Ernest W. Marshall Jr.
Global Human Resources Leader • GE Infrastructure-Aviation • Cincinnati, Ohio • Age: 38
Ernest W. Marshall Jr. calls today’s challenge to recruit, develop and retain talent the reason why engaging employees from day one is so important. Leading a team of 50 human resources professionals across a 15,000-employee division, the senior human resources leader for GE Aviation’s Global Supply Chain is energized by this challenge. He focuses on driving talent development, improving operational productivity, and negotiating labor contracts. “Inclusive leadership is the real performance differentiator and the trait that motivates organizations and people to flourish,” he says the Louisville, Ky., native.
Marshall earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration at Bellarmine University, in Louisville, and an M.B.A and a J.D. from Indiana University at Bloomington. He spent two semesters studying in Oxford, England. “I had to put myself at risk—emotionally and intellectually—to experience real personal breakthroughs,” he says.
In 1992, Marshall took a position teaching English in Japan. The experience “allowed me to see the world differently,” he says. His past experiences not only taught him the importance of leadership, but also the importance of teaching others to lead. To that end, Marshall takes pride in mentoring others. “Success means you should always send the elevator back down to help someone else,” he says.
Marshall is a member of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s board and was the 2002 and 2003 fund-raising chair for the Greater Cincinnati African American Scholarship Fund. He credits his successes to the ongoing support of family and friends. From his grandfather, he learned there is goodness in everyone and to ignite that goodness, you must treat people with dignity and respect. His mother taught him the principles of perseverance and the importance of education. Marshall also acknowledges several GE leaders who have helped him grow and realize his potential.