As chief operating officer, Ruby Smith oversees human resources and training at the nonprofit with a staff of 150. Smith enhanced the performance management program and spearheaded the development of a diversity, equity and inclusion plan. Those reforms are intended to aid recruitment and retention. In addition, she introduced and chairs a committee that plans activities and outings as well as recognition events. Smith says that in the world of legal aid, where the need is enormous and pay is low, these activities have improved morale. Before joining Legal Aid Chicago seven years ago, Smith held a number of HR positions at Loretto Hospital, most recently as vice president of HR and compliance. In October, she was appointed to the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Publisher: Crain’s Chicago Business
Published: January 2020