H. D. Smith, the largest privately held wholesaler distributor in the U.S., today announced an addition to its executive leadership team. Clayton Thornhill joins H. D. Smith as Vice President, Human Resources with more than 12 years of HR leadership experience.

“Coming from a fast-paced corporate environment, Clay will be an excellent fit with the structure of H. D. Smith,” said Chris Smith, president and CEO of H. D. Smith. “He has extensive HR experience that will translate well to continue molding our expanding human resources department. He also brings vast knowledge of process improvement to add to our growth in that area.”

In this role, Thornhill is responsible for the organizational development, change management, talent acquisition and performance management. He will oversee employee engagement, compensation and benefits for all associates, as well as coach fellow managers to maximize their performance. Leading by example, he will provide expertise and education related to people issues that affect company performance, strategy, or business relationships.

Most recently serving as the Corporate Senior Human Resources Manager for Walmart, Thornhill focused on improving HR processes and performance through operational excellence initiatives in a complex matrix structure. He supported 125 Walmart stores with 33,000 employees through talent acquisition and workforce planning strategies.

Prior to Walmart, Thornhill expanded operations at the Chrysler Corporation by working with product, quality and industrial engineers to ensure plant goals in quality, safety and cost were met.

He earned a bachelor’s in business administration and marketing from McKendree University and a master’s in business administration from Fontbonne University. He is also earned a Senior Professional Human Resource certification and is a Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional.