From High End Fashion to High End Auto Parts with Joy Kelly

Joy Kelly’s previous work life took place in the shiny offices of Saks Fifth Avenue as a Regional Human Resources Director, but the shine was beginning to come off the apple for her. When she moved to a new area, Joy decided to join NAPA as our fabulous Division HR Director. Thankfully, the transition from fashion to auto parts didn’t shock her: 

I started my career working for the railroad, so having more of a bluecollar type background meant that I didn’t really need a transition. It was more learning about the culture of what it was really like to work at NAPA. The people here are humbleapproachableand warm. It’s definitely a friendlier, more family-oriented environment than where I’ve worked in years past. 

In fact, Joy saw that illustrated on her very first day with NAPA. Every company loves to say that they will protect and work with their employees’ needs, but that’s not necessarily the truth, as any HR representative can attest.   

Here, we’re different. Joy watched as we worked with a long-term employee who was leaving the company on good terms. There were unfortunate events happening in that employee’s life, but we were able to negotiate a way to still care for that person and their family even after they terminated their working relationship with us.  

The way they separated is way different than other companies I’ve been a part of. Some companies do a conference call to let someone know they’re being let go, but NAPA handles their people differently. It was done in such a humane, gentle way that it spoke volumes about the company. 

One of the major ways we work to care for our employees is through the Carlyle Fraser Fund. Named after our illustrious founder, the Carlyle Fraser Fund cares for employees after unexpected events such as illness, accidents, and deaths, and provides relief for the subsequent financial distress. “NAPA works at a different level of heart and care than any other company,” Joy declares.  

The real point behind ensuring that care through the HR department is because we know we wouldn’t be anywhere without our employees, that’s a simple truth! NAPA has been a fantastic touchstone for the auto parts community for nearly a century for a reason. Even as we continue to grow, we don’t lose that personal touch. That is what makes us unique, and I’ll continue to champion that regardless.  

What does it mean for our HR directors to champion NAPA’s message? In short, remember that our employees are human (after all, we are human resources). 

Employees don’t work for me, they work with me. I’m very fortunate that I have a great group of people that I’m privileged to work next to.  

Joy is certainly a woman who sets her mind to something and achieves it. Not only has she been a great yet compassionate leader in HR, but she’s also a fierce competitor in the weight-lifting world. “I like setting goals,” she says. “And my major goal is to be better than I was yesterday.”  

That motto is definitely true about Joy’s time at NAPA. We trust that she’ll be able to better the quality of life for all NAPA employees, but if you’re looking to join Joy’s division in the Midwest, we encourage you to visit the career page and see open opportunities near you.