HR Awards: Charlotte B. Barnes, MBA, PHR

Charlotte B. Barnes, MBA, PHR

Director of Human Resources


City of Wilmington


Number of full-time employees:

How long have you been with the company?
30 years

How long have you been in a HR role?
4½ years

Approach to success
Upon her appointment to the City of Wilmington’s Human Resources Department in 2014, Barnes inherited an organization facing escalating health-care costs, outdated and inefficient processes and a workforce reliant on institutional versus current and relevant human resources knowledge. Despite vast changes in the industry, the department was entrenched in a “this is the way we have always done it” culture. Barnes made it her first order of business to prioritize the challenges based on overall impact to the City’s operations and a realistic assessment of what could be accomplished. She implemented a slew of processes to tackle these issues.

Community engagement
A proud public official, Barnes said her service to the community is guided by a principle instilled in her as a child, “Service is the rent you pay for the privilege of living on this earth. It is the very purpose of life and
not something you do in your spare time.”

Barnes’ community involvement started in 2002 as a Board Member of the Downtown YMCA and has volunteers with Delta Sigman Theta Sorority, the NCC Chapeter of National Pan Hellenic Council and the steering committee of the NOR Enterprise Annual Turkey Drive.

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