement

Employee Selection and Retention

Global Business

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