Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday August 14th 2018

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The Legacy of Denise McLeod

By Rick Outzen

After 42 years, Denise McLeod, the vice president of human resources at LandrumHR, is retiring. Under her leadership, Landrum Staffing grew to be the largest independent staffing service in the Florida panhandle. She leaves a legacy of professionalism, organizational acumen and compassion for her clients, employees and the community that few can rival.

Right out of college, McLeod went to work for Britt Landrum, Jr., who founded Landrum Professional Employer Services nearly five decades ago. The temporary help industry was relatively new, and the term “human resources” didn’t exist.

“It was personnel management back in those days, so I was so fortunate to get in on the ground floor with Landrum and the industry as a kid right out of college,” McLeod told Inweekly.

She was excited to work for Landrum.

“What better example of integrity, and ethical behavior, and wisdom, and compassion and just being so dang smart?” she said. “My peers and friends had never had that opportunity, and here I had it starting right out of the gate to learn from him and work for him, so I’m very thankful for that.”

McLeod’s enthusiasm impressed Landrum immediately.

“I’ll never forget when I first interviewed her,” he said. “She was 21 years old and fresh out of the University of Southern Mississippi. The thing that struck me so much about her was her attitude. I mean, she had the most uplifting kind of a spirit about her and a positive mental attitude.”

It didn’t take long for Landrum to realize he had a high performer on his hands.

“Denise was just so willing to accept responsibility and wade in and tackle the hardest jobs,” Landrum said. “We took on some very large accounts over the years, and she took responsibility for them and made sure our client was satisfied.”

Recreating Careers
At McLeod’s core was the desire to help people.

“In the business we’re in, you see folks at their highest and at their lowest when they are trying to, a lot of times, recreate themselves or get back on their feet,” said McCleod. “I’ve had the good fortune of interviewing and placing literally thousands of people in temporary and permanent jobs over all these years. There’s not too much more that’s this fulfilling in helping people get to where they need to be.”

Landrum shared with Inweekly a story about McLeod and her impact on people’s lives.

“I was in Subway getting a sandwich a couple years ago,” he said. “This lady stopped me and asked, ‘Is Denise McLeod still with you?’”

When he told her that she was, the woman said, “Well, you tell her hello from me. She got me my job with the city 20 years ago. I worked there, went up through the ranks and got to be the supervisor and head of the department. I’ll never forget that you guys started me on my career.”

Landrum added, “I can tell you that probably half a dozen times at least I’ve had somebody stop me and tell me a story like that.”

He said that McLeod’s talent for planning and organization was invaluable.

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