DeRetta Cole Rhodes, Ph.D., is the chief human resources officer of YMCA of Metro Atlanta. Prior to joining the Y, she was First Data as the VP, Human Resources, where she provided consultation on human capital and organizational development strategies for over 5,000 First Data colleagues within Financial Services and Consumer and Network Solutions.
Previously, DeRetta was vice president of human resources for Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., supporting Global Technology Operations. Before joining Turner, DeRetta held leadership roles with Ernst & Young, ADP, HomeGrocer.com, and YUM Brand.
In addition to human resources responsibilities like compensation and benefits, compliance, training, and employment policies, DeRetta brings an expansive, strategic talent management philosophy to the Y. She supports strategic board-level initiatives and be a thought leader and contributor to the leadership team. She is also a member of the Y-USA CHRO Executive Committee that is responsible for guiding and delivering the annual meeting and partnering with kindred groups and appointing special task forces to strategic projects and facilitate networking among members.
DeRetta received her undergraduate degree from University of Georgia, her Master’s in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University and her PhD in Adult Education from University of Georgia. She is a certified facilitator for the Benchmark 360 assessment by the Center for Creative Leadership and is a qualified facilitator for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and HOGAN Assessment.
Currently she is a board of director member of SHRM Atlanta, member of Human Resource People & Strategy (HRPS), Human Resource Leadership Forum (HRLF), Hawks Atlanta Diversity and Inclusion member, and past president of the Alumni Board of Family and Consumer Sciences at UGA.
DeRetta’s published work are as follows:
- Cole, D. (2010). Courage under Fire: How Black Women have learned to survive in Corporate America (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
- Cole, D. (October 2012). The Storm is Still Brewing; Leadership Challenges for Women Leaders and their Corporations: A Call for Change in Leadership. Presented at the conference of International Leadership Association (ILA), Denver, CO.
- Cole. D, Munley, A, Santana, L. (October 2013). Realities, Challenges and Leadership Resilience for the Female
Executive: Practices Revealed from across the Globe. Presented at the conference of International
Leadership Association (ILA), Montreal, Canada.
DeRetta has also been a speaker and served as a panelist at several events such as; Argyle (Atlanta, Dallas), Marcus Evans, HR Strategy & Innovation Summit, Connect HR Leadership and TedXUGA (March 22, 2018); to name a few.
DeRetta lives in Alpharetta with her husband Leon and has three sons, Cole, 20, Austin, 18 and Jordan, 16.