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Donnie Newman, EHS specialist at the Sherwin Williams Company operation in Richmond, made an informal presentation recently to EKU Maroon Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) students.

Newman is a Certified Safety and Health Specialist with 27 years of service at Sherwin Williams. His wide-ranging discussion with the students covered workplace safety and navigating the intricacies of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the primary federal agency charged with ensuring workplace safety.

EKU and Sherwin Williams exemplify “good neighbors” in the Madison County community. Not only was Newman willing to share his insights and experiences at the end of a full day at work, but he also serves as an EKU OSHA outreach trainer. Dr. Allen D. Engle, faculty adviser to the student HR group, reached out to Newman through Amanda Baker, area human resources manager for Sherwin Williams’ Richmond Manufacturing and Distribution Service Center, alumnae of EKU’s HR program and a longtime supporter of her alma mater.

“Amanda is one of our success stories” Engle said, “and we have been lucky enough to place four student teams at Sherwin Williams over the last 12 years to act as training consultants for a variety of units and for a variety of training issues in the Richmond operation. These service projects enhance our students’ understanding of the ideas they learn in the classroom and make them more marketable upon graduation. Sherwin Williams has certainly impacted the quality and depth of our longstanding HR program here at Eastern, and we hope we have been able to impact, in some small way, the effectiveness of their operations.”

EKU and Sherwin Williams also have a long-standing relationship through the 15-week “Leadership Excellence for Middle Managers” program offered by EKU’s Division of Community and Workforce Education. According to Professor Mike Roberson, primary instructor and academic coordinator for the program, “the program provides wonderful opportunities for EKU Business faculty members to teach, interact and learn from working managers.”

The program is a win-win activity for the University and local organizations. No fewer than nine of Sherwin Williams’ managers have graduated from the program in the last nine years.

Any EKU student with an interest in HR issues may join the bi-monthly meetings on every other Tuesday afternoon. For more information, contact Engle at

For more information on the Leadership Excellence Program, contact Roberson at