How a Mayor and CHRO Worked Together to Modernize a City
Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Time: 2:00 PM EST
Looking to bring corporate HR practices to the city, Mayor Jim Strickland named private-sector veteran Alex Smith as the city’s new chief HR officer. Smith’s first priority was to aid the Mayor in attracting and retaining talent to drive faster responses to 911 calls and a stronger firefighter and police presence.
One of Smith’s first decisions was to replace the city’s hiring, benefits management, and other on-premises HR applications with a modern, cloud-based application suite. The new platform positions the HR team to hire and onboard emergency workers more efficiently. For example, the Memphis 911 team has cut call waiting times from an average of more than 60 seconds to just under 8 seconds for 95% of calls, through improved hiring and comprehensive training. Join our discussion to learn more about The City of Memphis’ use of technology to position their organization for the future.
Chief Human Resources Officer
City of Memphis
Alex Smith is Chief Human Resources Officer for the City of Memphis, reporting directly to Mayor Jim Strickland. Alex is the visionary and architect behind the city’s talent management, training, employee relations, compensation, benefits, and diversity initiatives. She is also the “Chief Change Officer,” focused on evolving the City of Memphis’s culture to enable Mayor Strickland’s mission of “improving the quality of life for all Memphians, every day.” Under Alex’s guidance and focus on innovation, collaboration, accountability, and service, she is
helping position the City of Memphis as a model for a 21st century city.
Before her service for the city, Alex was the Director of Human Resources for Brightstar Device Protection, a subsidiary of Brightstar Corporation where she led vital culture and organizational development projects. Formerly, she served in HR management roles for industry leaders, including Target Corporation and Microsoft Corporation, building a career of being a strategic HR partner for key business leaders.
Alex is also a firm believer in community service and has volunteered in several leadership roles, most notable being the global chairperson for Blacks at Microsoft, the first employee resource group at Microsoft Corporation. She also served on the board of Youth Eastside Services in Bellevue, WA.
Alex holds a Bachelors in Economics from Duke University and earned a Masters in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota. She currently resides in Memphis with her husband and daughters.