Rita Fields has recently become a member of the leadership team for Pontiac’s Lighthouse as chief talent and strategy officer. Among her responsibilities, she will develop and implement talent management strategies and oversee human resources, facilities, information technology, and more. Her new role began Aug. 24.
“I’m really looking forward to ensuring that the people who help our most vulnerable residents are also provided with the tools they need to succeed,” says Fields. “I am honored to do that for Lighthouse, particularly because of the incredibly impactful role it had in my own life.”
Roughly 30 years ago, Fields was 18 years old, homeless, and pregnant. Unsure of what to do, she turned to South Oakland Shelter where she was housed for 30 days (the maximum at the time) and was provided with food and a safe place to stay.
After her son was born, Fields finished high school and then earned her bachelor’s degree in English and psychology, as well as her master’s degree in human resource management from Marygrove College. She also got her doctorate degree in management from Walsh College.
Once she graduated, Fields returned and joined the nonprofit’s board. She is a professor of management at the University of Michigan and CEO of 313 Industries and also served as a strategist and consultant with special expertise in understanding the power of human potential.
Lighthouse was established in 2019 when Lighthouse of Oakland County and South Oakland Shelter merged. It typically emergency food and shelter.