There are people who navigate the hustle, bustle and social media tussles of life today with grace. People who exist on a calm plane that can provide respite and safe harbor for others. Latoya Daniels is one of those people, and she was able to hone this skill while adding to it an array of leadership skills attained as a member of the inaugural cohort of the President’s Leadership Institute.
As a strategic consultant for Clemson University’s Office of Human Resources, Daniels assists Clemson faculty and staff across the entire expanse of the University – a position that requires model skills in problem-solving and a ready reserve of patience and empathy. Daniels believes the latter is one of her greatest strengths.
“I think having that calm and peaceful demeanor may set me a part a little bit,” she said.
“People feel comfortable talking to me. They know I’m there to help.”
It’s a demeanor that was sown into her by her parents, Willie Ann, a day care provider, and James Stevenson, a baker. They raised Daniels, her older brother, and her younger sister on a steady diet of love and faith.
“I was raised in a home where we were taught love, respect, and valuing people – so I’m a pretty spiritual person, and I bring that to work with me. I don’t broadcast it, but it’s who I am.”
Daniels found her way to Clemson in September 2014 when her husband Mark, a machine operator for Michelin, was relocated to Greenville. Her first position was as a compensation analyst, but she found so many opportunities to grow that she quickly moved to positions with more responsibility.
“Latoya is constantly learning, thinking and listening. I believe these are her greatest strengths, as well as her compassion,” said Ale Kennedy, associate chief human resources officer. “Latoya loves to learn and has high expectations for herself.”
“I gained so much from participating in the President’s Leadership Institute because I was able to understand our president’s vision, heartbeat, and the kind of effort he wants to instill in his leaders,” said Daniels, adding that applying the lessons learned in the PLI helped lead to a promotion into her new role.”. “The PLI broadened my horizons here at Clemson and afforded me the opportunity to see what all Clemson has to offer.”
After working in banking in various roles, Daniels decided to pursue a Master of Business Administration from Wake Forest University. After graduate school she accepted a position at a consulting firm, followed by a stint at AFLAC. She says the differences between the corporate and academic worlds took her aback as she started her career at Clemson, but she soon found the atmosphere at Clemson refreshing.
“My favorite aspects are being able to work with multiple divisions, and the people of course,” she said. The Clemson Family is what is most refreshing for Latoya. “It’s such a privilege to have people who will come along side me, aid me in whatever I’m doing, share in my joys, and lessen my sorrows.”
Her colleagues and clients feel the same way about her.
“Latoya is a joy to work with and is wonderful at her job, not only because she understands the University, but has the ability to think outside the box and see the big picture, then communicate her ideas in a collaborative manner,” said Kennedy.
Daniels and her husband have two children; five-year-old Marcus and ten-month-old August. The precious spare time they have is spent together doing things like playing board games and Uno, attending church, or going to waterfalls and amusement parks: “Family time is very important to us.”
“I really enjoy being a part of the Clemson Family. I enjoy what I do, and I’m looking forward to being able to grow, flourish and help others to do the same.”
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