Rita Fields's profile photo

Rita Fields

Chief Talent & Strategy Officer, Lighthouse Michigan

Rita Fields's profile photo
Location: Clawson, MI
Start Year: 2022
TRHT Pillar: Narrative Change


Rita Fields serves as the chief talent & strategy officer for Lighthouse Michigan. She is also a dual CEO of both 313 Industries, Inc., and Copper Phoenix Consulting, LLC. Rit is on the faculty of the School of Management at University of Michigan (MSU) and in the healthcare administration at Central Michigan University. She is also a dissertation advisor in the PhD program at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand. Rita is a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Certified Senior Professional of Human Resources (SHRM-SCP), and a lifetime member of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR). She serves as a spokeswoman for the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan and as a member of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center for Regional Economic Innovation (REI) at the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development.

Rita is a board member of the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS), the Metropolitan Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA), and the Black Business Association of Macomb, and a member of the board of trustees at Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit. Crain’s Detroit Business named her among “40 under 40” in 2008. She was selected to be a presenter at TEDxDetroit in 2015. In 2019, she was named Outstanding Lecturer in the School of Management at University of Michigan (Flint). In 2020, she was named the inaugural executive in residence for the Community Impact Incubator based in Detroit, Mich. She is a sought-after speaker for her transparent commitment to sharing her story of struggle and resilience.

Future Focus

Rita is co-spearheading a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative within Lighthouse Michigan. Lighthouse was established in 2019 when Lighthouse of Oakland County (LOC) and South Oakland Shelter (SOS) combined forces and merged agencies. LOC was founded in 1972 and provided food and clothing from the back door of a local church. SOS was established in 1985 in Oakland County. The new Lighthouse will leverage the best of both agencies, providing direct services (food, shelter, rental/utility and other financial assistance, clothing, crisis referrals) and stability and housing programs that support self-sufficiency. As a former client who is currently a member of the senior executive team, it is important that Lighthouse employees recognize and respect the impact of institutionalized racism on the vulnerable populations we endeavor to serve.

Post-Institute: Transformative Action Plans

Rita’s big idea is to shift the typical staffing model of homelessness service organizations to one that incorporates more people with lived experiences and people of color. Her ultimate hope is that creating a structural way to onboard former clients will create a more empathetic force in this field. Dr. Fields is collaborating closely with her organization’s executive team over programming to determine how to best transition away from traditional staffing models.

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