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Collin CountyHR Breakfast Meeting

May 23, 2017
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM

How Southwest Airlines Attracts and Retains High Potential Leadership

In today’s ultra-competitive business environment, it is critical that companies develop and cultivate their own crop of talent to retain them. Southwest Airlines (SWA) is known for best practices when it comes to having happy, tenured employees. This is in part due to the uniqueness of their leadership development strategy and the role it plays in retaining talent. 

Unlike other strategies around high potentials utilized by the airline industry and other businesses, Southwest Airlines focuses on the core values of the company – a warrior spirit, a servant’s heart and a “fun-luving” attitude. Currently, SWA has three different programs designed for developing their high potentials with these core values at the fore front; one for fast-tracking frontline leaders in operational departments, one focused on getting frontline leaders additional business acumen, and one focused on developing bench strength for senior leaders. Join Petra Holcomb as she shares best practices around high potential leaders and programs to support their development utilized by Southwest Airlines.

Learning Objectives:
  • Discovering Southwest Airlines’ approach to retaining talent among their high potential leaders
  • Reviewing the process of identification for each of the leadership development programs
  • Discussing the opportunities provided to their leaders once selected for a program

About the Speaker

Petra Holcomb
Manager of Leadership Development
Southwest Airlines

- @pholcomb7

- Petra Holcomb

Petra Holcomb began her career with Southwest Airlines (SWA) in 1992 as a reservations sales agent at the Houston Center and has served as the manager of leadership development for the past six years. Throughout her tenure with Southwest, Petra has held a variety of roles, including team leader at the Houston Center, customer support and services training instructor, documentation team leader, curriculum developer and leadership facilitator.   

She attended the University of Texas at Austin as an art major. Petra is married to Mike Holcomb, an HR business partner at Southwest Airlines, who has been with the company for 22 years. They are known as one of more than 1,400 “LUV Couples” currently at Southwest.


Payment is due with registration. No POs or requests for invoicing can be honored. Checks should be made payable and mailed (to be received no later than 5 days prior to the event) to:

5001 LBJ Fwy Ste 800
Dallas, TX 75244
214.631.4533 - Fax

IMPORTANT: Advance registrations are required. Due to limited room capacity, we cannot guarantee seating for onsite registrants. To receive cancellation credit, your written request must be received at DallasHR no later than 5 days prior to the start of the class. There will be no refund if cancellation is received within 5 days of the start of the class.

© 2011 DallasHR. All rights reserved.


HRCI HR (General) Credit Hours: 1

SHRM Professional Development Credits: 1

Please note new recertification certificate policy.*


Collin Higher Education Center in McKinney
3452 TX-399 Spur
McKinney, TX 75069
(Hwy 121 at Hwy 75)

Click here for a map.


Members $38.00

Pre-registration has closed at this time. On-site registration will be available at the venue beginning at 7:30 am. Seating is limited, see pricing below.

If you are paying by check or if you need access to your log-in information, please email or call the DallasHR office at 214.631.8775 x 235 for assistance.

If you are not yet a DallasHR member, you can create a profile that will enable you to register and pay online.

Pre-registration closes promptly at noon on Friday, May 19.

On-site registration
Members $53.00


Time Description
7:30 AM  Networking Begins
8:00 AM Presentation Begins
9:00 AM Presentation Ends


Chapter members and non-members are not allowed to bring and/or distribute collateral material other than business cards to any chapter event except paid sponsoring businesses. Violation of this policy will result in dismissal from the meeting and confiscation of materials.

Opportunities to promote products and services are available. For information, please contact

Recertification Credit Information

This program was approved for 1 HR (General) HRCI recertification credit hour toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR through the HR Certification Institute. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at

DallasHR is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information, visit the SHRM certification website at

*Attendance is required to receive recertification credit certificates for attending this educational event.