Managing Risk and Loving Where She Lives

Nine years ago, Kimberly Prescott moved from Arlington, Virginia, to Columbia because it was “a cool place” with culture, music, shopping, food and recreation—perfect for her husband and daughter, who she’s dubbed “the real CEO.”

“You don’t have to leave. It’s a real community. I grew up in Augusta [Georgia], which was transient because of the military base. We had neighborhoods; here, it’s Columbia—a thing unto itself.”

When it comes to work, Kimberly is not a softie. What she provides her clients is “un-intimidated human resources.” That means real solutions that get to the heart of what a business needs. Prescott HR is her company, and it’s unique among its competitors because their projects for their small business, nonprofit and government-contractor clients are 100% customized. They don’t take templates and retrofit them.

Do all small businesses need HR consulting? Kimberly says the smart ones know they do.

“If you have one employee, you need HR advice, but many leaders don’t understand what HR is. They think it’s hiring and firing. That’s just 10% of what it is. We’re risk managers.”

There are a number of HR frauds in the world who have managed people or have filled out paperwork and call themselves HR professionals, she says. They are not.

“HR is tied to operations. When you do it right, you understand how the operations side gets things done. You don’t want to pay me to fill out paperwork. You want to pay me to help you manage your risk through compliance and developing and driving strategy.”

Kimberly is vice-chair of the Board of Community Foundation of Howard County, a 2018 graduate and current board member of Leadership Howard County, and the past president of the Howard County chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management. She plans to keep her business here in Columbia for a long time.

“I’ve never been in a place so giving of its resources.”