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Beverly E. Smith

Co-owner and Senior Partner of The HR Group, Inc. of Marietta, Georgia, Beverly Ann Evans Smith was born April 12, 1948 in Massillon, Ohio to Louie Edward and Willimae Dumas Evans. After receiving her diploma from all girls Central Catholic High School, Canton, Ohio in 1966, she attended and graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1970 with a B.S. in education. Smith earned her M. Ed. degree in education in 1973 from Kent State University.

While still in graduate school, Smith taught high school speech and english for a year. From 1972 to 1974, she was Assistant Director for Student Financial Aid at Kent State University, and from 1974 to 1976, Smith worked as the Assistant Director, Upward Bound at Kent State. She was the Assistant Dean for Student Life for Georgia State University from 1976 to 1978. Smith worked as Manager of Business Services for Southern Bell Telephone Company from 1978 to 1983. From 1984 to 1996, she was employed by the Network Services Division of AT&T in Atlanta, Georgia, where she worked primarily as a District Manager in varied operations functions. From 1988 to 1990, Smith was a loaned executive from AT&T, serving as Executive Director for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Upon her retirement in 1996, she and her husband established The HR Group, Inc. of Marietta, Georgia, a small business management consulting company with clients from Fortune 500 companies to small business organizations.

Smith regularly serves as a trainer and workshop facilitator in leadership development and strategic planning for non-profits and church groups. Her civic duties include being a member of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources. Smith is Chair of Cobb County Georgia Board of Elections and Registration and a member of the Board of Directors of Chattahoochee Technical College. A member of Cobb Executive Women, Smith is a 1988 graduate of Leadership Cobb.

Smith is listed in Who’s Who Among Black Americans. Additionally, she is listed in Who’s Who in the South and Southeast and Who’s Who in the World.

Accession Number

A2006.022

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/16/2006

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Middle Name

Evans

Organizations
Schools

Central Catholic High School

Bowling Green State University

Kent State University

First Name

Beverly

Birth City, State, Country

Massillon

HM ID

SMI12

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

4/12/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Popcorn

Short Description

Management chief executive Beverly E. Smith (1948 - ) established the HR Group, Inc., a small business management consulting company.

Employment

Kent State University

Georgia State University

Southern Bell Telephone Company

AT&T

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

The HR Group, Inc.

Favorite Color

Purple, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Beverly E. Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Beverly E. Smith lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Beverly E. Smith describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Beverly E. Smith describes her family's road trips from Ohio to Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Beverly E. Smith recalls her experience in kindergarten

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Beverly E. Smith talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Beverly E. Smith talks about her relation to the author Alexandre Dumas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Beverly E. Smith talks about her father's career and community service

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Beverly E. Smith describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Beverly E. Smith describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Beverly E. Smith recalls her father's stories of race relations in Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Beverly E. Smith talks about her father's autobiography

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Beverly E. Smith describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Beverly E. Smith lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Beverly E. Smith describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Beverly E. Smith recalls integrating her neighborhood and school in Massillon, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Beverly E. Smith describes her community in Massillon, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Beverly E. Smith describes the sights and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Beverly E. Smith remembers St. Barbara's Catholic School in Massillon, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Beverly E. Smith recalls her personality and aspirations as a young girl

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Beverly E. Smith talks about her family

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Beverly E. Smith recalls her high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Beverly E. Smith recalls the civil rights era

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Beverly E. Smith describes her extracurricular involvement in college

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Beverly E. Smith recalls the shootings at Kent State University in 1970

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Beverly E. Smith describes her leadership of Bowling Green State University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Beverly E. Smith reflects upon her education and career

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Beverly E. Smith describes her work as a consultant

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Beverly E. Smith recalls attending graduate school in university administration

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Beverly E. Smith describes her career at Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Beverly E. Smith recalls her directorship of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Beverly E. Smith recalls leaving BellSouth Corporation to found a consulting firm

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Beverly E. Smith describes her experience of racial discrimination in Corporate America

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Beverly E. Smith describes her career plans

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Beverly E. Smith reflects upon her career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Beverly E. Smith describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Beverly E. Smith reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement, education and affirmative action

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Beverly E. Smith describes the role of religion in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Beverly E. Smith reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Beverly E. Smith describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Beverly E. Smith shares a message for her children

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Beverly E. Smith reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Beverly E. Smith reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Beverly E. Smith talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Beverly E. Smith narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$11

DATitle
Beverly E. Smith recalls integrating her neighborhood and school in Massillon, Ohio
Beverly E. Smith describes her experience of racial discrimination in Corporate America
Transcript
Can you describe what a school day in the Evans household was like and also tell us what the holidays were like, please?$$School days. About the time when I first went to school-you know, my mom [Willa Mae Dumas Evans] was a homemaker so you know, she always spent time getting us ready. Of course until I was five I didn't have any sisters, so it was just me and she would sometimes walk me to school or have somebody take me--pay somebody. I think the school was about two or three miles away. I walked; firm believer in exercise so I walked. We--when I was in the third grade we moved--now I know I'm skipping, 'cause this was when my sisters [Joan Evans and Michele Evans] were not in school yet. But we integrated--my dad [Louie Evans] was a very strong civil rights activist, and so all of our life growing up, we spent integrating neighborhoods and schools and pools and if he would find out that blacks or Negroes were not allowed anywhere, there we'd go. We'd get in the car or go somewhere. He built a house in a part of town where we were not wanted, as a matter of fact, or there. Matter of fact, the land lot that he bought says that the land can't be--this is interesting the land can't be sold to Negroes or aliens. He could not get a loan in the State of Ohio to buy that property. He finally found a bank in New York State that would give him the money to build the house. The builder that he found was a friend of his that he knew at Sears [Sears, Roebuck and Co.]. He suffered several death threats while that house was being constructed, as did my parents. The night we moved in that house I vividly remember people--men screaming and yelling and driving up and down the street all night long threatening dad. Dad had a Winchester rifle and he stood outside on that front porch all night holding that rifle, determined that he was going to move in and we were going to live in that house. My mother who's very prejudiced, she's not--she'd just as soon stay in an entirely black community; if she could she would have back then, just supported him in the effort but would just have preferred to have no part of that. But we did, we moved in and--. So school--we integrated the school that we were in in terms of the grade school [St. Barbara's Catholic School, Massillon, Ohio].$$How did that work out?$$You know I don't remember any--I don't remember any instances of that being difficult. At this point-you know my dad had always said you can do anything you want to do, you're just as good as anybody else. I had been in schools with majority white students before. Even from the time I was three there was maybe only one other black child in the class with me [at St. Paul's Kindergarten, Massillon, Ohio] and that was a boy so there wasn't any girls. I just did it; he said I need you to do this and so I'd say okay and I'd go. I had friends, boys and girls and we got along very well in the community. I don't know if it was because it was a Catholic school that it wasn't an issue but it was not a problem. The high school was the same way, I did not go to high school in Massillon [Ohio], I went to high school in Canton [Ohio] 'cause he wanted us to go a girls school and a Catholic school. There had been a few other students in the school before; Alan Page graduated from the high school I went to. [HistoryMaker] Renee Powell who is a famous golfer who is black graduated from there. There was one other person in my class, I ended up as class president and most likely to succeed; so I didn't--it was lonely. I remember it being a very lonely existence because there was some things that--some social events and activities that I just did not get the opportunity to participate in and I wrote a lot. As a matter of fact that's when I started writing and I read a lot. I really was--as my mother says, a rather solitary person. But I think you--because you have to get so much strength from inside there--very religious, very focused on my spiritual relationship with God because that really kept me going. But I had a lot of friends, enjoyed myself. But on the social side it was--you know they had to find somebody to take me to the prom. They had to find some black kid in town who'd be willing. I probably went through two or three before they finally found some poor sucker who would take me (laughter).$$Oh, that's not true.$$So, I did go to prom, they found me a date and I went to the prom. But--played in the band, enjoyed school. At that point I was strong enough in who I was and my own self esteem that what I was on the outside wasn't really an issue for me.$$Wonderful.$$Wasn't really an issue for me. Was very involved in school. My mom drove a lot, bless her heart, she drove us back and forth to a whole lot of activities.$$Wonderful. So you had to commute to the school that was outside of Massillon and your mom (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Took the bus--Greyhound bus because it was literally in Canton which was--Canton must have been fifteen, twenty miles away I guess. It was the next city. My dad did not want us to go to high school in Massillon, he wanted us to go to Central Catholic [Central Catholic High School, Canton, Ohio] and so we did. So she either drove us or we took the bus and after a while Central had a bus for students who came from Massillon to go to (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) I see.$How do you feel about the way you--about your accomplishments in Corporate America before starting--before getting involved with your husband [Stephen J. Smith] and your business?$$Stilted by sex and race. I think I had gotten to district manager with that company [BellSouth Corporation; AT&T Inc.], but I still think that there's a glass ceiling; at least there was at the time. And I think I reached a point where no matter what I did I was only going to be able to go so far there. I really made a very rapid rise when I went there with the programs that we implemented that went nationwide and then kind of reached a plateau. There were very few black female district managers back in the '90s [1990s] when I did become a district manager but I think I also realized that unless I was willing to move to New Jersey, opportunities were also going to be slimmer. And it's a real change, corporate tide. So I see things--and I think it's a little bit different now. I think black women have made a whole lot more progress in terms of moving up in companies than they did--you know '96 [1996] isn't really that long ago--than they did ten years ago. But if I was going to be successful and try and figure out what defining success is, but really making a difference for individuals; and I think that's about the point I was at. Was taking the things I had learned and sharing them or using them to make a difference only because I think that's the way my father [Louie Evans] raised us [Smith and her sisters, Joan Evans and Michele Evans] to make a difference someplace. I think I realized at that point I was not going to be able to make that difference in Corporate America at that point in time. The environment just wasn't such that that was going to allow that to happen. And frustration and running into a few bad apples and running into some brick walls and glass ceilings really forced me to really take a strong look at whether or not I was going to be able to do the things that I felt I needed to do or could do in that environment. So I left.

Yvonne Jackson

Yvonne Ruth Jackson was born on June 30, 1949 in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Giles B. Jackson, was a judge. Jackson’s mother, Gwendolyn Lackey Battle was a teacher. Jackson has a twin sister, Yvette L. Townsend, and an older sister, Mignon W. Jackson. She attended the One Hundred Ninth Elementary School and Jordan High School in Los Angeles. Jackson graduated from high school in 1966, and then attended her aunt Mignon Lewis’ alma mater, Spelman College. In 1970, she received her B.A. degree in history.

Upon graduating from Spelman College, Jackson worked as a personnel manager for Sears Roebuck & Company. In 1979, she became an executive recruiter for Avon Products, Inc. From 1980 to 1983, Jackson was promoted to manager of employee relations and staffing. Jackson then received a certificate in management development from Harvard Business School in 1985. In 1989, she became Avon Products’ Vice-President of Human Resources for the North American division. Jackson went on to work for Burger King Corporation in 1993, Compaq Computers in 1999, and the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, Inc. as Senior Vice-President of Human Resources. Some of the key responsibilities as senior vice-president included strengthening business growth and development, launching communication and retention programs, structuring global human resource strategy and leadership programs, and developing human resource training and development programs.

Jackson has recently formed her own management and human resources consulting firm, Beecher Jackson. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the 2004 Alumni of the Year from Spelman College. Jackson is currently chair of the Board of Trustees at Spelman College, and serves as a board member for Girls, Inc. and the Institute for Women’s Policy. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the accounting firm of Price-Waterhouse.

Jackson resides in Coral Gables, Florida with her husband, Fredrick Jackson, Jr.

Accession Number

A2006.018

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/15/2006

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

David Starr Jordan High School

109th Street Elementary School

Spelman College

Harvard Business School

First Name

Yvonne

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

JAC17

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

To Thine Own Self Be True.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

6/30/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Coral Gables

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Guacamole

Short Description

Management chief executive Yvonne Jackson (1949 - ) owns her own management and human resources consulting firm, Beecher Jackson.

Employment

Sears, Roebuck and Company

Burger King

Compaq Computer Corporation

Pfizer

American Express

Avon Products, inc.

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Yvonne Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Yvonne Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of Yvonne Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Yvonne Jackson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Yvonne Jackson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Yvonne Jackson describes her maternal grandparents' backgrounds

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Yvonne Jackson remembers after-school lessons with her maternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Yvonne Jackson describes her maternal grandparents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Yvonne Jackson recalls experiences of racial discrimination from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Yvonne Jackson describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Yvonne Jackson describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Yvonne Jackson describes her education in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Yvonne Jackson recalls one of her father's cases after Brown v. Board of Education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Yvonne Jackson describes the Watts riots of 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Yvonne Jackson recalls the changes in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles after the riots

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Yvonne Jackson remembers meeting her aunt for the first time

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Yvonne Jackson describes her relationship with her twin sister, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Yvonne Jackson describes her relationship with her twin sister, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Yvonne Jackson remembers her mentors in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Yvonne Jackson describes her experience at Spelman College, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Yvonne Jackson describes her experience at Spelman College, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Yvonne Jackson remembers guarding Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s casket

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Yvonne Jackson describes her freshman year at Spelman College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Yvonne Jackson explains how she learned from her failures

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Yvonne Jackson describes the culture of Spelman College and her potential employers

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Yvonne Jackson talks about being the first African American woman in her many professions

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Yvonne Jackson reflects upon the wisdom she gained at Spelman College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Yvonne Jackson explains why she went into business

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Yvonne Jackson reflects upon the impact of her parents' divorce

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Yvonne Jackson recalls her early years working for Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Yvonne Jackson recalls her experiences with Sears in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Yvonne Jackson describes her decision to leave Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Yvonne Jackson recounts how she came to work for Avon Products Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Yvonne Jackson explains the role of human resources

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Yvonne Jackson recalls diversifying the workforce of Avon Products Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Yvonne Jackson describes her work in Japan with Avon Products Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Yvonne Jackson reflects upon her interest in human resources

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Yvonne Jackson explains why she left Avon Products Inc. in 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Yvonne Jackson describes her work at Burger King

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Yvonne Jackson describes what a being a great manager means to her

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Yvonne Jackson remembers her promotions at Avon Products Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Yvonne Jackson recalls her interview for Compaq Computer Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Yvonne Jackson describes her relationship with her second husband

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Yvonne Jackson recalls Compaq Computer Corporation's acquisition by Hewlett Packard

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Yvonne Jackson explains why she left Compaq Computer Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Yvonne Jackson describes her role at Pfizer

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Yvonne Jackson describes her role as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Spelman College

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Yvonne Jackson reflects upon her achievements as chair of the Board of Trustees at Spelman College

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Yvonne Jackson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Yvonne Jackson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Yvonne Jackson gives advice to future generations

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
Yvonne Jackson remembers after-school lessons with her maternal grandmother
Yvonne Jackson recalls diversifying the workforce of Avon Products Inc.
Transcript
We were just talking off-camera about your [maternal] grandmother [Doll Beaty Lackey]. I'd like to capture that on tape as well, that you were saying--what were you, what did you wish about your grandmother growing up?$$Yeah, I just, I said she was just such a brilliant person, and she was so committed to educating herself, and she had so much to offer the world. And I said that when I was ten years old, and my twin sister [Yvette Jackson Townsend] and I lived with her for a year in Oklahoma. My parents [Gwendolyn Lackey Battle and Giles Jackson] were in California, and we were there with her. We wanted to stay, and for some reason we just, we went for every summer until we were probably thirteen. But we went every summer. And that summer that we went, we just, we begged my mother, "Let us stay with Grandmother, let us stay with Grandmother." And we stayed that year. And we'd go to school and we'd come home and we'd take off our clothes and put on our play clothes. And that was when, you know, you dressed to go to school, and your play clothes weren't your clothes that you wore to school. We'd put on our play clothes, go outside to play for a little while, and then we'd come in and have dinner. And then after dinner we would have what I call the real lesson. (Laughter) And we made straight As in school, but the real lesson was with my grandmother. And that was her, you know, geography lesson or whatever lesson it was. I don't know, it was always something extra. And she, I just remember that year learning every country in the world and its capital, and I could show you where it was. Now, my grandson who's five can tell you every state in the U.S., but he can't tell you where it is. He's just, it's rote for him, and it should be at five. I don't understand why they're doing that at five, but they are. But anyway, every country, its capital--and you know, for example I learned that there were twenty-three Christmas Islands in the world. And I could point out every, I could take you, on a globe--she had a very minute detailed globe--I could tell you where every one of those islands was in the world. So, I mean, can you just imagine that (laughter)?$$That's pretty amazing. I mean, so if I were to say, "What is the capital of--$$Of--$$--Fiji?"$$Yes, I could tell you that. I can't tell you that today.$$(Laughter) But then.$$But I could tell you that then, and I could find it for you.$$That's pretty interesting (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Not just, you know, not just tell you, I could find it on the globe. I could tell you where it was, what region where it was. And you know, it shaped my worldview. It made me understand that, you know, the U.S. was here, we were here, and there was a great big world out there. And most children don't understand that at that age. You know, you don't understand there's a great big world out there, and lots of people in it other than yourself and the small community in which you grew up (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) That there's more than in your backyard.$$Yes.$So, part of human resources for you in the '80s [1980s] was diversifying--$$Diversity (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) the workforce?$$Right.$$So, how did that come into play for you? How did you do that?$$So I joined, I joined Avon [Avon Products Inc.]. And one of the things that we worked on, and I probably was at the forefront of, was helping Avon re-establish themselves from a diversity standpoint. Because they had, had a reputation for that, but they had lost their way. And one of the things I certainly have learned over the years is that you've got to be vigilant about that, if that's in your best interest. And so, we did a lot of work. A picture that I shared with, to have photographed was a picture that we started--for example, for, we had programs for how we would think about women who were in the pipeline, and developing special programs. We actually developed a special program [American Institute for Managing Diversity] down at Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia] for our black employees to go to, and really it was around business. And Roosevelt Thomas [Roosevelt Thomas, Jr.] taught that. He had by that point gone back and got his Ph.D. at Harvard [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts], and he'd come back and he was the dean of the business school at AU [Atlanta University; Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia] and whatever. And we started up this thing, and it was a big thing. Yes. Small the world is. And so, that was really about having the CEO think about what he wanted. I was at Avon for fourteen years, and you know, we just kept focusing on diversity among many things, but, and particularly when I was in the U.S. business. I was four years in international business, so I didn't spend much time at all in the U.S. I was mentioning again another picture that we had taken; it was a picture of me in Japan. Because I worked in Japan for three years, going back and forth.