Some people have just got it – and by “it,” we mean “IT,” that indefinable, “je ne sais quoi” star quality. Maybe it’s the smile that lights up their eyes as well as their face. Or the easy yet confident way they carry themselves. Or their style. Whatever it is, some got it and some don’t.
Daniel Conklin’s got it. Not that he’d ever admit it, of course.
“I’m just a small-town farm kid from Caddo Mills, Texas,” he laughs, something he does easily and often. “I graduated from Greenville High School, got a partial scholarship through cheerleading to Texas Tech, endured the West Texas dust storms for my B.A in business management and was lucky to get a job at J.P. Morgan Chase where I’d interned. I was very grateful.”
No doubt the same can be said of the people who hired him, as he quickly made himself indispensable for nearly four years until larger forces, namely the mortgage crisis of 2008-09, forced mass industry layoffs. He tried out a gig as an investment business banker for a while, then was tapped for a recruiter role at GEICO that kick-started his interest in all things HR (Human Resources). Park Place reached out to him in 2014 with an HR Generalist role and, as he says, “the happy journey began.”
“Park Place didn’t really have a talent acquisition function back then,” he says, “and leadership entrusted me to build and lead the department from scratch, which was a huge honor.”
As happens in recruiting, however, connections and offers abound, so after four years of recruiting for Motorcars Dallas and Park Place corporate, he left for another opportunity. “Hardest decision I’ve ever made,” he says now. Fortunately for Park Place, after a short year, he jumped right back in and has been a hard-charging HR star ever since.
“I loved the new job but really missed Park Place, which is what I consider my home insofar as my career,” he says. “We really have some wonderful, amazing people and such a great organization – especially Robert Morris and Patrick Huston and their teams.” (Robert is General Manager of Motorcars Dallas: Patrick is GM of Porsche Dallas.)
He also proudly lists the certifications of SPHR and sHRBP on his resume. SPHR stands for Senior Professional in Human Resources®, a rigorous accreditation from HRCI®, the HR industry’s premier credentialing organization for more than 40 years. sHRBP stands for Strategic HR Business Partner and comes from HCI, Human Capital Institute, a research-based learning solutions company for human resource and talent management professionals. And that’s on top of the MBA in Human Resources Management he earned from Trinity University of San Antonio earlier this year.
“Maybe it’s the cheerleader in me,” he grins, “but I’ve always wanted to stand out, to always be the most qualified in whatever I do. These are demanding programs and I was the first HR person at Park Place to receive the accreditations, so I’m pretty happy about that.”
He even finds time in his crowded schedule for hobbies, such as his dedication to cooking and baking – you can find examples of his handiwork at www.definitelybydaniel.com, which includes mouthwatering recipes for barbecue ribs, clam chowder, banana nut bread and even limoncello.
Somewhere with all this going on, he also managed to find time to get married two years ago, and he and his husband Spencer just welcomed a son, Carter Ian Conklin, on July 14.
Lately, Daniel has been busy decorating their son’s nursery with thousands – literally thousands – of Winnie the Pooh-themed balloons. “Might have been a bit more ambitious that I thought,” he chuckles.
Ambition is a characteristic – just maybe it’s that “IT” quality – that Daniel seems to be blessed with in abundance. But he points with genuine humility to another source.
“My father is a Baptist bishop and I was raised in the church to believe in a higher power,” he says matter-of-factly. “I truly believe if you exude good vibes and karma, you’ll receive it back in kind. Thinking positively, and having faith in the things you want in your life, will ensure that they’ll come to pass.”