Maggie M. Estess is a human resources and recruiting expert celebrating more than 20 years of success in executive leadership roles. Since 2019, she has been the chief human resource officer for Southern Veterinary Partners, a national chain of animal hospitals with more than 5,000 total employees. Ms. Estess has been with the company during a period of unprecedented growth, including three consecutive years during which it was included on the Inc. list of the fastest-growing businesses in the United States.
Ms. Estess holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism from Mississippi State University and began her business career in 2001 as a management associate trainee with AmSouth Bank. She quickly rose to become a branch manager and was an assistant vice president by 2003. She remained with the company for three more years as a corporate trainer, departing in 2006 to become a vice president and director of the management associate program for Regions Bank. The following year, Ms. Estess was named north-central area HR manager for Regions Bank, a position she held until 2010, when she accepted a promotion to become senior vice president and corporate staffing manager for the company. She was named executive vice president in 2012 and remained in the role for the next four years
A highlight of Ms. Estess’ career was her time as human resources program manager for Altec from 2017 until 2019. During her tenure, she was responsible for helping develop the entire corporate human resources program, including hiring and creating a new personnel structure. Ms. Estess recalls feeling that she had not had the opportunity to stretch her skills in that way in prior positions and felt the experience was a major growth opportunity. Her experiences with Altec helped her understand and appreciate her talent for her chosen work in a new way. The company infrastructure that Ms. Estess helped develop at Altec left a lasting impact on operations in the years that followed.
In her current role with Southern Veterinary Partners, Ms. Estess is responsible for all human resource functions, including recruiting, leadership development, and coaching existing staff. Building upon her previous experiences in the finance and banking industries, she combines her natural empathy for others with an in-depth understanding of the needs of a growing business and manages human resources with the goal of maximizing both employee development and operational expansion. As a part of her commitment to this goal, Ms. Estess has helped build a number of social responsibility and community development programs during her time with Southern Veterinary Partners, including hospital-based partnerships with local charitable organizations and improvement projects, and educational outreach to provide pet care and veterinary information to underserved groups. She has also helped the company establish working relationships with support programs for survivors of abuse and instituted employee quality-of-life initiatives, including broadening the range of approved uses for FSA account money and starting an employee education reimbursement program.
Ms. Estess’ excellence in her field has been recognized with her inclusion on a 2021 Women to Watch list and an earlier spot in the Top 40 Under 40. In order to remain at the leading edge of developments in her profession, she is active in the Society for Human Resource Management, Forbes Councils, and her company’s staff enrichment program, and holds a Gallup coaching certification and an SHRM credential. She credits her success to the support of her family and her professional mentors, citing their advice and confidence in her as major contributors to her rise. Currently, Ms. Estess is pursuing her Master of Business Administration through Florida State University. She looks forward to continuing to support her company while beginning to train a successor and hopes to move back into independent consulting in the next five to 10 years.