She’s Pretty and Black Owned: Meet Delmar Johnson

Delmar is the Co-Founder & CEO of ExpandHR, a tech startup; as well as, Principal Consultant of the brand HR Brain for HireTM, a boutique HR and People Relations Consultancy helping growing for-profit businesses and non-profits organizations build and develop a legacy through the development of their leadership, people, culture, and best practices to help mitigate risks and develop a strengths-based culture. With clients based across the U.S., Delmar is an award-winning entrepreneur that has been honored with the Spark and Hustle Small Business Resiliency Award (2018) and nominated for the Best Small Business Startup Award in 2014.

With over 25 years of experience working with big corporations, non-profits, small business owners, and startups, Delmar founded the brand HR Brain for HireTM as a trusted and resourceful solution for startups to established small business employers in need of affordable, efficient, and top-notch recruitment, training and HR services. Delmar’s personal story, which includes multiple layoffs, life challenges, and her own dive into entrepreneurship, gives her a perfect mix of formal knowledge and
“real-life” experience that she pours into each client and their unique needs.

Delmar, an Amazon Best Seller, is the Author of HR Is Sexy! The Truth About Human Resources and Why It’s Necessary for Your Business, Memoir Seasons of My Soul, and Co-Author of multiple books, In addition, Delmar is a contributor to Black Women Mean Business Magazine and Authority Magazine, Delmar has also been a guest speaker at several conferences and empowerment events where she has shared the stage with such industry leaders as Dr. George Frazier, Inventor Lonnie Johnson, Peter J. Strauss, Adam Witty, Cindy Trimm, Lamar Tyler and Aprille Franks.

What inspired the start of ” ExpandHR”? 

ExpandHR was inspired by my 25+ years of human resources experience and the desire to move my hands-on HR for Entrepreneurs experience into the tech space to help growing small businesses streamline their people experience including hiring, payroll, and onboarding. The future of HR in tech is a tremendous space to be in and will increasingly become more important to the sustainability of small businesses as they position to scale up. 

What has been the biggest challenge of running a brand like ” ExpandHR”?

One of the biggest challenges is being part of the less than 2% population of Black Women Founders and gaining access to funding. However, it has not stopped me nor my business partner Shayna Atkins, from continuing the journey to building and developing ExpandHR. We are very excited about the future. 

How does “ExpandHR” impact the community?

ExpandHR will have an impact in the community from the perspective of future hires of team members who will become a part of the vision of ExpandHR. In addition, the community of entrepreneurs ExpandHR will have a tremendous impact on BIPOC small business particularly, as we have found in the past couple of years of continuous research, that demographic operate more manually, although many are beginning to embrace the necessity of developing a business culture that is intentional about their employee experience.

 You expanded your brand by becoming Principal Consultant of HR Brain of Hire ™, can you share the mission and work being done?

Actually, ExpandHR is an extension of my first brand HR Brain for Hire as a Principal Consultant. That was a venture I originally started back in 2011, as it was a solution not only to my personal life that was in the midst of a hard pivot I was experiencing, but it was also taking years of HR experience and educating the entrepreneur communities of its importance to their growth. I had lost everything the year before and in returning home after years of living in other cities, I literally returned with the clothes on my back and walked into an unexpected assignment of caregiving for my mother., along with the help from my sisters. So, in starting my life over, I had to find a “work” solution that would be conducive to being essentially a full-time caregiver. And from that, using what was in my hands, which was HR, is where it all began. 

Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 3-5 years?

I hope to see ExpandHR as one of the most sought-after subscription-based HR SasS resources in the small business marketplace, providing answers to questions entrepreneurs don’t have to Google their way to.

What advice do you have for the next generation of entrepreneurs?

For the next generation of entrepreneurs, I say when taking big and small risks, believe in the vision that was given to you but don’t be afraid to ask for help when you know you need it. Do not operate in a silo too long. You will go farther faster asking questions, and intentionally connecting to individuals who are several steps ahead of you. More times than not, people want to help and see you win.  

What does being “Pretty and Black Owned” mean to you? 

Pretty and Black-owned means to me, showing up and taking ownership in your vision, your power, and your BEing. 

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Jakia Cheatham - Myles

CEO/Founder of Pretty Women Hustle Magazine

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