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Q & A with Honey Dennison, Director of Human Resources

August 7, 2017
Romeo RIM - Lee_Hickerson

Romeo RIM continues to attract a talented workforce eager to be a part of one of the composites manufacturing industry’s leaders. The opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology, the quality of life in the region, and the company’s unique servant leadership culture are some of the reasons for our success in building an innovative team dedicated to quality. We thought we’d pick the brain of someone with a ton of insight into the Romeo RIM family — Director of Human Resources Honey Dennison.

Q: What is it like working at Romeo RIM?
A:  Working at Romeo RIM is, in a word, AWESOME!  The environment is such that every person is not only empowered but accountable to continuously improve ourselves, our processes, our systems and our organization.  For innovators, executors and achievers, the sky is the limit here at the RIM.
Q: Are there particular challenges workforces face in a manufacturing environment?
A:  I’m inclined to think there are workforce challenges in every environment and manufacturing certainly isn’t any different.  The biggest challenge we face is changing the mindset of our team members.  Too many manufacturing workers think of themselves as a mere pair of hands; with the simple goal of producing as many widgets as possible.  At Romeo RIM, while we do need their hands, we want our team member’s heads and hearts.  We want them to be engaged, and inspired to make a difference.  We want their opinions and ideas.  We want them to solve problems, lead changes, and make improvements.  Unfortunately, some struggle to see themselves in this light and fail to live up to their potential.
Q: What kind of people does Romeo RIM tend to attract?
A:  Romeo RIM attracts all sorts of people.  From the person just entering the workforce who has never set foot in a manufacturing environment to the person who’s made factory work their life, and all types in between.  As far as technical and professional talent, we attract that as well.  In fact, I can honestly say that I currently work with some of the most talented individuals I have ever met.  When you have a vision that folks can share in, a plan to bring it to life, and a capable team to lead the way, it doesn’t take much to get people to want to join your team.
Q: What has the company done in the past several years to invest in workplace and workforce improvements?
A:  Wow, what hasn’t Romeo RIM done in the past several years to improve the workplace and workforce?  We have dedicated countless resources to creating a world-class lean enterprise, enhancing systems, defining and documenting repeatable processes, improving our customer relationships, creating a servant leadership culture, launching new technology and new equipment, developing and implementing training programs, and improving every operating metric.  I could go on and on here.  In short, we have been, and continue to, invest in improving literally everyone and everything at Romeo RIM.
Q: What is servant leadership and how is it interpreted within the Romeo RIM workplace?
A:  Servant Leadership is our culture here at the RIM.  It is who we are and the way we do things, and we do them in a true spirit of helpfulness.  It’s about meeting the legitimate needs of those we serve.  Servant Leadership is about helping each person be the best person he or she can be and helping strengthen our relationships for greater collaboration and success.  I would go as far as to say it is what sets us apart from most companies.
Q: What is your background/experience and what brought you to Romeo RIM?
A:  Human Resources (HR) is who I am.  I have a Master’s Degree in HR and I have been working in HR within manufacturing my entire career (over 25 years now).  I have worked for both large and small organizations and have spent time in both the plant and corporate settings.  When I came to Romeo RIM nearly six years ago, I did so through a referral from a friend who worked here as an Engineer.  He said it was a great company with tons of opportunity.  He was right.  I have been stretched outside my comfort zone and challenged almost to the point of fear and have come out a better employee and person.  I have been given the opportunity to take ideas and run with them in a way that I never thought possible.  Each of us have opportunities, sadly, many of us are never challenged to seize them.  That is what brought me to Romeo RIM, and more importantly, what keeps me here.
Q: What are you most excited about in terms of the future of Romeo RIM?
A: The future at Romeo RIM is very bright so there are many things I am excited about.  Top on my list is the imminent growth; and the new faces, personalities, ideas and talents that will bring to the Romeo team.  This growth provides me with another opportunity to work closely with our new team members to help them continuously improve and capitalize on the opportunities presented to them.