Executive Vice President Human Ressources and DIversity Affairs
The philosophy behind poet Maya Angelou’s declaration, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” underpins Delena Sunday’s approach to work. As executive vice president of human resources and diversity affairs at Nordstrom Inc., Sunday is responsible for recruitment, retention and development initiatives for more than 55,000 employees. “It’s important to create an environment where people are recognized and rewarded for their hard work” says Sunday.
Sunday’s people-first approach, instilled in her by company president Blake Nordstrom, not only has enabled her career to flourish, but it also has earned the retailer the distinction of being proclaimed one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America by Fortune magazine for 13 consecutive years.
Sunday did not plan to follow a career in the retail industry. She joined Nordstrom in 1980 as a salesperson to help finance her pursuit of a degree in special education. Within a year, she was promoted to a department manager role. Over the next decade, she served in various human resource manager and store manager roles at several Seattle-area stores, including serving as the regional human resource and diversity director in Orange County, Calif. She was appointed director of diversity affairs in 1996, vice president in 1998 and executive vice president of diversity affairs in 2000. She assumed her current position in 2002.
Despite the demands of her work, Sunday makes sure she spends quality time with her family. She enjoys vacationing with her husband, Manuel, and two daughters, as well as an annual trip with her parents. “While I’ve been blessed to have a great career, nothing is more important than spending time with my family.”