Growing with POET for 23 years, Lisa Reddick leads talent acquisition, development
Lisa Reddick puts talking to young people about the opportunities POET has to offer at the top of the list of the things she likes about her new position as talent strategy director. “I enjoy going to career fairs and sharing with people just starting their careers,” she said.
She gets a chuckle out of the reaction when she says she’s worked at POET's Wichita office for 23 years. “They’re taken aback — I’m not even that old,” she joked. “Then the immediate question is, ‘What has kept you at POET?’ I tell them that it’s the people.”
Back in 2000, she was in need of a job. “I was relatively inexperienced, but thankfully, some networking connected me with POET.” Reddick’s initiative and work ethic — as well as POET’s leadership — helped her advance quickly. Initially hired as a temp, she went full-time as an accounting assistant within a month. After earning her college degree in business management, she moved over to the scheduling department, where she advanced over the next decade to become a manager.
The team at POET’s Wichita office manages bioethanol sales and shipping logistics. When the customer engagement side was split off from the scheduling and logistics side, Reddick started leading the planning team. “We made sure that however the marketers contracted the business, that’s what we ended up doing,” she said.
In her journey with POET, Reddick grew passionate about developing other team members. “I had a huge opportunity to go from somebody who had a short resume and little experience to be able to grow with the organization and learn from a lot of really smart, really determined, entrepreneurial individuals,” she said.
For example, Reddick helped start a board of developers to connect team members at all levels to development opportunities. After putting the project on hold during the pandemic, the Wichita office faced stiff competition for new hires in the post-pandemic job market, and Reddick was asked to assume a new role. “Prior to that, everyone had done their own hiring. The managers would read all the resumes and do all the interviews — it was more of a distraction from the business than a help,” she said. “They wanted help in finding good candidates, so they asked me to focus on talent acquisition, talent development, and team
This year, Reddick’s role was expanded, and she is now the Talent Strategy Director for all POET locations. “Lisa has been a catalyst in combining the Sioux Falls and Wichita teams,” said Nathan Hay, POET Vice President of People & Culture. “She leads with her whole self — heart, mind, body, and spirit, which has created deep connections with her peers and the greater team.”
Reddick said her passion for her work comes from both her parents and the middle of her three children, who is on the autism spectrum. “I’m passionate about being able to meet your potential, no matter what that potential would be,” she said. “You don’t have to be the very best person at your job; you have to be the best version of yourself.”
Watching her son grow up and accomplish things she was told he could never do has fueled her commitment. “Tanner’s not high functioning, and he’s never going to live on his own or have a job. But I have had more people come up to me and say Tanner has changed their lives,” she said. “He has served such a huge purpose in his 23 years of inspiring others around him, even if he’s never going to be the one that is having the dream job.”
In the last couple of years, Reddick and her husband, Andy, have transitioned from supporting Wichita’s Heartspring, which offers services for children with autism, to Ability Point, which advocates for adults with special needs.
It’s a position she has discovered she loves. “I never thought I’d be in human resources, but I just really love it. I've had the opportunity to see so many aspects of the business, from accounting to scheduling different products and being able to work with people and help them grow in their careers as well. I strongly believe that if you work hard, there is endless opportunity here at POET.”