Julia has been making a positive impact on those within #LifeAtPetSmart for over a decade. She's grown her career from a coordinator within our Talent Acquisition department all the way to the VP of Human Resources - Offices. As an experienced HR, business, and diversity leader, Julia's passion and support has helped empower our organization and drive business results. Learn more about her career journey (and adorable pups!) below.
Tell us a bit about your PetSmart journey – where did you start, where are you now, and how did you get there?
Julia: My first position at PetSmart was as a TAC Coordinator. In this role, I was able to apply my college degree in Psychology to real life applications of HR. It allowed me to build my Excel and PowerPoint skills in addition to learning about the corporate office environment and working with vendors. I was excited about the opportunity to learn about another function of the business by moving into the Field HR Specialist position, where I was given more complex responsibilities supporting the stores and field. I learned about systems and programs, and how to make processes better through critical thinking. As a new leader, I developed my coaching and mentoring skills as Manager, HR Projects. I learned about project management and change management through my work managing enterprise projects and initiatives. My first role as an HR generalist was as an HR Business Partner supporting the Supply Chain organization. I applied basic business consultation skills as I developed my HR knowledge base. About a year later, I took on an additional client group in Store Operations & Services and developed a more advanced business consultation approach as a Senior HR Business Partner. I created HR strategies to support the organizational goals of my client groups. As Principal HR Business Partner, I supported the Merchandising department. I provided direct HR counsel to the Executive Vice Presidents of Buying and Merch Planning and created strategies that drove enterprise cultural and organizational transformation across several countries. Wanting to develop a stronger connection to our stores and customers, I took on the role of Director, Field HR and Store Operations & Services. I was excited to be a leader of people once again and enjoyed working with my direct reports to create regional and area strategies. I also leveraged influence skills with cross-functional partners to create alignment with the home office. I interviewed for the Senior Director, Home Office HR position, which is my current position. In this role I have the opportunity to leverage my cross-functional HR experiences into a holistic perspective and approach to the business. Along with my team, we support the Senior Leadership Team to drive our mission and vision and SMART strategies.
Tell us about your pets!
Julia: I have two big dogs, a Golden Pyrenees named Jessi and a Great Pyrenees named Opal. Jessi was rescued from South Korea and Opal was rescued from Texas. They are now living their best lives and even have their own bedroom in our house where they keep their hundreds and hundreds of toys (purchased from PetSmart, of course!) 😊
What’s something interesting about your department or role that most people don’t know about?
Julia: When folks hear “HR for the Offices”, they think of our Phoenix Home Office here in Arizona. But, we actually have many more offices, including our Canadian Home Office in Ontario, Canada, our Only Natural Pet office in Boulder, Colorado, and our Global Sourcing offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, China.
Anything else you’d like to say about PetSmart or your #LifeAtPetSmart?
Julia: PetSmart has been such a rewarding career because we develop our associates to create meaningful career experiences. Our associates are so passionate about our mission and vision and consistently go above and beyond to do “anything for pets”. As a pet parent myself, it feels AWEsome to know that our company is invested in keeping pets safe, happy, and healthy.