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Past Speakers

Rick Curry

Director, Human Resources & Organizational Development of Blistex

Rick Curry serves as the Director of Human Resources & Organizational Development for Blistex Inc. The scope of his duties includes international staffing, employee relations, total compensation, health and retirement plans, environmental health and safety, HR technology, and management development.

His professional background is a unique list of HR projects and achievements. Rick has led HR department start-ups, company acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans and mentored several successful HR professionals. His labor relations experience includes both union contract negotiations and multiple successful union-avoidance campaigns.

At Aurora University in Illinois, he served as Adjunct Instructor for the HRIS Implementation course within the MBA-HR program. Rick was most recently the Vice President of Global Human Resources for Act II Jewelry, LLC (Lia Sophia Jewelry). As a member of Lia Sophia’s Global Executive Committee, he functioned as the Human Resources Business Partner to create and implement HR initiatives to advance the Company’s mission and strategy. In this role he created the HR infrastructure for operations in Canada, China, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, and USA.

In prior job roles, Rick led the Human Resources functions for Nicor National and Alexander Lumber Company and served as the Director of Human Resources for divisions within Fortune 500 organizations such as Hilton Hotels, Budget Rent a Car, and United Airlines/Mileage Plus.

He is a past President of the Board of Directors for the Fox Valley Human Resources Association in Aurora, IL.

Rick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from DePaul University, and a Master's Degree in Organizational Development from the University of West Florida. He is a Senior Human Resources Professional designated through the Human Resources Certification Institute.

Event Takeaways

Our favorite advice from Rick included:

  • Having disagreements as a team is important - share exactly why each person disagrees, discuss, then leave the meeting or conversation on the same page as to how to proceed
  • Find your professional fit that matches your values and approach - and have the courage to leave if the role is not a right fit
  • Show confidence, even when you are not
  • Be vulnerable - people are multi-faceted and want to be recognized as people, not just workers - so ask questions and be interested
  • Networking can be done virtually too by sending emails or connecting via phone call or Zoom - take the time to continue developing your connections

Rick also mentioned or recommended several books throughout the session; enjoy!