Gaithersburg, Md. -- Veteran human resource executive Ollie Lawrence Jr. received the Private Sector Human Resources Professional Excellence Award from the Black Human Resources Network (BHRN), a Maryland-based human resource professional association. Lawrence received the award for his commitment and contributions to effective and successful human resource management during his tenure as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Sodexho North America, provider of food and facilities management services in the U.S. and Canada.
"Ollie is a strong role model in the human resource community," said Gregory Perkins, BHRN's past-president and chair of the awards selection committee.
"Ollie has made a significant and lasting impact on our organization," said Michel Landel, CEO of Sodexho North America and co-COO of Sodexho Alliance. "He has played an invaluable role in helping us to continue to build a diverse and inclusive culture."
Among his achievements, Lawrence spearheaded the overhaul of Sodexho's compensation plan, resulting in a more market-based, competitive system. Under his leadership, Sodexho University was created to provide diverse learning opportunities for employees through self-study, instructor-led and online classes.
During Lawrence's tenure at Sodexho, the position of Vice President of Diversity was created, with the company later appointing its first Chief Diversity Officer. Lawrence was a leading force behind an initiative that ties executive performance evaluations and annual bonuses to specific, measurable diversity goals. Lawrence also helped to guide the implementation of the company's web-based succession planning tool and led the development of processes designed to identify high-potential minority and female employees with an eye toward development and promotion.
In November 2003, Lawrence left Sodexho to found Lawrence Consulting, a firm that specializes in strategic leadership in human resource practices, and provides executive, corporate and international management services. Prior to joining Sodexho, Lawrence was Vice President of Human Resources at US Airways. Lawrence has also served as an arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Dealers and served on many boards, including the Black Human Resource Network.