Georgia State Helped Ann-Marie Campbell Rise to the Top — Now She’s Helping Future Students Achieve Similar Success

When you’ve risen high enough in your corporate hierarchy to have your own bobblehead doll made, it can be hard to stay grounded. But even though Georgia State alumna Ann-Marie Campbell is president of Home Depot’s Southern Division, overseeing 690 stores and more than 100,000 employees, she hasn’t forgotten where she started — as a cashier at store
No. 216 in North Miami Beach, Fla.

“I understand about going to college and having to work for a living, juggling multiple things at once,” Campbell says. “I was able to move up in the company because people reached out and helped me. It went from a job to a career because I had people who believed in me.”

Hard work and a willingness to “be bold” helped Ann-Marie rise through the ranks — and so did the M.B.A. she earned from Georgia State. This past year, she endowed the Ann-Marie Campbell Scholarship at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business to help future Georgia State students make the same climb she did.

For the Campbell Scholars, those scholarships have been more than just money for tuition — they’ve been the start of a valuable relationship. “I was a little nervous to meet her,” says junior accounting major Julia Ngai, who got to meet Ann-Marie at Home Depot headquarters this past August. “But afterward, I went to Career Services and applied for Home Depot’s summer internship. And when I e-mailed her, thanking her for her time and letting her know that I’d applied, she told me to keep her updated with all the internships I was looking at.”

Ann-Marie’s commitment to the Campbell Scholars mirrors the commitment she’s kept during her 28 years at Home Depot — part of an overall corporate culture, she says, that reminds her she, too, is there to serve.

“For me, the good thing about being with a company with values like Home Depot’s is we’ve always been taught to give back,” Ann-Marie explains. “And giving back to the leaders of the future is something we should all do.”


Photo by Rebecca Breyer