As the president of Top Tier Leadership, Rita Barreto Craig has an impressive career as a human resources consultant, coach and speaker. Prior to founding her own company, Rita was a human resources executive for twenty-three years with a Florida Power & Light Company. She served as the company’s first female Division Human Resources Manager, the first Diversity Director winning top honors within two years among utilities of like size throughout the United States and first Senior Affairs Advisor responsible for developing and implementing programs for seniors. She also served as the corporate EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) officer for the company, which had 15,000 employees. As the Director of Development and Performance she led a team charged with developing and delivering innovative learning options aimed at building a high-performance culture. Rita played an integral role when the company applied for and ultimately won the Deming Prize for Quality – the first company outside of Japan to earn this coveted award. Dealing with all levels internally and externally, she quickly excelled and climbed the corporate ladder to become one of the leaders of the organization.
With a long list of companies who have benefited from her talents and vast experience, Rita formed Top Tier Leadership twenty years ago and includes satisfied clients from Florida and beyond. Among them: Microsoft, Florida Power & Light, the City of Hollywood, FL;; TBC Corporation;; RSM, Pratt & Whitney;, and Office Depot;; just to name a few. Her clients are throughout the world including China, Singapore, Mexico, Canada and Brazil. She has developed and delivered high impact presentations customized to meet the unique needs of her clients. Rita not only teaches leadership, she served in a variety of leadership capacities making her uniquely qualified to share stories from her journey.
As a seasoned human professional and master communicator, she is regularly called upon to deliver keynote addresses, facilitate workshops and to conduct highly interactive content-rich training sessions. In March 2015, Rita delivered a TEDx talk at an event in Boca Raton, Florida on the power of traditions in building employee engagement.
In 2016, she earned the CSP (Certified Speaker Professional) designation from the National Speakers Association. Approximately 12 percent of the 5,000 speakers worldwide have earned this designation which conferred by the National Speakers Association. The CSP is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform competence by which you become a Certified Speaking Professional. She served as the Past President of the Florida Speakers Association and coaches to chapters as a Chapter Leadership Coach.
It was in 1999 that Florida’s Governor recognized Rita’s impressive skills when he appointed her to serve a four- year term on the Florida Commission on Human Relations. This opportunity allowed her to actuate the Commission's purpose of promoting fair treatment of and equal access to opportunities for all citizens of Florida in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations and private club memberships. Rita also helped the Commission to encourage mutual understanding and respect among all Floridian's by reducing intolerance, antagonism and intergroup tension through education, legislation and enhancement of public awareness. Within a year of service, the Commission's 11 other Governor-appointed members voted Rita Chairperson, a position that she sustained until completion of her second term in September of 2007.
Rita was one of 14 leaders appointed by the Governor of Florida to serve on the Century Commission, a department that is fundamental in the new concepts and visions of Florida’s future. As a member of this prestigious group, Rita was a vital participant in setting the long-term goals and bold ideas that helped to enhance the environment, water, housing, and economic development within the state.
In 2016, the Chief Financial Officer of the State of Florida appointed Rita to serve a four-year term as one of 22 women on the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. The overall goal of the Commission is to provide guidance to the Governor and Cabinet in the area of women’s issues. In 2017, she was voted to serve on the Executive Committee.
Coinciding with her passion for helping people in the professional world is Rita's commitment to the community. In 2005, she served as the Chair of the American Heart Association Heart Ball and increased funds raised to fight heart disease by 65% in one year. She is also active in a variety of organizations including:
- The National Speaker’s Association – Member, Chapter Leadership Council (serve as a mentor for two chapters helping to ensure they are high performing chapters)
- Discover the Palm Beaches – Executive Board Member
- The Society for Human Resource Management – Member
- Leadership Palm Beach County – Alumni and current Songwriters in the Round committee member (former co-chair)
- South Florida Fair – Marketing Committee
- Executive Women of the Palm Beaches – Leadership Luncheon speaker selection committee
More of Rita's previous involvements include:
- Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center Board of Directors – Member
- Forum Club of the Palm Beaches – Board Member
- Florida Speakers Association – Past President
- World Leaders Conference – Palm Beach Leadership Council
- Founding member of the Nova University Entrepreneurial Board
- Urban League of the Palm Beaches – Board Member
- ABLE Trust Business Leadership Network Chairperson
- Past President of the Human Resource Association of Palm Beach County
- Past President of Executive Women of the Palm Beaches
- Northern Palm Beaches Chamber of Commerce – Executive Committee Member
- Co-founder of the Palm Beach County Senior Activities Festival
Her publishing credits include Welcome to the Workforce, I Showed You So, FORESIGHT: Finding Your Footing In A Fast-Forward World, and a manuscript entitled, “Ethics: The Hot New ‘E’ Word,” featured in the National Speakers Association (NSA’s) first-ever book, Paid To Speak. Her reputation as a consummate professional has awarded her with a number of honors from respected sources such as the South Florida Business Journal, HR Florida, North Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, SER Jobs for Progress and The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. In 2000, HR Florida voted Rita as the top HR professional within the state of Florida. South Florida Business Journal also recognized her as one of the top HR professionals in South Florida. In October 2012, she was presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Human Resource Association of Palm Beach County. In 2017, the Florida Speakers Association presented her with the Joachim De Posada Lifetime Achievement Award for speaking impact and influence.
Rita earned a Master's Degree in Business from Nova University and attended the Columbia University HR Program for continued education. Her goal is to continue pursuit of her passion in guiding organizations through the ups and downs of business by helping them focus on strategies that will ultimately enhance and propel growth while maximizing their corporate assets, including employees.
A not so pretty golfer, adventurous traveler and self-described "collector of hearts", Rita draws from her extensive experience as well as the strength of her loving family – ten siblings - to help people reach their ultimate potential -- the right way. As Rita puts it, "It's about being your personal best -- treating everyone with respect, doing the right thing when no one is looking, striving for new heights..."
To book Leadership and Business Culture speaker Rita Craig call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.