Release Date: April 8,2021
Mayor Horrigan Announces Upcoming Cabinet Changes
Director of Human Resources, Donald Rice, retiring and succeeded by Yamini Adkins
Akron, Ohio, April 8, 2021 — Mayor Horrigan announced today that effective May 22, 2021 Donald Rice, Director of Human Resources, is retiring from the City of Akron after a nearly 39 year career in public service. In 2016, Rice was appointed by Mayor Horrigan as the first Director of Human Resources in the City of Akron. During Rice’s tenure, the department has undergone transformational change, including the reorganization of the existing Personnel Department into the current Department of Human Resources, as approved by the City of Akron voters as a charter change in 2016. In addition, Rice expanded an Employee Benefits position, rebranded and launched the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council, updated and expanded employee training and continuing education, lead efforts to further diversify the city workforce, and helped oversee the implementation of new citywide HR and finance software. Most notably, the department also made a concerted effort to revise outdated Human Resources policies and procedures which resulted in six more charter changes approved by voters in 2019.
“When I first became Mayor in 2016, the position Director of Human Resources didn’t even exist at the City,” said Mayor Dan Horrigan. “In the over five years that Don has filled this role, he’s proven himself to be an integral member of our team. He has been an asset for his focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion and for his leadership and commitment to improving the services we provide to our employees, potential employees and the Akron community as a whole. I wish Don the best in his well-earned retirement.”
Rice began his career in 1982 as a Community Organizer in Cleveland and accepted a position with the City of Cleveland, Department of Community Development in 1986. He worked in the Community and Economic Development Departments in various positions over the next nine years while obtaining his Law Degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law. After spending one year in the private sector as a Mortgage Banker, in 1996 Don accepted a position as Director of the Civil Division of the Cleveland Municipal Court, Office of the Clerk of Courts. Two years later he was promoted to Chief of Staff with management duties in Finance, Human Resources and Operations.
“None of our major accomplishments would have been possible without the dedicated staff of the department, who have worked tirelessly to bring full service Human Resources to the City of Akron,” said Director Rice. “It was an honor to be a part of this talented group of public servants.”
Director Rice will be succeeded by current Deputy Director of Law, Yamini Adkins who has a distinguished career in public service. Ms. Adkins previously served as the Deputy Director for Human Resources and Labor Relations for Summit County and as a Federal Mediator for the United States Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. With over 30 years in public service and broad expertise in human resources, labor, and employment law, Ms. Adkins has played an essential role in driving forward the City’s advancements in human resources matters.
“I am delighted to continue to advance the significant progress that has been made. I will continue to develop and expand this work to ensure that the Department of Human Resources delivers the critical services to our employees and provides the foundation for an energized, productive and engaged workplace,” Ms. Adkins stated.
Mayor Horrigan continued, “Our Human Resources Department has made tremendous progress over the past five years. In Don’s time with the City, he laid a solid foundation for our HR Department and thanks to those efforts, I am confident that the Department will continue to grow and transform under new leadership. Yamini is a proven leader and an innovative thinker and I look forward to witnessing her many successes in this new role.”