What is “A Moment With”: The Women’s Business Development Center is pleased to continue with our series, “A Moment With”, where we periodically highlight valued supporters and partners, sharing their career experiences and advice. This month, we will be highlighting Kathy April-Rush, the Associate Director of North America Supplier Diversity at AbbVie Inc.
Meet Kathy: As the Associate Director of North America Supplier Diversity at AbbVie, Kathy April-Rush is responsible for the management and strategic direction of the AbbVie Supplier Diversity program while also serving as a liaison with government and community agencies and customer groups to assure program representation and compliance. Before procurement, Kathy worked in various recruiting roles, including executive search, university relations, and talent acquisition for entry level to senior level executives. Kathy has a 14-year cumulative career within recruitment for Fortune 500 corporations and served as the head of the executive search practice for a minority-owned business.
We asked: Looking back on your career at-large, is there anything you would have done differently?
Kathy shared: Perhaps I would have taken more risks, following that teenager’s or 22-year-old coed’s dreams all the way to fruition. Instead, I followed a path intellectually. As a business undergraduate and graduate school major, I was focused on a sure return. In the process, I did not pursue dreams of a different type of career, a riskier one, but one that I felt passionate about for a long period of time. After receiving an MBA and the opportunity to rotate through some human resource roles, I fell fast for recruitment, and as it turns out, it reciprocated and loved me back for 15 years, rewarding me with a very gratifying HR career. I took the foundation of what made me a successful recruiter to transition into supplier diversity, a career that is very purposeful and for which I am honored to be practicing. I have been fortunate enough to land in roles seemingly perfectly suited for me so while the path is different than I would have imagined, I operate with no regrets.
A Turning Point
We asked: Where do you look to for inspiration?
Kathy shared: I look for inspiration in everyday occurrences, stories, people, music, and miracles. Good song lyrics have been known to inspire many people. I love books and often find inspiration between chapters four and six or in the Sunday news. I follow some social media (under an alias) to hear what a wide range of people are sharing on all topics, including, but not limited to, business, leadership, nonprofits, social justice, and stories of true heroism and people making a difference. Consuming all this information leads to quiet introspection and a journal entry full of questions and what-ifs. Or imagine this: it is true you can find inspiration in some unlikely places. Mostly, it is the events I perceive as miracles that inspire me the most. In a racially divided country and unjust world, those are the inspirational moments my heart bleeds for.
We asked: What are the most important characteristics of a leader?
Kathy shared: Resilience and tenacity followed by compromise are essential in any leadership role. While it is an exhilarating ride full of a shared vision towards a common goal, it is also riddled with challenges, inevitable disagreement, and negotiation. These are constant prompts to be mindful of, especially when considering the personal and professional development taking place as a result. The resolve to face each moment with resiliency is a skill that comes from a sometimes lonely, but mostly rewarding walk. That is a true lesson in servant leadership and a role well worth it.
Thank you, Kathy, for participating in “A Moment With”; we are proud to call you a loyal friend and partner of the WBDC. To learn more about AbbVie, you can check out their social platforms. Click here to see AbbVie’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.