At the very heart of AEO is our PEOPLE. Our associates are REAL – authentic, resilient, and optimistic – each with their own story. Our REAL PEOPLE series highlights those who drive innovation, embrace teamwork and strengthen AEO’s inclusive culture.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, we are highlighting Reddisha (Redd), Global Asset Protection Corporate Safety and Security Lead at the AEO Ottawa distribution center and former U.S. Navy Petty Officer Third Class.
“I am very blessed with the opportunity to work for a great company that truly cares for their employees. I can wholeheartedly say AEO invests in their people and provides a workplace filled with so much opportunity.”
At a crossroads in her life, Redd took a leap from college student to U.S. Navy Steelworker in 2008. During her eight years in the Navy, Redd served three tours in Afghanistan, doing everything from steelwork and welding to assisting her Commanding Officer (CO), and eventually meeting her husband, Michael, a fellow sailor and Petty Officer First Class. Redd’s time in the military was full of life-changing experiences that truly helped shape the person she is today.
“The whole reason for joining the military was to be a part of something and make a difference…a REAL difference,” said Redd. “Serving in the military gave me the ability to be selfless, love and see the positive in all situations. I learned how to communicate effectively and how to treat people differently because you understand that everyone is different.”
After the military, Redd knew she wanted to continue to do something meaningful with her civilian career so she jumped back into school, exploring the pharmacy and medical billing field before landing in HR. “I feel like HR makes a difference, especially when you have a good HR team that is not only focused on the business but its people.” Redd earned her master’s degree in HR and went on to recruit for a trucking company before joining AEO as an HR Coordinator at the distribution center in Ottawa in June 2020.
Never one to shy away from a new opportunity, Redd decided to take another leap and join the AEO Global Asset Protection team in May 2021. In her current role, Redd leads safety and security for the weekend and evening shifts, managing a team of security guards. Redd believes her new role provides the opportunity to continue her service, just in a different way.
“My management team understands the military. They trust you and understand you may have PTSD or other things going on from your service. They want me to do what I can, the best I can, without any pressure. We’re very transparent and the open line of communication from my management team helps to alleviate stress.”
Redd shared that many of her coworkers at AEO are former military and it’s been great to have that sense of camaraderie, which she feels has ultimately helped her grow in her career. “I am very blessed with the opportunity to work for a great company that truly cares for their employees. I can wholeheartedly say AEO invests in their people and provides a workplace filled with so much opportunity.”
When asked her advice for anyone transitioning out of the military, her response was simple: take a break! “Think about what it is that you want to do and go for it! Take the time to reflect, learn what your skills are, what you truly want to be and go for it head on.”
Redd is an active member of the Veteran & Military Employee Resource Group (VMERG) at AEO, one of the many Networks & Connections at the company that brings our associates together to celebrate what makes us real. The VMERG’s vision is to foster camaraderie and support among United States Military Veterans within AEO and the community and ensure veterans are respected for their service, supported during deployments, assisted in the transition to civilian roles at AEO and offered the opportunity to serve their community.
Thank you for your service, Redd!