About Sharon

Sharon's Story

I often say that the path to the Global Chief Diversity Officer role at Walmart began long before I was born. I learned about hatred and intolerance because my parents were from two very different religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Relatives felt comfortable making negative comments and expressing inappropriate stereotypes. 

My parents made several purposeful parenting decisions that shaped me into the person I am today. When I was 5 years old, my parents moved a thousand miles away from relatives to stop the cycle of negativity and disrespect. When I was 12, my parents who were strong supporters of the civil rights and women’s rights movement, moved our family to a neighborhood that was predominantly African American and Hispanic. I was the only white girl at the slumber parties I attended.

My family was not welcome in our new neighborhood and we experienced acts of vandalism of our home and family business. I was never afraid; I just wanted to make friends and fit in. I wanted someone to sit with on the school bus every day.

Our family lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and it taught me a valuable lesson: we are all more alike than we are different. Each of us want to be respected, valued, included and loved. I have made it my life’s mission to be inclusive and to help others be inclusive of all people.

Sharon recently retired as the Global Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate HR, at Walmart, she was responsible for advancing a diverse and inclusive workforce of 2.2 million associates worldwide.

Sharon spent 12 years at Walmart in senior leadership roles in Human Resources, including Senior Vice President of People at Sam’s Club.

Sharon also spent 17 years with Foot Locker where she held various leadership positions in Operations and Human Resources.

“Launching a book is similar to birthing a baby. There has been much anticipation, preparation, fretting, planning, and hoping.

It is a new beginning with fresh possibilities and it also seems overwhelming!”

Standing Up After Saigon

Sharing an extraordinary journey of resilience and love through overwhelming hardship, Standing up after Saigon: The Triumphant Story of Hope, Determination, and Reinvention is the memoir of Thuhang Tran as told by author Sharon Orlopp.

Contracting polio at age two and falling victim to the oppressive regime that overtook Saigon after its fall in the Vietnam War, Thuhang has led anything but an easy, ordinary life. Her father, Chinh, was lost to Thuhang and her family in the evacuations from Saigon, and for fifteen long years they remained separated—but desperate to reunite. Orlopp documented decades in the lives of Thuhang and Chinh to capture their incredible tale of triumph over adversity.