Renee L Stevens
Chief People Officer
The Honey Baked Ham Company
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Industry: Food Retail
Renee Stevens learned early in her career that the act of raising your hand can literally change your life. As a young food and beverage director for a large hotel company attending a train-the-trainer event, she raised her hand, and ended up in charge of the development of her department’s materials.
“It was a lot of responsibility,” she remembers, “and I really had no formal experience in developing adult learning materials. But someone believed that I had all the skills and experience I needed to do the job successfully.”
Stevens eventually worked her way up the ranks at the InterContinental Hotels Group to become its vice president of global talent development. For five years, she oversaw talent and management at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen before joining the Honey Baked Ham Company in 2018 as head of Human Resources. As the current chief people officer, Stevens leads the alignment of employee effectiveness, talent management, training, company culture and the customer experience, supporting the company’s vision to be authentic in everything it does.
The 67-year-old Honey Baked Ham Company is an omnichannel retail food brand that began as a family business and remains privately held, with a mix of company-owned and franchise stores across the U.S. The heritage brand is on a journey of brand expansion, with an aggressive longrange plan to accelerate growth, build its national footprint, and continue its tradition of premium, ready-to-serve products and meals.
Stevens is a high-energy, versatile strategist who always strives to create a collaborative work environment. Throughout her career, she’s been a strong advocate for talent development, employee engagement, and harnessing the power of technology to drive business performance through people. Her commitment to developing others while achieving a proven track record of performance-enhancing strategies, makes her a unique executive leader.
“I learned early in my career that character – humility, trust, integrity, and accountability – were at the heart of a great leader,” she said.
When Stevens joined Honey Baked Ham, she immediately tackled issues that would have a profound impact on the company’s people, performance, and culture. She led the development and implementation of a new vision, mission and values and modernized HR processes and procedures to improve data-based decision making and tracking.
Outside of work, Stevens is a committed, long-time community volunteer. She started volunteering as a leader for her local Boy Scouts, rising to its board of directors. She served as president of the board of directors for St. Andrew Rowing Club and is a supporter of Project Open Hand and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Renee is a culinary school graduate (she makes amazing cakes) and an avid Cleveland sports fan, particularly the CAVS and Guardians.