Who's Who of Professional Women


Mercedes Walters

Committed to helping people in need, both locally and globally, Mercedes B. Walters is an overachiever. Growing up, her father always challenged her. When she was in high school, she was third in her class and her father asked her, “Why can’t she be number one?” She took that as a challenge and the following year, she became second, eventually going on to graduate as the first in her class. Her father always made her feel that if others can do it, she can do it better. Ms. Walters reads about things that she wants information about, and she prepares herself whenever she is tasked with something.

While Ms. Walters had been practicing as a registered nurse for a decade, her husband at the time was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. She was unable to work as a nurse for her shift work because she had small children at home to take care of. After three years of living in Alaska, she found a job as an employment specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor. After doing processing claims, she felt that she needed a change and attained a position as an adjudicator of unemployment insurance, where she remained for five years and recalls was a very stressful position. Ms. Walters then transferred to the placement section, where became the top employment specialist out of 36 interviewers. When she got divorced, she moved to Chicago to look for work, and that is where her career began in human resources, serving as the national director of human resources for Avanti Health Systems. Currently, she is the district governor for the Lions Club International.

Prior to the start of her professional career, Ms. Walters started school at the age of 4 and received the highest grades in her class by the first grade. After skipping several grades, she graduated with a baccalaureate in nursing from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, in 1961 at just 19 years old. A member of the Legion of Mary, Ms. Walters currently maintains involvement with numerous organizations related to her field including the Society for Human Resources Management and the National Association of Recruiters.

Throughout her career, Ms. Walters has strived to center her expertise in the areas of recruitment and staffing, employee relations and medical surgery. In recognition of her multitudinous efforts with the Lions Club International, she received the #1 Membership Growth Award and the Leadership Medal from its international president.

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