Westmont Magazine Fitness for Life
To compete in seven to eight triathlons a year, Heidi Smith Horton ’97 trains at least 12 hours a week. She relishes the challenge of keeping fit and competing in the difficult, three-part race.
Heidi applies the same energy and determination to her work as an executive recruiter for BennettFrost in Fresno, Calif. In recognition of her success as a recruiter,the Fresno Bee named her one of the Top 10 Professional Business-women of the Year.
“I love my job,” she says. “Work is such a big part of people’s lives. I like helping them find a good working environment. It’s so important to find a good fit.”
Heidi doesn’t sit in her office waiting for resumes. She gets out and meets people and does a lot of networking. “That way you tap into the hidden job market: the positions that aren’t advertised,” she says.
Heidi majored in Spanish at Westmont, but spent summers working in the human resources department in the city of Napa, where she lived. Former Westmont baseball Coach John Kirkgard introduced her to recruiting when she worked as his student assistant.
“John is a great judge of character,” she says. “I saw how he handled players. He looked at their character and not just their talent.”
Her first job involved corporate recruiting for Kaiser Permanente in Fresno. Then she went to work for Wells Fargo Bank, putting in long hours and traveling extensively to find executives for the institution.
She was on the road Sept. 11, 2001, and the bombings shook her. “That day helped me put things into perspective,” she says. “I asked myself how important is my career versus my family, my community and my faith? I had a great job, and I was accelerating through the ranks. But the price was high: I wasn’t healthy, my marriage was on the rocks, and I had invested no time in my community. After much thought and prayer, I left Wells Fargo. I am now involved in community organizations and work reasonable hours. My husband and I celebrated eight years of marriage last August, and we couldn’t be happier. I believe strongly that I was in God’s hands during that transitional period in my life.”