A West Virginia University graduate with some 25 years’ experience in human resource management is returning to his alma mater as vice president of talent and culture.

Cris DeBord, vice president of talent management at Dollar General headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, will assume the new role Jan. 19. At Dollar General he was responsible for organizational development, training, human capital metrics, employment branding, recruiting and diversity.

Prior to that, he held leadership positions in the employment and human resources fields with Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Pepsi, HighMark and Home Depot.

At WVU, he will be responsible for managing the design, development and implementation of all human resources functions, including employment services, employee relations, classification and compensation administration, benefits administration, training and development and human resources operations, among other areas.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome home a talented and dedicated Mountaineer graduate to join our executive leadership team,” President Gordon Gee said. “Cris DeBord is a proven leader within large organizations, especially as it relates to recruiting and developing world class talent, fostering a diverse workforce, implementing training opportunities for employees and understanding employment marketing and communication. I look forward to working with Cris to position the University as an employer of choice and a model for progressive policies, practices and trends in this field.”

DeBord said he is excited “to be a part of President Gee’s ‘One WVU’ vision and the philosophy that the University should be the primary economic driver for the state.

“I have always believed that West Virginia University helped me to have a wonderful and fulfilling career,” DeBord said, “and at this stage in my life I want to give back to a University and a state that has meant so much to me – and so many others.

“I’ll start by listening, learning and understanding the functions of the Division and assessing where our opportunities lie,” he added, “while aligning the team with the ultimate vision and strategies of the University.”

Part of that philosophy, he said, will be partnering with an already strong University brand to attract top talent to WVU.

He also wants to find ways to connect WVU employees with outreach activities and foundations that offer education, healthcare and hope to those less fortunate.

DeBord will report to Vice President for Administration and Finance Narvel Weese and serve on the president’s executive leadership team, leading the talent management function and overseeing the design, implementation and administration of policies and programs that support effective talent acquisition, talent assessment, career development, performance management, leadership development and succession planning across the University.

“I am impressed with Cris’ inspirational style of leadership that promotes a diverse workplace that enables all employees to contribute to the organization at their full potential,” Weese said.

DeBord is a native of southwestern Pennsylvania and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and psychology from Washington and Jefferson College, where he was on a full ROTC scholarship. He earned a master’s of science degree in industrial relations from West Virginia University, and was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves for seven years.

He currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife, Ralene, who he met at WVU, and son, Wyatt.



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