C-Suite: Erin Gattis

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,262 views 

Class of 2020 C Suite Erin Gattis Chief Human Resources Officer ArcBest, Fort Smith

FAST FACT: Gattis started her career at ArcBest in 1999 and was named to her current position in 2016.

What has been your toughest leadership challenge during the pandemic? As an essential business, we never slowed down during the pandemic. We had to keep those trucks moving. My focus every day is our people and ensuring we do everything in our power to keep them safe and healthy.

Has it been a good thing or bad thing in terms of how the pandemic has altered your business’ strategy? Our business strategy has remained the same, but our approaches have been challenged. We pride ourselves on being able to find a way to do anything, and we have viewed the last six months as an opportunity to show that we know how to find creative solutions to any challenges faced, both for our customers and ourselves. I am incredibly proud of how our team has responded in the face of adversity, and I am even more confident in our abilities to provide outstanding service to our customers.

What keeps you up at night or worries you the most? The rate of change in our world is at an all-time high, yet we see no signs of things slowing down. It’s the new normal.

What’s the first app you launch on your phone each day? Well, three mornings a week it’s my fitness app. The other days it’s probably 5News to check the weather, but I really try not to use my phone the first hour after I get up. I like to keep my brain clear first thing in the morning.

If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you be doing? Raising cattle in Peter Pender.

What is the best business advice you have ever received? Always think about how your role connects and serves the mission of the broader organization. It’s easy to become busy with daily routines and lose touch with that.

What is the best business advice you have ever given? Learn to be content and thankful where you are. As I strive for excellence in today’s assignments, tomorrow’s opportunities generally happen naturally. Ambition is good, but too much can keep a person from ever being truly happy in the moment.

If you had $1 million to give, what would you support? I would accelerate my support of our local United Way and the various agencies it supports. It brings me joy to see how we can improve the communities in which we live and work. I am particularly sensitive to the needs of children in crisis. They are the most vulnerable and deserve our focused efforts.