Class of 1990
North America Senior Human Resources Manager, adidas
‘People remember you if you are genuine and committed.’
It’s been people, as a human resource, who have formed the focus of Tara Caldwell’s impressive career history.
The North America Senior Human Resources Manager (Key City NYC) for global sports brand giant, adidas, Tara is charged with growing the business through its people. She was promoted to the role in 2016 and now calls New York home. Tara supports up to 3000 staff in 30 retail stores across New York, New Jersey and New England, including the global flagship store.
‘Everything is bigger in New York – including amazing opportunities and some of the challenges. No two days are the same and I am most proud of bringing a different way of thinking to the market. Australia and New Zealand are years ahead of the US in their people focus practices.’
With tertiary qualifications in Behavioural Science and a career that includes time with Optus Vision, Coca-Cola Amatil and adidas in Australia, Tara began her rise up the corporate ladder in earnest with Coca-Cola Amatil. One of her career highlight remains the launch of Coke Zero into Australia.
‘It ended up being the biggest product launch ever in Coke history globally, and the most successful product launch ever in Australia at the time.’
Today, Tara subscribes to adidas’s belief that ‘sport has the power to change lives’.
‘My regret is that I didn’t take full advantage of the many opportunities to participate in more sports as a student. Sport is such a big part of my life; I now understand the need for greater work life balance that includes physical activity.’
Tara did however take advantage of the opportunity to increase her confidence through participation in the drama programme, encouraged by then Dean of Students, Dawn Lang.
‘It was through theatre that I began to come out of my shell.’
‘John Paul College really did form the foundation as to who I am today. We were so fortunate to be in such a beautiful environment to learn and grow. I thank my parents for the sacrifices they made to send my brother, Patrick (a Specialist Endodontist) and I to John Paul College.’
Memories that remain to this day: learning to curtsy on day one, and having to keep those socks up.
Although many thousands of kilometres away, Tara is proud of the connections she maintains with her with family, career mentors, friends and classmates. This same ‘people focus’ translates into her work and her belief that she is able to affect positive change for employees of the companies works for.
‘Through the work I do I am fortunate to have a very small part in impacting people’s lives.’