Ryan Smith

Manager, HR Business Partner at Industrial Light & Magic

Western Michigan University BBA Human Resource Management

Ryan S. Smith was born and raised in the City of Detroit. In 2006, Ryan received his Bachelors in Business Administration (Human Resource Management) and concentrations in Political Science and Economics from Western Michigan University located in Kalamazoo, MI.

After graduation, he began his professional career in 2007 with Macy’s Inc. as a Sales Manager. After two years, Ryan was promoted into the Human Resources field, first as a Staffing Manager at the Downtown Chicago Water Tower location and then as the Administrative Support Team Manager in a suburb of Chicago. In 2011, Ryan shifted his HR skills to ManpowerGroup, a global leader in workforce solutions. After several years consulting clients across the U.S., he relocated to Oakland, California, and assumed the People and Culture Partner title, supporting the Manpower line of business in the West Coast of the U.S., with responsibilities nationally with Manpower Government and Sales.

In 2018 Ryan took the role of Manager, Human Resources Business Partner for Industrial Light & Magic in San Francisco and Skywalker Sound in Marin County, CA, both Disney companies under Lucasfilm, a dream job for him. Ryan helps studio leadership and artists navigate the complexities of production employment and develop strong, rewarding careers.

Ryan has been a guest speaker at several companies, organizations, and universities to discuss topics around diversity and inclusion, career advancement, generational differences, employment law, and performance management. Ryan also enjoys giving back to his community by volunteering for events such as Go Red for Women and Reading is Fundamental.


What are you most proud of in your work or life?

I am most proud of the impact I make at organizations to build stronger connections with employees and communities, focused on bringing the best out of each other.

What are your passions and hobbies?

Watching sports, getting a workout in whenever possible and keeping my video game skills sharp are some of my favorite activities.

Do you have a personal motto or other words to live by?

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” – James Baldwin

Favorite snack food?


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