After 19 years working at Kohl’s, most recently as the senior vice president of human resources, Annette Adams saw the opportunity for a change. “While I was fortunate to have that position at Kohl’s, I wanted to stretch myself and to do more,” she says. In 2019, MGIC Investment Corp. had named a new CEO, Tim Mattke, who wanted Adams to help strengthen the company’s attention to talent and culture. She stepped up to the role of senior vice president and chief human resources officer in August of 2020. “We’re now recognizing that HR plays a very strong role in shaping the thinking of a company,” she says. “Diversity, equity and inclusion are very important to me, and I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to continue elevating the attention that we’re giving those areas.”
“As an executive, you have to pay attention to people, including those who tell you things you might not
want to hear.”
– Annette Adams
You started as the Chief Human Resources Officer at MGIC about a year ago. What have been some of your goals in this new position?
Professionally, I wanted to come into an organization that is attentive to the way Human Resources can show up. Diversity, equity and inclusion is very important to me, as well as the way the organization shows up in the community. I’ve been fortunate to bring some best practices to the table and to continue to elevate the attention we give to those areas.
On a personal level, the goal was to demonstrate to myself the way in which I could continue to grow as a leader.
What would you say have been some of the most rewarding aspects of your career?
The biggest thing that that I smile about are the folks that I’ve had the opportunity to mentor, who I’ve seen progress in their careers. At many points, I brought people into roles who did not have a great degree of experience. I could see their drive and energy. I could see the potential and the opportunity for them. Watching them grow are the most rewarding moments I take away as a leader. It’s about helping others get to that next degree of success.