DeRetta Cole Rhodes

Previously, DeRetta was the EVP/chief human resources officer of YMCA of Metro, the VP, Human Resources, at First Data, 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, the 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,, and YUM Brand.

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, DISC coach and facilitator, qualified facilitator for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and HOGAN Assessment.

Currently she is a Board of Director member and Board Development Chair of SHRM Atlanta, member of Human Resource People & Strategy (HRPS), Human Resource Leadership Forum (HRLF), Argyle Advisory Board, 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 Cumming with her husband Leon and has three sons, Cole, 20, Austin, 18 and Jordan, 17.

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