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Life & Work with Tamara Dixon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamara Dixon.

Hi Tamara, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
In 2009, I was happily married (so I thought) and about to give birth to my sweet daughter. 11 days after she was born our world was turned upside down when I discovered that my husband was having multiple affairs. Talk about a Lifetime movie! As a new mother, it was a dark and painful period for me – new mom, some postpartum depression, my body hurt, going through a divorce, questioning how this could be happening to me, and I developed really bad vertigo! It was rough.

Starting at that time, and really throughout the next several years, I would hear from various people a similar message – that one day I would be able to help another woman who is going through what I was. I never fully understood how I would be able to do that until now. I’m very clear that my message is how to successfully manage a career and family as a single parent.

My daughter is 13 years old now and we are both thriving! When I gave birth to Sydney, I was 7 years into my career in Human Resources, at that time I was a Sr. HR Generalist working for the City and County of Denver. I had big plans for my family that I used to talk about as a young girl, and I had big career dreams that started while I was in graduate school working on my Master’s. None of MY plans included single parenthood.

Well, single parenthood became my reality and I knew from the beginning of this journey that none of what happened from that day forward would be possible without God. Today, I am the HR Director and Chief Diversity Officer for the City of Northglenn. I sit on boards, I travel to give presentations, my daughter thrives in her academics and is a healthy teenager, with a teenager’s mouth (lol) and I am living proof that successfully managing a career and family as a single parent is possible.

I am grateful to the many people who didn’t let me get this far alone. One of them is my mentor, sponsor, and one of the best friends I’ve ever had, Jennifer Fairweather. Together we formed Dwennimmen Leadership Consulting, where we provide expert training and consulting in organization development with a focus on building humble and strong leaders to engage employees.

I also am a managing partner of The Heritage Group with my twin sister. We are just now launching our travel business, Sweet Heritage Destinations. I think about my journey to this point in my life and know that all I went through 13 years ago helped to develop my ability to extend grace, be humble, have patience and be resilient!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not a smooth road! New mothers don’t sleep well, lol. And I mentioned I had some medical challenges. It took me a minute, but I had to realize I didn’t have time to wallow in a “woe is me” mentality or question why my life took that turn. After all, I have a little girl looking to me on how to navigate this thing called life. It was a struggle to get my footing in continuing to build my career and take care of my little one at the same time.

That’s tough for two-parent households! Patience has always been an obstacle for me (meaning, I don’t have much). So navigating that, remembering that all things happen in God’s timing, and just learning to give me grace as a leader and a mother have been important.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am currently the Human Resources Director and Chief Diversity Officer for the City of Northglenn, in Northglenn Colorado. I have worked in the private and public sectors for Parson Consulting, City and County of Denver, City of Lone Tree, City of Wheat Ridge, and Town of Parker, and as an adjunct professor for the University of Colorado at Denver.

I’m proud of my efforts toward continuous education and sharing that with others. I have spent my 20+ year career being a customer service practitioner, adept trainer, organizational development expert, and human resources specialist. My areas of expertise include diversity, equity and inclusion, culture change initiatives, performance management, leadership training, strategic planning, and retreat facilitation.

My twin sister and I were the first in our family to receive college degrees. I am extraordinarily proud of that! And I am the first in my family to obtain a Master’s degree. I hold my bachelor’s degree in Political Science (BS) from Tuskegee University, my Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Auburn University (WAR EAGLE!), and hold my Senior Certified Professional designation from both the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-SCP) and the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM-SCP).

I am involved in my profession having served as past-President of the Western Region IPMA-HR and I am the current elected Western Region representative for the IPMA-HR Executive Council. Participating in opportunities outside of my job has helped hone my leadership skills.

I think what sets me apart is my ability to build relationships. That is so key and important for anyone really. People don’t care about your education and designations. But they do care about how you treat them and if you remember the little details they share about themselves.

What makes you happy?
My daughter and her laugh make me happy. Knowing that she is healthy and thriving makes me happy. Traveling with my family is a great joy! Watching all of my nieces and nephews grow and become the best versions of themselves makes me happy. Oh, and ice cream always does the trick.

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