H. J. Russell & Company Promotes Claudette Hanks to Diversity Manager for Construction and Program Management
H. J. Russell & Company, one of the largest black-owned real estate development and construction services firms in the United States, announces the promotion of Claudette Hanks from field office coordinator to diversity anager.
In her new role, Hanks will develop, implement, and monitor diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to help cultivate a diverse and inclusive culture across construction and program management projects. She will collaborate with preconstruction teams to maintain strong working relationships with project teams, subcontractors, vendors, suppliers, trade organizations and certifying agencies. In addition, Hanks will provide ongoing education with the goal being to build and develop a strong and diverse portfolio that does business with Russell.
“I know many people think, we’re black-owned, so we don’t need to focus on diversity,” said Michael B. Russell, Sr., CEO. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. Our employee-base is very diverse, and our legacy has always been to support, nurture and elevate MBEs [Minority Business Enterprises], and we’ve done a fairly good job at it, but we want to do a great job. With Claudette’s laser-focus and ground-breaking programming plans, we hope to be the benchmark in our industry on how to do it the meaningful and long-term way and not just to check a box, but to make it a natural standard operating procedure.”
Hanks already has a proven track record for excellence in meeting compliance requirements. For instance, she was key in helping the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) efforts for the Atlanta Hawks’ player development facility, the Emory Sports Medicine Complex, in surpassing their 31 percent goal of MBE participation with the actual result of 35 percent in 2018.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to leverage my passion and experience in diversity, equity and inclusion to focus on four key areas: outreach, procurement, compliance and education,” said Hanks. “I want to make sure we are setting the bar high and being the best example for our industry by leading the way on how to fully engage MBEs. We want to make sure they are not only certified, but we want to make sure they are prepared, supported and ready from day one on any project. Their success is our success.”
Hanks, who reports to Bryan Jackson, Vice President of Program Management, has been with Russell a total of 30 years, 20 years in construction and 10 years in program management. She earned her A.S. in business from the Southern Institute in Birmingham, Ala. and is a member of the Associated General Contractors of Georgia. Her project experience highlights include Emory Sports Medicine Complex, State Farm Arena Transformation, University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s 49ers Football Complex, and South Carolina’s Richland County Recreation Commission, Phase III Bond (multiple projects). She is also an active member of the corporate responsibility arm of the company, Russell CARES.
Founded in 1952, H. J. Russell & Company is one of the largest minority-owned real estate development and construction services firms in the United States. A multi-faceted organization providing integrated solutions and an exceptional customer experience, H. J. Russell has developed, designed/built, renovated, and managed some of the nation’s most complex and high-profile projects involving multiple stakeholders and requiring exceptional diplomacy and skill. Visit www.hjrussell.com to learn more about the firm.
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