Equipped with an extensive and diverse skill set, Yvonne Cowser Yancy is a proven leader who has leveraged her experiences to transform HR initiatives that are crucial to creating sustainable, positive environments for both employers and employees. Her professional experience encompasses all aspects of human resources, including talent management, employee engagement and relations, compliance training, benefits and compensation, implementing inclusive recruitment among diverse candidate pools, and architecting highly productive organizational structures.


Yvonne began her career in Human Resources as an Employee Relations Assistant in the Office of Human Resources at the Georgia Institute of Technology. After Georgia Tech, she worked as an HR Generalist responsible for multiple facets of Human Resources at GE Capital-Retail Financial Services, the financial services division of General Electric Company. In each new role, Yvonne took the time to learn company culture and build strong working relationships with colleagues across the business. She actively sought out and leveraged developmental resources provided by her employer and by external, professional organizations — which is advice she continues to share with the aspiring leaders she coaches today.

These experiences led to progressively more senior roles. As the Senior HR Generalist at Lincoln Financial Group, Yvonne supported more than 800 employees within the Shared Services/IT organization. Later as Director of Human Resources for Turner Broadcasting, she led a department of six HR professionals supporting 1,700+ employees in Technology and Production. She also expanded her experience into higher education, as a Human Resources professor at DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management.

Yvonne’s most recent positions include serving as the Commissioner of Human Resources for the City of Atlanta, followed by her role as SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer for The Fresh Market. During her time as Commissioner, Yvonne led transformational change initiatives that centralized HR and modernized processes and technology. This brought sweeping improvements in efficiency that advanced the quality of HR services impacting more than 8,000 employees.

Yvonne holds a Master of Business Administration in Employee Relations from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Northwestern University. She also earned the Senior Professional in Human Resources certification (SPHR), an accreditation that recognizes strategic mastery of human resources. She is a graduate of the 2013 Class of Leadership Atlanta.


An Atlanta native, Yvonne’s commitment to development goes beyond the office and extends to daily service and civic engagement. She serves on two nonprofit boards: WonderRoot, an arts organization that works to improve the cultural and social landscape of Atlanta through creative initiatives and community partnerships, and the Central Outreach and Advocacy Center, which provides services to overcome and prevent homelessness in Atlanta. In addition to these roles, she is an active member of the Atlanta chapter of The Links, Inc., one of the nation’s oldest and largest service organizations.

Recently, Yvonne participated in the 2019 HOPE Global Forum, where she led the panel, “The Future of Work: A Vision for Inclusion.” In this session, she served as an advocate for inclusive growth, which includes ensuring workers have access to the resources that can help them reinvent themselves in an ever-evolving workplace. Intertwined in this conversation were the essential questions regarding what the public and private sectors can do to address the gap in growing skills, the longevity of the gig economy, and, more universally, how to help employees continually evolve with technological change.