Yvonne Cowser Yancey

Chief Human Resources Officer, Understood

Yvonne Cowser Yancy, is a driven, operations focused strategic people leader with 25+ years of demonstrated success in leading PE, private, public sector, and nonprofit organizations across multiple industries and geographies.

Currently Ms. Yancy serves as the chief human resources officer of Understood, a nonprofit focused on supporting individuals with learning and thinking differences. In this role Ms. Yancy is responsible for all people functions, finance, legal, information technology, and leading the workplace initiative. Prior to this role Ms. Yancy served as the senior vice president and chief human resources officer of The Fresh Market responsible for the field and home office human resource and benefit functions, including talent acquisition, organizational design and development, training, compensation and health and wellness functions. Prior to joining The Fresh Market, Ms. Yancy served as the commissioner of human resources for the City of Atlanta, where she oversaw all human resource functions that impacted 8,500 employees and 5,000 retirees, such as health and wellness benefit plans, labor relations, talent acquisition, HRIS and the employee assistance program. Ms. Yancy has extensive experience in the human resources field, having worked with several Fortune 500 companies, serving in roles of increasing responsibility, including GE Capital, Ashland, Inc., Lincoln Financial Group, Turner Broadcasting and SunTrust Bank. Additionally, Ms. Yancy is also the Founder and Principal of YSquare Advisors, a boutique consultancy that helps developing organizations with their human resource functions.

A native of Atlanta, Yvonne is involved in civic and charitable organizations such as the Atlanta Chapter of The Links, Inc.; is a current board of Central Outreach and Advocacy Center and Second Helping, and is a former member of the SHRM Atlanta Board of Directors. Ms. Yancy is also a graduate of Leadership Atlanta (2013). Additionally, she actively mentors others seeking careers in Human Resources. Ms. Yancy holds a B.A. in economics from Northwestern University and an M.B.A in employee relations from Georgia State University.

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