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Graceland HR is Everywhere

May 1, 1997
Related Topics: The HR Profession, Featured Article
Graceland, Elvis Presley's home and refuge for 20 years, is today one of the most visited homes in America, attracting more than 700,000 visitors annually. It's also the most famous home in America, after the White House. In 1991, Graceland Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.Graceland Plaza includes numerous tours, museums, shops and restaurants. Some highlights are: the large and lavishly customized Lisa Marie Jet, which Elvis often referred to as his "flying Graceland"; and the legendary 1955 pink Cadillac.

How did you end up with this particular job in this industry?
The statement "being in the right place at the right time" plays a major part in this. I had just moved from California to Memphis because of my husband's job with Federal Express. When I had the opportunity to explore possibilities, the human resources manager position was open at Graceland. I was definitely interested and applied.

What is your background?
My first 10 years of employment were in preschool/elementary teaching. I had an opportunity to work in a city office assisting the personnel manager in 1980 and pursued this pathway from that day forward.

What are the biggest challenges of your industry?
Seasonal recruitment, motivating employees from ages 16 and up, guest relations.

What challenges do you feel are universal for HR?
Motivating employees, strategic planning issues and staying current on changes/updated employment-law issues.

How is HR viewed at your organization?
Upper management appreciates what human resources brings to the company. Employees view human resources as the source for training opportunities. They also see us as offering structure to the corporate atmosphere.

What about your job and/or your organization makes you most proud?
My job has a lot of excitement. I work with a caring top management team that opens doors and opportunities for all employees. The company is very committed to its employees and spends whatever time is needed or required to listen to their suggestions and recommendations-then follows through. Graceland is very family oriented and you feel good coming here, whether you're a guest or an employee. We all wear whatever hat is needed and enjoy being a part of whatever team we're assigned. We follow our role models (the CEO and general manager), roll up our sleeves and "take care of business."What is "special" about HR at Graceland? We are very team oriented. It takes all of us to reach our goal(s). We take the time to get our employees involved and listen to them. Everyone goes the extra mile to make it work, whether they're behind the scenes or on the front line.

Workforce, January 1997, Vol. 76, No. 1, p. 85

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