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® Fall 2020

2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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AWARD

BLACK

Inside this issue Entrepreneurship as a Vehicle to Wealth, Independence and Legacy Four Essential Levers CEOs Can Adopt to Achieve Racial & Gender Equality Where Are They Now ...

Next issue: Latino Leaders Worth Watching & 2021 Diversity Leader Awards


Karin Sarratt A Positive Agent for Change As a leader in the financial services industry, OneAmerica® is more than the name of our company — it represents our unity and our commitment to building and strengthening relationships so we can be there for those who need us. Executive Vice President Karin Sarratt is a respected and influential leader advancing this charge within our company, our industry and our community.

Our Strategic Approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion • Workforce and Career Development • An Inclusive Workplace and Culture • Expanded Economic Empowerment • Expanded Access to Affordable Financial Security and Protection

Aptly named one of this year’s 100 Black Leaders Worth Watching®, we salute her as a positive agent for change.

Life Insurance | Retirement | Employee Benefits OneAmerica.com © 2020 OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.

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PUBLISHER'S COLUMN All Things Diversity & Inclusion FOUNDER/CEO/PUBLISHER

James R. Rector VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS

James Gorman DESIGNER

Stephen A. Toth ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Teresa Fausey EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Elena Rector WEBMASTER

David Toth

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Profiles in Diversity Journal Gemini Towers #1 • 1991 Crocker Road, Suite 600 • Westlake, OH 44145 Tel: 440.892.0444 • Fax: 440.892.0737 profiles@diversityjournal.com

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Greetings To All! As a species, we’ve been on a wild and dangerous ride this year. With emotions running high on all fronts, we can take some solace in knowing that our species will prevail, and life will continue its journey toward the unknown future. Maintaining a positive perspective will yield copious amounts of productive energy, which will ward off any and all challenges facing our humanity. To all of this, I say onward…. PDJ has strengthened its resolve and focus to celebrate those individuals and organizations doing exceptional and innovative work in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and human equity. As a team, we enjoy this work, and in doing it, have met many interesting and dedicated individuals who are achieving hard-won and inspiring results. We applaud organizations for supporting our efforts to offer them our congratulations and a crystal award in recognition of each individual’s performance and achievement. As we wrap up 2020 and look forward to a new year, we wish to thank all who have participated in our quarterly award issues. We are honored and privileged to share with the world those individuals and organizations leading the way to a more equitable and productive workforce environment for everyone. See you all in 2021!

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Stay healthy and safe! Profiles in Diversity Journal® is a quarterly magazine dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, higher education, and military sectors. For more than 23 years, we have helped to stimulate organizational change by showcasing the visionary leadership, innovative programs, and committed individuals that are making it happen. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and may or may not represent the views of the publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Registered in U.S. Patent Office

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James R. Rector Publisher & Founder Since 1999

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IN THIS ISSUE

01 | PUBLISHER’S COLUMN 05 | EDITOR’S COLUMN 08 | FOUR ESSENTIAL LEVERS CEOS CAN ADOPT TO ACHIEVE RACIAL & GENDER EQUALITY 12 | ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS A VEHICLE TO WEALTH, INDEPENDENCE, AND LEGACY 14 | 1ST ANNUAL BLACK LEADERS WORTH WATCHING AWARDS 70 | 17TH ANNUAL INNOVATIONS IN DIVERSITY AWARDS 79 | WHERE ARE THEY NOW? 92 | CORPORATE INDEX

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Black Leaders Worth Watching™ 2020 We are pleased and proud to introduce PDJ’s inaugural class of Black Leaders Worth Watching Award recipients. They are extraordinary individuals who have blazed new trails, mentored the next generation, and advanced the cause of diversity and inclusion. Get to know them and join us in celebrating their achievements.

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Four Essential Levers CEOs Can Adopt to Achieve Racial & Gender Equality Donald Fan of Walmart explains how leaders can initiate, evolve, and maintain racial and gender equality by embracing and committing to these four strategies: Lead Purposefully; Make a Cultural Change; Foster an Ecosystem; and Focus on Mindset and Behavior Change.

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Entrepreneurship as a Vehicle to Wealth, Independence, and Legacy If you think entrepreneurship is for you, Janet and Gary Smith of Ivy Consulting are in your corner. However, there are a few things to figure out before you dive in …. What is your goal? What kind of entrepreneur are you? What is your appetite for risk? Who do you trust to support and advise you? These experts offer valuable tips that will increase your chances for success.

Inclusion Inspires Ingenuity At AMD, our mission is growing a diverse, inclusive workforce that embraces different perspectives and experiences to foster innovation, challenge the status quo, and drive business performance. That’s why we foster a culture of diversity and respect — because the future of thought leadership depends on it.

Congratulations to our 2020 Black Leaders Worth Watching! AMD is proud to have these two leaders – Kim Steele and Olatunde Gbolahan – among this year’s award winners.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT AMD.COM © ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. AMD, THE AMD ARROW, AND COMBINATIONS THEREOF ARE TRADEMARKS OF ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES, INC. PID # 20690698-A

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EDITOR'S COLUMN “So you may not always have a comfortable life. And you will not always be able to solve all the world’s problems all at once. But don’t ever underestimate the impact you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” –Michelle Obama As I read Michelle Obama’s quote, I realized that the people Profiles in Diversity Journal recognizes with awards, and those who contribute articles, are just the kind of courageous individuals she is talking about—and encouraging all of us to become. Their commitment, hard work, and generosity continue to have a tremendous impact on their coworkers, their families, and their communities. And their hope for a better world does indeed take on a life of its own and fill the rest of us who learn about them in the pages of the magazine with that same hope. Maybe that’s one of the best and most important things to be found in the pages of PDJ. In every issue, every profile, every article, we encounter hope, and see, again and again, that there are people out there, going about their daily lives and building successful careers and raising families, who also have an unbending determination to make the world, at least their corner of it, a better, fairer, safer, and maybe even happier place for us all. So, as 2020 draws to a close and many of us are cautiously breathing a sigh of relief and hoping that 2021 will be better—believing that it must—perhaps each of us can take some inspiration from the poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, and look to the New Year with our own courage, imagination, and hope. “And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” As always, thanks for reading. Teresa Fausey Associate Editor

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17th Annual Innovations in Diversity Awards Profiles in Diversity Journal is proud to share this year’s ambitious and transformational innovations in diversity from 19 of the world’s leading companies—programs and initiatives that are taking diversity and inclusion to a new level. One of our featured innovations may be your company’s next best step.

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Where Are They Now ... Catch up with past Women Worth Watching Award recipients and find out what they’ve been up to professionally. Whether they have moved up the career ladder, joined a new team, or struck out on their own, their contributions and achievements continue to impress and inspire.

Congratulations, Allison! Lincoln Financial congratulates Allison Green Johnson, SVP, Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Employee Engagement, and all of the honorees of Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2020 Black Leaders Worth Watching.TM It’s your leadership and commitment that creates an inclusive culture where diversity is respected, celebrated and valued. Your passion continues to make a difference in the world and inspire those around you to take charge of their future.

To learn more about Lincoln Financial, visit LFG.com. LFG-PDJAD-ADV001_Z01 LCN-3178883-072720 Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and its affiliates. ©2020 Lincoln National Corporation.

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FOUR ESSENTIAL LEVERS CEOs Can Adopt to Achieve

Racial & Gender Equality

By Donald Fan, Senior Director of the Global Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion at Walmart, Inc.

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n the wake of the coronavirus, racial injustice, hate crime, and a declining economy, we realize that leading through crisis requires an inclusive mindset with decisive action and strength of purpose. Inclusive leaders believe that people are the center of their business, and they are obligated to advocate and practice social justice, workplace equality, and social responsibility. In a recent op-ed in USA Today, Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO and chairman of the Business Roundtable, stated, “Because we are at the moment. On one side sits the weight of history, with its deeply ingrained prejudices and complicated systems of racism. On the other side sit all of us, who must work together to shape a future of equality and justice. With the force of hope, the power of unyielding commitment, and the spirit of good, I believe we can move the great weight that not only exerts a relentless downward pressure on Black people, but also becomes more unbearable for all of us. Once out from under that weight, we can all stand up, together; find strength, together; and build opportunity for all, together.” With a collective voice of moving the weight of racism and sexism that presses on people of color and women in corporate America, business leaders contemplate how we can create and sustain equality and justice systemically in the workplace. This article explores four evidence-based

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levers business leaders can embrace to initiate, evolve, and maintain racial and gender equality (RGE). 1. LEAD PURPOSEFULLY CEOs are responsible for leading RGE through overarching outlook, explicit expectations, and unwavering grit. Commitment: RGE is the most vital component in an overall diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. CEOs must set an affirmative tone and aspiration in achieving racial and gender equality in the workplace. The audacious vision drives the best short-term results. By formulating an RGE framework with a compelling narrative, a robust strategy, and stretching milestones, CEOs present a blueprint to lead and propel the organization toward that destination. They should communicate this commitment openly and honestly through all channels, internally and externally. Accountability: Participating in national RGE pledges, such as Paradigm for Parity, Catalyst Champions for Change, and CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, holds the organization publicly responsible for attaining equality in the workplace. Internally, the CEO is obligated to keep executive committee members and senior leaders accountable for owning RGE, with quantitative and qualitative measures and continuous improvement plans.

We often witness failures when business leaders depend on the chief diversity officer exclusively to achieve unrealistic goals in diversity, equity, and inclusion. CEOs should sit in the driver’s seat by carrying on a regular conversation with the most senior leaders to motivate them to lead RGE as an integral part of their performance. They should also tie RGE goals to performance evaluation and compensation. Walk the talk: Chief executives must role-model inclusive leadership by demonstrating personal support, desired behaviors, and a commitment to justice and equality in the workplace. Alexander Hardy, CEO of Genentech, said, “I’m actually having more career-development conversations now than I was having before the pandemic, because ... they can be really short, productive and focused. That accessibility actually is greater now, so use that opportunity.... There’s a win-win there; I’m very happy to talk a little bit about your career and your development and give you my perspective. I’m also gaining insight of what’s your experience like as an employee, what you think about business, what you’re working on.” Nothing undermines a cultural-change initiative more thoroughly than lip service, when leaders fail to follow through. In their effort to bolster RGE, leaders can start with self-reflection to identify biases and actions that either support or undermine change.


Instead of pushing hard, we want to help managers disarm resistance to change, alleviate uncertainty, and remove hurdles along the way. CEOs should be able to answer these questions: • What are our timeline and goals for achieving racial and gender parity? • What mechanism do I apply to inspire my leadership team to measure success and propel RGE continuously? • Are we all clear about where to play and how to win related to RGE? 2. MAKE A CULTURAL CHANGE CEOs are obligated to advance RGE as a cultural change rather than a compliance-based program. Invite and inspire everyone to cultivate a cultural norm of inclusivity and equality. In her memoir, Becoming, former first lady Michelle Obama wrote: “Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.” Trust-based environment:

By creating a safe space for employees to exchange their thoughts and ideas freely, business leaders can nurture trust-based relationships with all talent. Offer a feedback loop that gives you the constant pulse of employees’ sentiment and perception. The lack of safe spaces and processes to have eggshell conversations about what is happening in the workplace www.diversityjournal.com

prevents leaders from understanding the current state of the workforce, including working experience and career hurdles of people of color and female talent. Trust serves as the foundation that supports collaboration and team citizenship through open and healthy conversations. Harvard Professor Frances Frei explains how to cultivate trust with the well-known trust-building triangle. People tend to trust you when they believe they are interacting with the real you (authenticity), when they have faith in your judgment and competence (logic), and when they feel that you are interested in them and care about them (empathy). Commit to owning trust by giving 100 percent of your attention to the people or the situation at the moment. Breakthrough moments, such as reaching racial and gender equality, are often the result of steadfast efforts and taking actions in a trust-based environment, which build up the potential required to unleash a significant change. Empathetic leadership: To win trust, CEOs need to demonstrate leadership with empathy. Start with cognitive empathy that pivots on attentive listening to hear and understand what is going on with underrepresented talent. Follow with emotional empathy that internalizes learning and putting ourselves in others’ emotional states—feeling what they feel. And end with compassionate empathy by acting to bend the curve. Make employees’ overall mental and physical well-being a priority by encouraging them to make micro-behavior changes to live a better life and share their journey with others. Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, said, “I heard from hundreds of employees at every level and in every part of the company. We held focus groups to allow people to share their opinions anonymously as well. Listening was the most important thing

I accomplished each day, because it would build the foundation of my leadership for years to come.” Being and doing: CEOs ought to maintain a balance between being and doing. Cultivate the being by rallying employees with a shared purpose, corporate values, and moral standards. Educate leaders about the root cause and history of racial and gender inequality. Then equip them with the right tools and resources to correct problematic practices. The right ethos in the workplace helps enrich employees’ experiences and unleash their full potential. It

Breakthrough moments, such as reaching racial and gender equality, are often the result of steadfast efforts and taking actions in a trust-based environment, which build up the potential required to unleash a significant change.

also guides the company’s practices to ensure equitable and fair career opportunities are available to everyone. In the meantime, doing hinges on everyday actions toward the vision. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said, “While we recognize we don’t have all the answers, we agree it’s time that we start putting our words into real, sustainable action.” In the book Atomic Habits, James Clear pointed out that small actions compound effects over time. For example, if you can get one percent better each day, you will end up nearly 37 times better after one year. www.womenworthwatching.com

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CEOs should ask: • Why do I personally care about embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion in our culture? How do I align RGE with our core values? • What can I do to promote empathy and humility with my leadership team? • How can I nurture the ethos and accelerate RGE through continuous changes? 3. FOSTER AN ECOSYSTEM CEOs should build a supportive ecology that sustains RGE. This support system depends on each other but shares a common purpose and collaborates to achieve the overarching objective within an organizational design that is flat but highly responsive and interdependent. Engagement: Removing racial and gender barriers takes a whole village. By chairing an executive council that provides direction and guidance to advance RGE, CEOs set a leadership example at the top. Senior executives should sponsor an employee or business resource group and help enlist a broader base of employees. Leaders can also influence sponsorship and mentoring programs to lift people of color and female talent

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for advancement. Since most decision-makers are white males today, we must involve, inspire, and motivate them to become allies and advocates of RGE. When they are positioned as agents of change, white males become a driving force of RGE. And we ought to empower mid-level managers to be purpose-driven leaders who foster a sense of belonging by connecting and engaging people of color and female talent. Microsoft board member Sandi Peterson talked about the qualities of leaders. “I’m a big believer in people who have a lot of humility, learning agility, intellectual curiosity, great listening skills, and who ask good questions and listen more than they talk.” These are the qualities we need to engage others. An integral part of business DNA: RGE should be ingrained in the business objective and talent strategy, not an afterthought to the decision-making process. To achieve RGE breakthroughs, we must reconnect fragmented systems and combine disparate goals to create a joint effort to increase efficiency among different functional areas. Business leaders and HR partners must revisit and strengthen incumbent policies and practices with objective procedures and processes

to prevent unintended bias. They must implant equality and fairness through the talent lifecycle from recruiting, hiring, onboarding, development, promotion, and succession planning to performance evaluation. Rachel Thomas, co-founder and CEO of LeanIn.Org, explains, “Companies need to rethink the norms around working. In one fell swoop, work life and home life got mashed together in a very disruptive way. Companies need to step back and say, ‘What should those new norms be?’ That may be setting certain times for meetings and certain times that are off-limits, setting norms around when you’re expected to answer email and when you’re not. And then really, explicitly communicating to employees that they can set their own boundaries, too.” Data-driven decisionmaking: We need the best decision-making aid—maximum information before acting for change. Data analytics is crucial for achieving racial and gender equality. We can use descriptive data stories to inform history and lessons learned, predictive data to determine the explicit goals, and prescriptive data to offer options and solutions. Leverage intelligence behind analytics to suggest change and continue progress. Jane Fraser, the incoming CEO of Citigroup, shared this example in a recent interview: “A few years ago, in a move that was pretty far outside our comfort zone, we publicly disclosed Citi’s raw pay gap for women globally and for minorities in the U.S. The data revealed we have a lot of work to do to get more women and people of color in senior and higherpaying roles. But we think it’s essential to give people the information they need to hold us accountable for progress.” Her story illustrates how data can inform the right change and, in the meantime, hold us accountable for progress. CEOs should contemplate these questions:


• How can I invite everyone along the course? • How can I make diversity, equity, and inclusion an integral part of my business and talent strategy? • How can I elevate RGE with pathos, ethos, and logos in the long run? 4. FOCUS ON MINDSET AND BEHAVIOR CHANGE CEOs should pivot the two organizational changes: mindset and behavior. Decades of research have found that organizations with a growth mindset are more mentally primed to approach and take on challenges, take advantage of feedback, adopt the most significant problem-solving strategies, provide

ployees to succeed and achieve their career aspirations. Create an optimal zone through psychological safety and physiological arousal, where people of color and female talent can grow and perform at the peak of physical, mental, and skillful abilities. Inclusive behavior: Business leaders have to set an exceptional example of inclusive behaviors. A habit-breaking approach to racial and gender bias leads to behavioral changes and improved work climate. In the HBR article, “The Key to Inclusive Leadership,” Julie Bourke and Andrea Espedido revealed the signature traits inclusive leaders share and how to become an inclusive leader: • Visible commitment: They articulate an authentic commitment to diversity, challenge the status quo, hold others accountable,

empower others, pay attention to the diversity of thinking and psychological safety, and focus on team cohesion. CEOs should ponder the following: • What mindset do I need to win the competition and sustain RGE? • What are the inclusive behaviors that my leadership team and I should role-model? • How do I lead in this legacy defining moment? Chief executives must step up and address racial and gender injustice head-on. All of us are adjusting to this new world of work. Now is the time to create an effective RGE

We should nurture a growth mindset across levels to enable employees to succeed and achieve their career aspirations.

developmental feedback to subordinates, and be persistent in seeking to accomplish goals. Coupled with actions on the right track, RGE is attainable. Growth mindset: Satya Nadella used “growth mindset” to describe the emerging culture he has nurtured at Microsoft: “… growth mindset, because it’s about every individual, every one of us having that attitude— that mindset—of being able to overcome any constraint, stand up to any challenge, making it possible for us to grow and thereby for the company to grow.” He embraces the shift from being know-it-alls to learn-it-alls. A fixed mindset leads to stagnation, whereas a growth mindset leads to agility, engagement, and a higher degree of adaptation in the face of change. We should nurture a growth mindset across levels to enable emwww.diversityjournal.com

and make diversity and inclusion a personal priority. • Humility: They are modest about capabilities, admit mistakes, and create space for others to contribute. • Awareness of bias: They show an understanding of personal blind spots and flaws in the system, and work hard to ensure a meritocracy. • Curiosity about others: They demonstrate an open mind and deep curiosity about others, listen without judgment, and seek empathy to understand those around them. • Cultural intelligence: They are attentive to others’ cultures and adapt as required. • Effective collaboration: They

strategy from the top down and mobilize everyone along the path from the bottom up. Practicing inclusive leadership in crisis times helps curb the spread of misinformation, decreasing the risk of bias, xenophobia, racism, and sexism. By focusing on racial and gender equality and inclusion in the workplace, we can create happier and healthier employees, broaden our talent pool, and ultimately, boost business performance to win the competition. PDJ Donald Fan serves as Senior Director in the Global Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion at Walmart Inc.

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP as a VEHICLE TO WEALTH,

INDEPENDENCE, and LEGACY By Janet and Gary Smith

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usiness success requires a combination of factors that are more like a perfect storm than a perfect science; it is not just an easily assembled set of attributes and traits. Partnerships don’t always work, good ideas don’t always make it to market, and markets and customers don’t always perceive value where they should. And yet, entrepreneurship might be the most awesome contact sport there is. We believe entrepreneurship is necessary to all communities. It is critical for building wealth and independence in Black communities.

understands the numbers and runs the business against an agreed to set of metrics, or a salesman’s salesman? Each type is different and will have different strengths and weaknesses— different blind spots that can harm you on this journey.

You have to wake up every morning and be excited—to control your destiny, to face the world knowing you expect to win. Not just play the game, but to win. Every Day! So what must you know about yourself? What are the tiebreakers that push the odds of winning in your favor?

Business is hard, and it requires resilience. Resilience is a trait that is often overlooked when assessing the most important skills to succeed. Smart, absolutely; hard-working, definitely; determined, yes that matters; but resilience—the ability to overcome adversity, to keep going when things don’t work, to assess the current situation and still move forward, and to stay the course—is crucial.

Passionate execution outperforms a perfect idea. What is your goal, what are you trying to achieve? Until you can explain that to yourself, your family, your friends, potential employees, and customers, you don’t have anything. Not a perfectly crafted plan, but a clear sense of what it is you do, so someone can say, “Yes, I’ll work for you,” or more important, “Yes, I’ll buy that.” Know which entrepreneur you are. Are you the subject matter expert, the person who

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Determine your appetite for risk. Most people don’t even consider this until they are deep into their business and only come to grips with the answer when things start to go badly. Joe Louis explained this very succinctly, “Everyone has a plan, until they’ve been hit.”

You must trust someone unconditionally. No one wins alone, no one did it or does it all by him or herself. So this is about sharing power, decision making, the work, and the wins. Is that person a clone of you, totally different from you, or the perfect counterbalance to who you are? My suggestion is that they are not a clone, but a complement to you, while also sharing your values.

So who are the Smiths? We are passionate entrepreneurs who blend strategic and tactical thinking. We have an unreasonably large appetite for risk. We have trusted each other for 30 years in business and for 36 years of marriage—not always agreeing, and not always seeing the world the same way, but always knowing that together we would get to the right place in the right way. We would figure it out. We have been resilient because we had to be. It wasn’t always easy, but it was always there to be had if we stayed true to the passionate pursuit of our vision—to eliminate systemic inequities. We love what we do; we love our family and our God. If we ever got matching tattoos, they would say the most important life lesson that business has taught us is this: When our ego goes up, our money goes down! PDJ

Janet Crenshaw Smith and Gary A. Smith Sr. are the cofounders of Ivy Planning Group, a 30-year-old consulting and training firm. Ivy won the 2018 Profiles in Diversity Journal Innovations in Diversity Award. Profiles in Diversity Journal has also named Gary and Janet Diversity Pioneers and Diversity Leaders.

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The First Annual

2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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AWARD

BL A CK

For more than two decades Profiles in Diversity Journal has showcased and honored individuals who have blazed new trails, led the way, mentored others, advanced diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the community, and excelled in their chosen fields. PDJ is proud to recognize Black Leaders with our first-ever Black Leaders Worth Watching Awards. The 53 profiles that appear in this issue recognize and celebrate the achievements of our inaugural group of Black Leaders Worth Watching. Each award recipient has also provided us with the answers to some questions and an essay that will give you, our readers, the chance to get to know these trailblazing individuals a little better. Welcome to PDJ’s first annual Black Leaders Worth Watching Awards.

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2020

Vice President, Medicaid Operations

LEADERS Worth Watching

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AWARD

BLACK

Mark W. Faulkner

Education: Bachelor of Science, United States Military Academy at West Point Company Name: Aetna, a CVS Health Company Industry: Health Care Company CEO: Karen S. Lynch Company Headquarters Location: Hartford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 47,950 Your Location (if different from above): Nashville, Tennessee Words you live by: “Success is when hard work meets opportunity.” –Gaye Crispin Who is your personal hero? Colin Powell What book are you reading? Measure What Matters by John Doerr What was your first job: Platoon Leader in the United States Army Favorite charity: The Church at Avenue South, Nashville Rescue Mission, and American Cancer Society Interests: Travel, cooking, foodie experiences, sports and exercise Family: My wife, Tricia

Lessons and Milestones I am honored to share the lessons and advice I have received over time that shape my leadership style and the path my career has taken across military service and in civilian life. I don’t think my younger self could have written the script of events, decisions, and experiences that are now part of my journey. My first milestone came during a youth competitive soccer tournament, where I had an initial introduction to a coach on a scouting trip. The lesson I learned that day, and have carried forth ever since, is to work hard and show up as your best self because you never know who is watching. That encounter started the chain of events that ultimately led to my next milestone—my admission to West Point and a military career filled with invaluable experiences. I learned about servant leadership—putting the

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well-being and development of people in the organization ahead of your own. I also learned the importance of a well-aligned team that understands Commander’s Intent. Essentially, this means defining what success looks like and empowering the team to use its initiative and ingenuity to achieve organizational goals, even during the most chaotic and uncertain times. Finally, no cadet experience or military career can be navigated without embracing attention to detail. It’s rare to trip over a big boulder, but the little rocks that can sneak up on you if you aren’t looking out for them. The second milestone in my career journey was the decision to leave the military and enter civilian life. At the time, I was not able to articulate the lesson, but I have since learned from successful leaders and coaches to be comfortable being uncomfort-

able. I relied on that lesson often, as I advanced into roles of increasing responsibility. Finally, through a series of key milestones that have helped defined the path of my career advancement, I experienced first-hand the distinction between mentorship and sponsorship. While mentors have provided sage advice, it has been senior leaders who advocated on my behalf that truly impacted my career trajectory, and reshaped how I think about my role as a leader and my desire to pay it forward. While I could go on to share many other lessons I’ve gleaned throughout my career, I sincerely hope there is a nugget here for you to pick up. I’ll end with one final lesson I have learned as a black leader in today’s world: Set aside self-doubt and embrace selfaffirmation. We all belong. Be strong and courageous.


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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AWARD

BLACK

Olatunde “Ola” Gbolahan Manager, Finance Process & Systems

Education: MBA, finance, San Francisco State University; BS, computer engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology Company Name: AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) Industry: Semiconductor Company CEO: Dr. Lisa Su Company Headquarters Location: Santa Clara, California Number of Employees: 12,000 Your Location (if different from above): Austin, Texas Words you live by: Don’t just talk, act. Don’t just say, show. Don’t just promise, do. Who is your personal hero? My mom What book are you reading? Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century by Mike Barnett (Editor), Robin Martin (Editor); Leadershift : The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace by John C. Maxwell; and Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison What was your first job: Installing and repairing sewer line Favorite charity: Black Outside, Inc and Outdoor Afro Interests: Beekeeping, and anything outdoors (backpacking, fishing, hunting, hiking, etc.) Family: Wife, Naphtalie, and two Daughters, Gabrielle & Kayla

Wisdom and Knowledge Are Useless Unless They Are Shared I’ve always had a curiosity about the things around me. Some of my earliest memories are of taking things apart to better understand how they worked. While other kids were playing with their transformers, I was wondering where the screws that held them together were hiding. I was disassembling these toys to see if I could reassemble them with improvements to the design. I would watch those around me to learn everything they had to teach me. Everything and everyone has a story to tell if you just know where to look or what to ask. I was raised by a single mother, my personal hero, who taught me, my two brothers, and my sister the value of hard work and self-sufficiency. Because she often worked two jobs to make ends meet, she taught us how to take care of important things on our own. I remember when I was about eight years old, my mom taught

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me how to schedule my own doctor’s appointment. My mom was great about telling me where to get answers instead of giving me the answers because she knew that she couldn’t always be there. My thirst for learning led me to places that many others like me did not go. I spent time in my youth with outdoor clubs, learning about nature, and what backpacking through the Georgia Mountains entailed. I spent time in labs, learning about computers and programming languages, and how they were used to make the video games I enjoyed. My desire to leave things better off led me to mentor and teach others. Wisdom and knowledge are useless unless they are shared. As one of the current leaders of AMD’s African American Employee Resource Groups, I’ve worked with others to be the voice of African American and other minority employ-

ees. As a founding board member of Black Outside, Inc, I have been fortunate enough to help drive the organization’s mission to reconnect Black/African-American youth with the outdoors through culturally relevant programming, and for connecting youth to the powerful history of Black people in the outdoors. I am an Austin, Texas, leader for Outdoor Afro, a national nonprofit network that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. I’ve had the pleasure of introducing hundreds of African Americans in my community to new experiences in nature. In both my personal and professional life, I strive to stay curious and to listen, look, and learn—not just for learning’s sake, but to pass along that knowledge or be the voice of those who cannot or will not speak for themselves.

www.womenworthwatching.com

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BLACK

2020

Senior Manager, Global Planning & Strategy

LEADERS Worth Watching

Education: Master of Business Administration, Baylor University; Bachelor of Science, marketing, Grambling State University Company Name: AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) Industry: Semiconductor Company CEO: Dr. Lisa Su Company Headquarters Location: Santa Clara, California Number of Employees: Approximately 11,400 Your Location (if different from above): Austin, Texas Words you live by: “Be the change you want to see.” –Mohandas Gandhi Who is your personal hero? My mother and father What book are you reading? Books related to organizing and personal development What was your first job: Deli Supervisor at Honey Baked Ham Favorite charity: Mobile Loaves & Fishes Interests: International travel, long walks around the lake, and movies Family: Parents and three siblings

My charge to the next generation of black leaders is to support each other. To help foster a stronger community, reach back and pull others forward.

I Hold You Able First, I’d like to thank the Profiles in Diversity Journal for selecting me as part of their inaugural 2020 Black Leaders Worth Watching. People along my career have often asked, “What drives you?” For one thing, I am passionate about learning and understanding what I am doing and why I am doing it. Knowing the “why” fuels me to solve and drive towards solutions. Helping others and mentoring are also important as building blocks of leadership. Throughout my 14-year journey at AMD, I have held various roles, from customer facing field marketing to my current role as senior manager,

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leading Global Planning and Strategy. My team supports AMD being in the right place at the right time through end-to-end planning. As a people-first leader, I have been able to transition my passion for helping others to inspiring and supporting others to bring their best selves. One of my pillars, “I hold you able,” is a source of strength for my team to challenge the status quo. This people-focused leadership style came from my undergraduate experiences while attending Grambling State University, where I benefited from learning through different and unique perspectives. Leadership through service is

important. I have had the opportunity to serve at my local church, be part of several employee resource groups at AMD, which strive to increase belonging and inclusion, and support STEAM and career opportunities within the community. The success I have achieved has only been as good as the support around me. Faith is my source of strength. Family and friends pouring into to me has enabled me to be where I am at today. My charge to the next generation of black leaders is to support each other. To help foster a stronger community, reach back and pull others forward.

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Kim Steele


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Nadine Spencer CEO, president

Name: Nadine Spencer Job Title: CEO, President Education: BA Hon, York University Company Name: BrandEQ Agency Industry: Marketing Communications, Equity Company CEO: Nadine Spencer Company Headquarters Location: Toronto, ON Number of Employees: 17 Words you live by: Show up! Life is about showing up, this is when opportunity presents itself. Who is your personal hero? My Mom, Eva Hunter What book are you reading? The Promised Land by Barack Obama What was your first job? Bakery entrepreneur at the age of 12 Favorite charity: The Black Business and Professional Association Interests: Antiquing, all things creative, and chess critical thinking Family: Daughters, Jeaneva and Danielle; Nana to 1-year-old Nola

Cultural Blind Spots Can Lead to Brand Disaster As we approach the end of a year in which many have become “woke” about the racial issues in America, Canada, and around the world, I feel compelled to address the lack of equity at the top in my marketing profession. Simply put, I believe that a more diverse group of decision makers can help brands achieve success in multicultural marketing. Brands often fumble when it comes to race, whether by telegraphing multiculturalism in inauthentic ways or releasing messaging that’s downright offensive. Dove fell into the latter category with a controversial ad that had consumers outraged. It showed various women peeling off their sweaters to reveal the next woman, including a Black woman peeling off to reveal a White woman. This ad reinforced an established soap advertising message that Black is dirty and White is pure and clean. Dove likely intended for this ad to be inclusive so that its body wash would appeal to all women, but www.diversityjournal.com

this seemingly innocuous oversight ignited a firestorm of criticism. Similar controversies ensued when H&M ran a campaign showing a young Black boy in a hoodie that read “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle,” and when Gucci released a black turtleneck “blackface” sweater, showing a big mouth with red lips. These gaffes unknowingly perpetuated hurtful, racist caricatures, and it was truly astounding that these products and campaigns gained approval without any objections. If people of color had a seat at the table in these organizations, these international PR disasters would likely have been avoided. It’s in events like these that the value of diversity is learned the hard way. After all, a cultural blind spot in multicultural marketing can lead to the downfall of a brand. Insensitive and unintentionally racist messaging isn’t limited to the fashion and beauty sectors. The lack of representation extends to boardrooms across all categories.

This lack of diversity explains why missteps in organizations’ marketing continue to happen. Brands are advertising to diverse audiences, but they don’t have diverse teams that can create empathetic, authentic, and informed messaging. One of the greatest benefits of diversity is the ability to connect with and understand different parts of your customer base. Bringing people from all walks of life into the boardroom can help brands craft and launch more effective campaigns, increasing revenues and fortifying their cultural awareness in the process. Multicultural marketing is important, but it has to be done correctly. You can’t just throw Black people into an ad without first understanding the Black experience. Your decision makers must be truly representative of the diverse population you’re trying to connect with. Multicultural marketing can help brands expand their reach, but only if it’s done well. And diversity is the first step. www.womenworthwatching.com

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2020

BLACK LEADERS

Chief Growth Officer

Worth Watching

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Stephen B. Reid II

Education: Master of Business Administration, Cambridge College; Bachelor of Arts, Seton Hall University Company Name: Charter School Business Management & FOREsight Financial Services for Good Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Raj Thakkar Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 50 Words you live by: Everything happens in life for a reason. Although we might not be able to see how in the moment, every experience (good and bad) brings about a greater purpose. Who is your personal hero? My parents, Stephen & Barbara Reid; they have made me the person I am today What book are you reading? With 3 small children, remote learning, and COVID, I have been unable to pick up a book in awhile, but I have been listening to Hardcore History by Dan Carlin What was your first job: Paper boy Favorite charity: Pine Street Inn Interests: Football, music, and bourbon Family: Jennifer Reid (wife); Sadie, Simone & Harper (daughters); Stephen & Barbara Reid (parents); and Jennifer Dellasanta (sister)

Why I Am Still Very Optimistic about the Future Mentors have played a key role in my success as a leader, as they have shown me how to look at challenges and find opportunities. I am extremely fortunate to have met a number of influential people throughout my life who I consider mentors. From my parents, who instilled in me my work ethic and perspective on adversity, showing me that even in the hardest of times, there is always something positive to gain, to my leadership team, who all have unique opinions but demonstrate the true meaning of collaboration, the common thread has been candor and vulnerability. My mentors helped me become an effective leader by teaching me to listen to diverse views and lead with empathy. This perspective has been helpful in adjusting to the new normal we have encountered with the

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2020 pandemic, along with the social unrest that we have seen throughout the country. As an organization, we dealt with the challenges of becoming an entirely remote workforce overnight, coupled with the emotional burden of protests, racial unrest, and COVID-19’s effects. As leaders, we figured out how to lead successfully through this unprecedented time by listening to the concerns of our team members and clients, as well as sharing our own concerns and allowing ourselves to vulnerable. During the past year, the experiences I have had and the challenges we have faced as an organization have strengthened my belief that everything happens for a reason. Even through the most challenging times, when it appears that hope is lost, I have always looked at the world in this way and believed that

my current experiences are setting me up for something greater. With this resolve, I am very optimistic about the future. In my role as chief growth officer, I assess how technology can bring about greater efficiencies and be leveraged to support both the organization and our clients. The pandemic has forced the world to change the way it operates and what business looks like. We have leveraged technology in a way that brings our team and clients together and allows for more collaborative experiences. Change can be uncomfortable and bring about doubt, but through determination and viewing each challenge as a potential opportunity, 2020 may ultimately be looked upon as a pivotal point where business and the work experience were changed for the better.


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Craig Reed Chief Procurement Officer & Head of Corporate Real Estate

Education: MBA, supply chain management, Arizona State University; BS, economics, Florida A&M Company Name: Corteva Agriscience Industry: Agriculture Company CEO: Jim Collins Company Headquarters Location: Indianapolis, Indiana Number of Employees: 21,000 Words you live by: “To whom much is given, much is required.” Luke 12:48 Who is your personal hero? Nelson Mandela What book are you reading? Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson; The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights by Douglas R. Conant What was your first job: Cutting lawns Favorite charity: United Way Interests: Listening to music (jazz) and following business news Family: My wife, Deidre, son, Cole (14), and daughter, Morgan (10)

Technology, Transparency, and the New Norm At Corteva, I’m honored to be leading a project focused on the “Way Corteva Works in the Future.” We have surveyed our global team to ensure we are providing the culture, technology, and workspaces our team members need to succeed. But I think one change is obvious: The global coronavirus pandemic has made us realize the power of remote working. This trend was apparent pre-COVID, but now it’s more than a trend. It’s the “new norm.” Remote work is changing how we engage with others (more Zoom, more Yammer; less water cooler talk) and it’s changing how we measure performance. It’s also changing work protocols. Now, it’s common for coworkers to see kids, spouses, or pets while on a work call. And it’s normal for employees to have to manage around remote schooling, spouse’s competing meetings, and so on. Technology is adding to the transparency of our lives. Ironically, it’s making us more “human.” In many ways, we are closer to our coworkers than ever before because we get a glimpse

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into one another’s everyday life experience. This new, flexible working style will change the face of corporate America, forever impacting how and where work gets done. Running parallel to this increase in technology is a focus on racial equity and social justice. In the United States after the death of George Floyd and the social unrest that followed, many companies have started to revisit their inclusion and diversity initiatives. They have started to realize the importance of not only including diverse talent, but also fostering a true sense of “belonging” so everyone can bring his or her whole self to work and add unique value. In addition, companies have started to reexamine their role in society through key initiatives like supplier diversity, which ensures they are purposeful about providing opportunities to small and diverse businesses. A successful supplier diversity program can also have a positive economic ripple effect on developing communities around the world. This is progress. There is so much

potential and so many innovations, globally, that are trapped within individuals and businesses that have historically not been given a chance. Corteva’s purpose is “to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come.” Those who produce, farmers around the world, are diverse. And those who consume couldn’t be more diverse. After all, everyone eats! Companies need diverse teams and diverse suppliers to address the needs of the diverse global population. In conclusion, the workplace is evolving quickly. It’s driven by a pandemic that no one saw coming and racial tension that recently returned to a boil. In the next five years, I believe the healthiest organizations will be the ones that embrace technology and the transparency that comes with it, and “lean in” to their internal and external inclusion and diversity initiatives. We cannot go backwards. We can only move forward—remotely, but authentically. Together.

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BLACK

2020

Litigation Partner; Firm Management Committee Member; Chair of Black Lawyers Alliance

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Vincent H. Cohen, Jr.

Education: JD, Syracuse University College of Law; BA, Syracuse University Company Name: Dechert LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Henry N. Nassau Company Headquarters Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York, New York Number of Employees: Approximately 2,000 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, D.C. Words you live by: “It is easier to raise strong children than to repair broken men.” –Frederick Douglas Who is your personal hero? I was blessed. I didn’t have to look any further than the opposite end of the kitchen table to find my role model and hero: my father, Vincent Cohen, Sr. What book are you reading? The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by the late Kobe Bryant What was your first job: Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, tutoring inner-city youth in math and English Favorite charity: 100 Black Men of Greater Washington Interests: Traveling with family, basketball, skiing, and barbecuing Family: My wife, Dr. Lisa Cohen; son, Vincent III (12); and daughter, Laila (10)

Stand Out, Get Involved, and Speak Up The best advice I ever received Before I went to law school, my father advised me to learn a skill that few people know how to do well. He said it would set you apart from others and no one could ever take it away from you. That advice set me on my journey to become a trial lawyer, and I now share this same advice with aspiring lawyers. I also advise new lawyers to go into government service early in their careers. It is a tremendous growth opportunity that often provides the chance to work at a higher level than one’s experience would allow in the private sector. The nexus of business and community involvement Community involvement is a great way to gain experience, nurture relationships, and make a positive impact. For example, I served as general counsel to, and remain an active member of, 100 Black Men of America, an organization focused on

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improving the quality of life of minority youth. For three years, I have been an elected member of the Board of Governors of the Washington Bar Association. And I am an elected member of the Board of Trustees of Syracuse University. I meet interesting people with diverse backgrounds and careers, which helps with business development. Not only is community involvement the right thing to do, it also makes great business sense. How unconscious bias affects hiring and career growth In the United States, the cost of workplace bias is projected to be a staggering $64 billion annually (Chisol-Noel, 2020). Unconscious bias can impact decisions we make, including who deserves a raise and who gets a promotion. As a result, women and underrepresented groups face wage gaps, miss out on choice assignments, and are overlooked for leadership roles, which leads to higher employee

turnover and lower client satisfaction. Dechert is tackling unconscious bias head on. Since 2018, firm leaders have dedicated time to intense, interactive sessions on inclusive leadership. Topics have included affinity bias, attribution bias, covering, in and out groups, priming, and unconscious bias. The program includes partner meetings devoted to building inclusive leadership skills. The most recent session focused on inclusive leadership in times of crisis, in response to both the global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. While we continue to face obstacles, and it’s easy to get discouraged, diverse lawyers and organizations can and do grow. Honing our skills, making ourselves invaluable, diversifying our work experiences, getting involved in our communities, and contributing to a speak-up culture are just some of the ways we prosper.


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Aaron Burrell Member

Education: JD, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School; MS, administration, legal and political systems, Central Michigan University; BA, University of Michigan Company Name: Dickinson Wright PLLC Industry: Law Company CEO: Michael C. Hammer Company Headquarters Location: Troy, Michigan Number of Employees: 860 Your Location (if different from above): Detroit, Michigan Words you live by: “All things work together for the good.” –Romans 8:28 Who is your personal hero? There are many: my grandfather; father; Barack Obama; and Dennis Archer What book are you reading? Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight What was your first job: Clerk for the Muscular Dystrophy Association Favorite charity: My church: Greater Grace Temple Interests: Making music, reading books, exercising, and watching sports and movies Family: I married my high school sweetheart, Ericka. We have been married for 10 years. I have one son, Ari who is 1 year old, and a dog named Bubbles.

The True Essence of the Practice of Law As an attorney and partner at a major law firm, I feel a responsibility to advance the cause of justice and ensure that individuals of all backgrounds receive an opportunity to thrive and succeed. As a prior co-chair of the Equal Access Initiative of the State Bar of Michigan, I sought ways to ensure that the doors to the courthouse were open and accessible, irrespective of an individual’s means. As co-chair of diversity for Dickinson Wright PLLC, I am working to provide meaningful inclusion for diverse lawyers and staff members at all levels of law firm leadership. And I have ensured that I devote a significant part of my law practice to advancing, as the Lawyer’s Oath requires, “the cause

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of the defenseless or oppressed,” and ensuring that marginalized individuals receive the same rights as others. I feel that is the true essence of the practice of law, and I take that obligation personally. I commend others to use their platforms to do two things: (1) help those who may require assistance; and (2) support the next generation of leaders. As leaders, you have an obligation to identify problems, offer effective solutions, and put a framework in place to prevent problems from arising in the future. That framework applies to your obligation to assist those who scripture describes as the “least of these.” Do not use your platform to benefit yourself alone; assist those who you

may be uniquely able to help. Finally, as leaders, you must be committed to supporting the next generation of leaders. You stand on the shoulders of individuals who paved a way for you. It is now your responsibility to do the same for others. As black leaders, it is of the utmost importance that we use our position to ensure meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion in our environments. True progress in this space will not happen without the voices of those who have broken through and achieved a level of success. From your seat, you are in the best position to change culture, adopt inclusive policies, and make the journey less challenging for the next generation.

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BLACK

2020

Member/Partner

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: JD, The Ohio State University College of Law; BA, Clark University Company Name: Dickinson Wright PLLC Industry: Law Company CEO: Michael C. Hammer Company Headquarters Location: Troy, Michigan Number of Employees: 860 (approx. 475 attorneys) Your Location (if different from above): Columbus, Ohio Words you live by: I do what I can, from where I am, with what I have. Who is your personal hero? My father, Herbert Pierre-Louis, Sr. What book are you reading? Tigerland by William Heywood What was your first job: Dishwasher at a restaurant Favorite charity: My church; Walk with a Doc Interests: Bicycling (soon to be motorcycling) Family: I’m married to Jerzell L. Pierre-Louis; together, we have a son & two daughters.

It’s Up to Us Today’s leaders have a responsibility to support the next generation of black business leaders. Leaders must execute this responsibility with the specific intent to create the most diverse cross-section of industry participation. That means equipping black professionals, future corporate executives and entrepreneurs alike, with the tools and resources necessary to build, sustain, and replicate a successful pipeline for generations. Leaders must provide mentorship, sponsorship, and tailored training on a personal level, and contemporaneously, push public policymakers to eliminate systematic barriers. Leaders must reach out to the younger generation’s aspiring leaders and help them navigate the business and cultural norms that may now seem natural to us, and advocate for their career advancement. Finally, today’s

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leaders must ensure the next generation receives ongoing leadership training and the resources necessary for relationship building (e.g., attending relevant conferences, affinity group support, etc.). Furthermore, business leadership and public policy advocacy are not mutually exclusive. We saw in real time how administrators of the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program initially excluded many black-owned businesses, which exposed the larger, systematic issue that hinders black business growth—the lack of access to capital. This is unacceptable. If we are serious about black business growth, business leaders and legislative oversight committees must demand that our financial institutions and government agencies responsible for small business lending change policies and practices that limit capital access. That change can only occur

by diversifying boards and leadership to include individuals who are familiar with the issues and who care enough to address them. I care about these issues, not only because they demonstrate how connected we are, but also because when executed, they have proven results. I have benefited from mentors throughout my career who took a personal interest in my success. I do the same for others. More and more, my clients demand that their representation reflect their own diversity values and require measurable results. They should continue to do so because it’s good for all of us. When the business community leads, changes happen at every level. The next generation of black business leaders is on its way. It is up to us to provide them a path, an opportunity, the resources, and the guidance they need to move the next level of success.

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Lloyd Pierre-Louis


2020

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Danielle McCoy Vice President, Deputy General Counsel & Fair Lending Officer

Education: Juris Doctor, New York University; Bachelor of Arts, economics, University of Virginia Company Name: Fannie Mae Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Hugh R. Frater Company Headquarters Location: Washington, DC Number of Employees: 7,500 Words you live by: To whom much is given, much will be required –Luke 12:48 Who is your personal hero? My parents, Ray and Deloris McCoy What book are you reading? Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson What was your first job: Customer service at a credit card company Favorite charity: Equal Justice Initiative Interests: Dancing, live music, football and mentoring

Run Your Own Race Two years out of law school I was offered the opportunity to have a one-on-one meeting with a senior in-house counsel of a Fortune 50 company. After a 20-minute conversation about his career progression, he asked me what I found most challenging about my career so far. In response, I discussed my insecurity with networking, my inability to “work a room,” and my concerns that this could limit my future legal career. After looking at me intently for a moment, he then offered me one of the best pieces of career advice I have received to date: “Do what makes sense for you; run your own race.” Now, in the networking context, he meant that it was completely fine if I went to a networking function and connected with only two or three people on a deeper level, as was my style, and that it wasn’t necessary to pressure myself into quickly exchang-

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ing business cards with everyone in room. In the broader context, however, it gave me permission to stop focusing on and comparing myself to someone else’s blueprint for success. It’s easy to compare yourself to others when measuring progress in your career. In some ways it can be helpful, as it provides insight on skills to acquire and different paths to achieve certain goals. On the other hand, by attempting to emulate the identical path or approach of someone else, I could have missed out on amazing opportunities tailored just for me. Everyone has unique qualities, experiences, and ways to add value that others do not possess. Identifying, appreciating, and leveraging these unique qualities fuels confidence, reveals superpowers, and leads to success. As I have gained

experience in my career, I have found that most highly successful people stand out because of their distinctive qualities and their knowledge of when and how to use these qualities. Given the prevalence of social media and social networking, it is easy to compare yourself, and your accomplishments, to others. I mentor several professionals in the early stages of their careers, and this is a common trend that I see. I remind them that when they see their classmates or others announce promotions or exciting jobs on LinkedIn, they should celebrate them and learn from their experiences. I also urge them not to judge themselves negatively if they are not at the same place. Instead, they should acquire skills, determine how they uniquely add value, and, most important, continue to run their own race.

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BLACK

2020

Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer (U.S.)

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Ayana Champagne

Education: Bachelor of Science, finance, Bradley University; dual master’s degrees, technology and operations management, and human resources management, Aurora University Company Name: Ferring Pharmaceuticals U.S. Industry: Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals Company CEO: Brent Ragans (President, Ferring Pharmaceuticals U.S.) Company Headquarters Location: Parsippany, New Jersey Number of Employees: 700 Words you live by: “Lean into the discomfort….” –Brené Brown Whenever I’m in a situation where I can take the easy route or the more difficult route, I say that to myself. I know that it is in the space of discomfort that the most growth happens. Who is your personal hero? My grandmother, who fostered more than 100 children! What book are you reading? Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It: 99 Ways to Win the Respect You Deserve, the Success You’ve Earned, and the Life You Want by Carol Frohlinger (JD) & Lois P. Frankel (PhD) What was your first job: My first job was at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop Favorite charity: Black Mamas Matter Alliance, which advances maternal health for Black women Interests: Spending time with my husband, daughter, and siblings, exploring Brooklyn or connecting virtually; practicing mindfulness, meditation, and yoga; and photography Family: I live in Brooklyn with my husband, almost 2-year-old daughter, and our Great Dane, Pharaoh. I’m the oldest of seven children born to Haitian immigrant parents.

I recently launched a structured process to ensure that over the course of the year each employee gets connected with senior leaders from outside their reporting chain.

Stay Open to Possibilities Believe it or not, I started my career in finance before going back to school to get two master’s degrees—one in technology and operations management, and the other in human resources management. Before all of that, my big dream was to trade derivatives on the stock market. But one day, a friend dragged me to an undergraduate career fair for moral support, and I ended up talking to some people at a family-owned company. Before the day

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was over, they offered me a full-time job. That’s where I was eventually put to work on some human resources projects and totally fell in love with the field. About a year later, I went back to school for dual Master’s degrees—one of which was in human resources management. Fast forward to today. My typical work day is a healthy mix of strategic thinking with fellow members of the Ferring executive leadership team—talking through attraction

and retention priorities or strategic business planning. I also get to connect with employees to understand how they are feeling, what’s going well, and how we can improve things at the company at all levels. For example, I recently launched a structured process to ensure that over the course of the year each employee gets connected with senior leaders from outside their reporting chain. I also look forward to having separate meetings with the broader executive team about 2021 planning.


2020

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Leslie Pearce Senior Vice President, Inside Sales

Education: Bachelor’s degree, electrical engineering, Northwestern University; Master’s degree, business, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Company Name: Fiserv, Inc. Industry: Payments & financial services technology Company CEO: Frank Bisignano Company Headquarters Location: Brookfield, Wisconsin Number of Employees: Approximately 44,000 worldwide Your Location (if different from above): Marietta, Georgia Words you live by: Do exactly what you say you are going to do, and do it with excellence. Who is your personal hero? Mae Jemison, the first black woman to travel into space What book are you reading? Biased by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt; The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett What was your first job: Mainframe Systems Engineer at IBM Favorite charity: Black Girls Code Interests: Reading (I belong to two book clubs), yoga and scrapbooking (currently making a family recipe book) Family: Married for 26 years; one daughter, PHD candidate; one son, college sophomore; both at Princeton University

Choosing to Do Good This year is a year like no other. It has impacted all of us in ways that will shape how we work, how we treat one another, and how we do well while doing good. I have the honor of leading an exceptional group of dedicated, talented people. Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our customary work environment meant we were in the office every day, working hard and celebrating our collective success. As we have now pivoted to a work-from-home environment, I am finding new ways to not only drive business results, but also to support, motivate, and engage each of the members of my team. When we approach our business objectives with a focus on our clients and our employees and by leveraging innovation and technology, we will achieve success. There is a very dire prediction

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that over 40 percent of blackowned small businesses will cease to exist by the end of this year. We know that small businesses are the backbone of our communities, each contributing to the economic growth of those communities. I am very proud to belong to a company that believes corporations can serve as platforms to do good, and is working to help these businesses not only survive, but thrive. We are executing three key initiatives, which I have the privilege of leading. The first provides monetary support. We have committed to give $10 million in the form of grants to black- and minority-owned small businesses. Second, we have committed to providing these businesses with knowledge and education on key topics for sustained success. As

a leader in fintech, our company is uniquely qualified to provide expertise on financial literacy, e-commerce (moving a business from storefront to web front), and contactless payments (how to safely accept credit card payments in a secure, fast, convenient, and socially distanced manner). Third, we are working with community partners to provide access to resources, education, and mentoring. This year in particular has seen our society become increasingly polarized. People are becoming defined by their political viewpoints, but, as has always been the case, there is more that unites us than divides us. We should strive to live in a world where diversity is valued, and all points of view are appreciated. We should be able to respectfully listen and contribute for the betterment of us all.

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2020

Principal

BLACK LEADERS Worth Watching

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Ahmed J. Davis

Education: JD, Georgetown University Law Center; MS, chemistry, Emory University; BS, chemistry, Morehouse College Company Name: Fish & Richardson P.C. Industry: Law Company CEO: John Adkisson Company Headquarters Location: Boston, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 1,157 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is unacceptable. Who is your personal hero? Too many to name; my wife, a board-certified lab animal veterinarian, is at the top. What book are you reading? Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates What was your first job: Selling tennis shoes at Sneakee Feet in Towson, Maryland Favorite charity: Montgomery Baptist Church Interests: The Bs have it: board games, baseball, a nice Bordeaux, and the Bible. Family: Kamela, my wife of almost 25 years, and my children: Justus (19); Kendall (17); and Jackson (13).

I Will Lift Even as I Climb What ignites my professional passion is being a torchbearer for others to follow, as my family members and mentors were for me. I am standing on the shoulders of giants, and I need to honor that. I did not achieve any of my successes alone. People died for me to have the freedoms that I do; folks have sacrificed for me to be where I am; somebody prayed for me before I was even here. The only way I know to pay that back is by paying it forward. My great-grandmother, who helped to raise me, grew up in rural North Carolina and was raised in part by her great-grandmother, a woman who had been born a slave. So here I stand in 2020, blessed and fortunate enough to be an equity principal and management committee member at the best IP law firm in the world,

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having been raised by a woman, who was raised by a woman, who was born a slave. So I am impelled to make the most of the opportunities that I have, at once striving to make her proud, while at the same time showing those who come after me that I will lift, even as I climb. One of the many famous quotes that you often hear at my alma mater is from noted educator, philosopher, theologian, and fellow alumnus Howard Thurman, who said, “Over the heads of her students, Morehouse holds a crown that she challenges them to grow tall enough to wear.” My story is still being written, but I hope that I have grown into that crown, and I hope that my children and grandchildren will strive to go even further. The passion that drives me

is really about a legacy, about what is captured so well in the oft-invoked eulogy what’s in your dash, but on a personal basis. As a patent litigator, I am enormously proud of the legal work I have done. I am thrilled with the successes I have achieved on behalf of our clients, both large and small, from Fortune 50 companies to independent inventors. I am also proud to have become the first Black full-equity principal at my firm. All of that matters. But in the end, the questions that matter most will be these: Have I touched lives personally and made a difference? Did I encourage someone along the way? And was I an ambassador for Christ? If the answer to those questions is yes, then I’ll know I deserved this award; I was a Black Leader Worth Watching, after all.


2020

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Destiny Smith Washington Counsel

Education: Juris Doctor, Tulane University School of Law; Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude, Louisiana State University Company Name: FordHarrison LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Allen J. McKenna Company Headquarters Location: Atlanta, Georgia Number of Employees: 256 Words you live by: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” –Maya Angelou, Letter to my Daughter Who is your personal hero? My mother, Darlene Smith What book are you reading? The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry What was your first job: Production assistant at Jefferson Parish School Board TV Station Favorite charity: United Way Interests: Fitness (I was recently a certified fitness instructor), cooking, and crafting on my Velcro-Cutter Family: Married, with an 8-year-old son and an 11-year-old Boxer

The Importance of “Grit” People would be surprised to know that I was a first generation college graduate—until I wasn’t— who honorably served in the United States Army and the Louisiana Army National Guard. My father is an electrician by trade, and my mother is a licensed practical nurse. My parents got married young, and my mom attended college for a few semesters before I came along. My parents fostered a loving and supportive environment and empowered me to be well-rounded—my dad ensured that we actively participated in team sports, and my mom was a champion for literacy and creativity. When I was17, they even signed for me to join the Army. My siblings and I were top priority, as my parents did all they could to ensure that all four of us graduated from college with advanced degrees (a medical degree, a professional degree, and two master’s degrees).

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At the age of 55, my mother graduated with her bachelor’s degree. This year, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a certified K-12 teacher. Due to my mom’s grit, my title of first generation college student was retroactively taken away, and I couldn’t be more proud. I didn’t know what “grit” meant until my first Leadership Council on Legal Diversity conference, which I attended as my firm’s 2020 fellow. At that conference, I learned that “grit” means the ability to pursue a longterm goal. But, I view it as bravery. It is absolutely an attribute that I possess. I surely got it from my mother and I hope to pass it to my son. I experienced that grit when, a few days after I graduated from high school, I attended boot camp. The mental challenges—respecting authority, learning to lead while working as part of a team, and instilling discipline

in every facet of my day—were humbling. A few months later, I began my freshman year at LSU, while simultaneously serving in the Army National Guard weekends and summers. I took what I learned in boot camp and applied it to my studies and my life. In 2000, I completed the semester early and was deployed on a peacekeeping mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina as a public relations specialist. I traveled with various teams, a camera in my hand and weapon on my back, to cover stories of interest about a psychological operations team helping Bosnian orphans, a heavy equipment operator who DJ’d on the side, and a mechanic who taught soldiers, including me, salsa lessons. This experience showed me that I could do anything. And by anything, I mean graduating from law school and becoming the first lawyer in my family.

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2020

Senior Vice President, Group Director Client Services

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Carron Brown

Education: MBA, communications & media management, Fordham University; BA, marketing, Georgetown University Company Name: Fullscreen (a WarnerMedia company) Industry: Digital Media Company CEO: Maureen Polo Company Headquarters Location: Los Angeles, California Number of Employees: 450 Words you live by: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou Who is your personal hero? My mom, Carla Moon, is equally beautiful and loving on the outside and the inside. Her patience and empathy make her my hero. What book are you reading? Caste: The Origins of our Discomforts by Isabel Wilkerson What was your first job: Account executive Favorite charity: Charity: Water Interests: Fitness Mentoring, career coaching, content creation, sports…and I love a good brunch! Family: Husband (Dylan Brown), daughter (Gabriella, 10), and son (Grant, 8)

The Power of Perspective As I began high school, my mother was just entering her 40s, and subsequently a new phase in her life on many fronts. She was exiting a marriage after 21 years and entering into a relationship with her authentic self. With so much change happening in a short amount of time, she was fully aware that the success of these transitions was contingent on her perspective. Therefore, perspective became her mantra, even leading her to explore vanity plates and condensing the 11-letter word down to just seven, PERSPTV. For years, my sister and I would laugh as people tried to unsuccessfully guess what the word meant. We would even brainstorm better ways to spell the word within the seven-letter space requirement.

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Nonetheless, my mother was happy with her decision and said it served as a daily reminder to look at life through the right lens. Fast-forward 25 years. I am now the senior vice president of group director client services at Fullscreen. After several decades of education and corporate experience, I heard something last week that left an imprint and instantly took me back to those days in the early ’90s. The advice was this: Stop overestimating the amount of control we have in a situation, and underestimating the amount of choice we have. So often we want to control the outcome, while simultaneously feeling powerless in the journey. In reality, we have options every step of the way. Our perspective is so often what is most instrumental in

causing us to see either obstacles or opportunities. In my current role, I sit at the intersection of brand clients and the digital/social landscape. I often call on my early lessons in perspective in order to craft innovative solutions that allow brands to speak their truths, while also achieving audience growth and digital transformation. At this stage in my career, I understand that unchecked perspective tends to limit both career growth and a business’s revenue potential. As a leader, my #1 responsibility has to be the overall “perspective health” of team members. Without that foundation, everything else falls flat. Therefore, no matter what my title may be at a company, I always consider myself the chief perspective officer.


2020

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Candice Blacknall CEO and Cofounder

Education: Doctor of Medicine (MD), Morehouse School of Medicine; MBA, Georgia Institute of Technology Scheller College of Business; Bachelor of Arts, Elon University Company Name: GABA Inc. Industry: Digital health, education technology Company CEO: Candice Blacknall Company Headquarters Location: Atlanta, Georgia Number of Employees: 7 Words you live by: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou Who is your personal hero? Audre Lorde What book are you reading? A Revolutionary Approach to Success: Give and Take by Adam Grant What was your first job: Dog groomer at Patty’s All Breed Dog Grooming Favorite charity: Lost-n-Found Youth Interests: Painting, guitar, solo travel, culture, and languages

Adaptability Is Essential One of the things I’m most proud of as I look back on my career is being able to see my own values reflected back at me through a mosaic of professional and personal experience. My ability to be adaptable has enabled me to celebrate many successes and failures over the years, and it’s this adaptability that I credit with my success. I learned very early on to give myself something that I knew few would give me: the permission to make mistakes and change my mind. I tried not to bind myself to any one task or outcome. I’ve chosen instead to find causes that resonate with me and allow the specific roles that promote those causes to be interchangeable. For me, addressing issues of access has been a core principle. Over time, life has shifted whether access refers to health care access or education access,

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or something else all together. And I’ve allowed myself to adapt to that changing definition. That means I’m always challenged to redefine what success looks like for me and clarify how I want to show up for each opportunity. I’ve learned that even the most well-structured plan can fail. So the best predictor of success is not one’s ability to plan for success but what one does when faced with failure. Being adaptable is absolutely essential to that. I truly believe that my emphasis on adaptability and the positive impact it has, has made me much more open in my approach to building community and teams. Rather than look at people as chess pieces, whose movements are restricted by the types of pieces they are (e.g., developers develop, marketers market, etc.), I tend to spend more time trying to understand and connect with

the human on the other side of the conversation. I can quickly forget pedigrees and resumes, but I won’t forget character. I met a shaman who said, “Everyone is a master,” meaning you can learn just as much from the janitor (if not more) as from the CEO. Every person you meet could potentially change your life. I live by this philosophy. When I’m building my team or a community, I’m not looking for the person who has the most qualifications. I’m looking for the person who, like me, will see a challenge and go out and find the opportunity. This means the teams I build are inherently more diverse, and the products and services we build together are multifaceted. That translates into a multitude of branched success stories, and at the root of all that is adaptability.

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2020

Chief Diversity Officer & Director, Corporate Department

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: JD, Seton Hall University School of Law; Thurgood Marshall School of Law; BA, Rice University Company Name: Gibbons P.C. Industry: Law Company CEO: Patrick C. Dunican Jr. (Chairman and Managing Director) Company Headquarters Location: Newark, New Jersey Number of Employees: 300+ Words you live by: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” –James Baldwin Who is your personal hero? Muhammad Ali and James Baldwin What book are you reading? The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander What was your first job: Professional basketball player in Chalon, France Favorite charity: Fresh Air Fund Interests: Running, playing basketball, and traveling Family: Daughter (Alice Johnson-Lindblom), mother (Debra Johnson), grandmother (Alberta Cosby), and sister (Misti Mostiller)

Passionate about Entrepreneurial Success As a corporate attorney, I am currently most passionate about helping founders and entrepreneurs running startups and other early-stage businesses to get on, and stay on, the right track. The legal issues connected with a startup, including forming, structuring, funding, and protecting a new business, are critical, but unfortunately, too often neglected by busy entrepreneurs. As Gibbons chief diversity officer, I am often in the position to meet entrepreneurs of all races, genders, sexual preferences, and ages, representing all industries and business models, who require mentoring and all types of assistance. I consider myself very fortunate, in this exciting role with so many Gibbons resources at my fingertips, to be able to provide a wide range of assistance to entrepreneurs, with the goal of helping them increase their chances of entrepreneurial success.

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This passion led me to join forces with the Gibbons Cares pro bono program this summer to launch the firm’s newest pro bono effort: a partnership with the Small Businesses Need Us program. This program was recently launched by the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) to assist women and minority small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. IFEL created Small Businesses Need Us in response to the struggle many small businesses are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its related business shutdowns and slowdowns. With restricted operations, interruptions in supply chains, and decreased sales and profits, these businesses may find themselves unable to afford the services they need to stay afloat, including legal services. Small Businesses Need Us aims to mobilize and activate professionals throughout the business communi-

ty to pool their experience to help small businesses survive and recover from the impact of COVID-19. Through the initiative, volunteers with various specialties required for day-to-day business operations, including legal service providers, are organized into cross-functional teams and matched with participating small businesses, based on those organizations’ specific needs. All work is done remotely via phone and video conferencing. Volunteers can choose to work on defined projects, donate a set number of hours across projects, answer questions online, or offer in-kind products or services. Gibbons attorneys will have to opportunity to assist a variety of small women- and minority-owned enterprises in a wide range of legal practice areas, including corporate, employment, real estate, intellectual property, and data privacy and security, among other types of legal services these businesses may need.

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Robert L. Johnson


2020

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Karen M. Kennard Shareholder

Education: JD, Texas Tech University School of Law; BA, political science, Southern Methodist University Company Name: Greenberg Traurig, LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Brian Duffy Company Headquarters Location: Miami, Florida Number of Employees: 4,309 Your Location (if different from above): Austin, Texas Words you live by: You never know what someone else is going through, so be kind. Who is your personal hero? My mother What book are you reading? Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkinson What was your first job: Busboy in a cafeteria Favorite charity: Local Austin, Texas, PBS TV station (KLRU) Interests: Hiking, reading, and traveling Family: 5 brothers, 4 nieces, 3 nephews, 2 godsons

It All Started with a Briefcase When I was in third grade, my school hosted a Career Day event. One of the people invited to speak at the event was an African American female lawyer. I don’t exactly remember what she said that day, but I was entranced by something she was carrying with her—a briefcase! I had never seen anyone carry a briefcase, and as she prepared to speak to us at the assembly, I was intrigued by it and watched intently as she opened it up and pulled out papers that she used to give her presentation. My nine-year-old self fell in love with the thought of carrying briefcase to work every day, and decided that day that I wanted to become a lawyer when I grew up. I went home that night and proudly proclaimed this fact to my family. Years later, as I continued to hold the dream of becoming a lawyer, I

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had the opportunity to meet and talk to attorneys, and realized that it was a career that I was well suited for. I enjoyed reading and writing, I was involved with debate, and I enjoyed meeting people. In college, I majored in political science, joined the prelaw club, and served in student government. I also had the opportunity to work part time in a small law office. These experiences helped solidify my decision to become a lawyer. Once I got to law school, I had no idea what area of law I wanted to practice. However, I knew that I didn’t want to practice criminal law (it’s a long story). I took a broad range of courses in law school and clerked for several small law firms. As my law school graduation neared, an economic crisis hit

and there were very few legal jobs available. However, I was fortunate and found a job in the public sector, representing a city. That initial experience led to another job working for a large nonprofit trade association, which then led to my position as city attorney for the city of Austin, Texas. On the day that I was selected as Austin’s city attorney, I thought back to that Career Day during third grade and realized I had achieved my goal of becoming a lawyer, even though I didn’t carry a briefcase to work with me every day. I also realized how important representation is in the legal profession. The ability to see myself in someone else at the age of nine was critical to my future. It piqued my curiosity regarding a profession I knew very little about, and offered me the opportunity to learn more.

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Shareholder

LEADERS Worth Watching

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A. Michael Pratt

Education: JD, Harvard Law School; BA, economics and English, Washington & Jefferson College Company Name: Greenberg Traurig, LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Brian Duffy Company Headquarters Location: Miami, Florida Number of Employees: 4,309 Your Location (if different from above): Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Words you live by: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” –Martin Luther King, Jr. Who is your personal hero? My mother, Joan Tracy What book are you reading? Founding Fathers by Joseph Ellis What was your first job: Worked for Youth Corps at age 14, cleaning a local Catholic high school Favorite charity: East End United Community Center in Uniontown, Pennsylvania Interests: Musical theater, basketball, football, and politics Family: Wife, Barbara; daughters, Jeanine and Payton; son, Christopher; step-sons, Kendal and Brendan; and grandchildren, Jaelyn and Michael

To Live Fully, without Fear or Favor Call me Pollyannaish or maybe naïve. Yet, even at this maturing age, I steadfastly cling to youthful ideals and yearn to experience a world free of racism, sexism, and all other forms of invidious individual and class distinctions. The failure to fully harness our collective human potential and instead embrace a panoply of hate-driven “-isms” represents our greatest shared blame and shame. It also fuels my most fervent desire for change. The financial, physical, and psychological toll of these self-inflicted societal wounds remains a cost too high to pass on to yet another generation. Dream with me, if you will. Imagine a country—a world—where the diversity of our differences and cultures is universally accepted as a treasure of our shared humanity rather than a source of tribalistic hate and division. Imagine living in a world—in America—where the pigmentation of your

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skin, the texture of your hair, or the holy writ of your religion is cause to celebrate the inherent grandeur of our diversity, and not beget the ugliness of bigotry and prejudice. Eradicating these constant factors of animus—homophobia through able-ism—would elevate America, and quite possibly the world, to its finest and most prosperous era. The price of business as usual, as the prescience of this global pandemic has taught us, is socially destructive and untenable. The empirical evidence is telling. For example, a recent study cited a loss of some $16 trillion over the past 20 years, calculated by education, housing, wages, and business investment inequities, between black and white Americans. That study did not scratch the surface of similar inequities among other populations of color—from indigenous to Latinx to Asian Americans. Another recent

report found that eliminating the racial wealth gap would boost national GDP by up to six percent by 2028. Policies, both intentional and subliminal, borne of discrimination, have a price tag—a levy paid by every American. The complete removal of such biases, and their accompanying prejudice and bigotry, stands as my vision for society. My Black daughters and granddaughter deserve viable chances to lead in the world, unencumbered by regressive thinking and attitudes that stand to limit their advancement and earning power. My Black sons—by birth and by marriage—and grandson deserve the freedom to navigate through life safely, unimpeded by the racial ignorance of others. Perhaps utopian, but all our children deserve to experience boundless opportunities, to live fully, without fear or favor.


2020

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Sid Johnson Vice President, Procurement and Automotive Sourcing

Education: MS, industrial management, Indiana Wesleyan University; BS, industrial engineering and technology, Central State University Company Name: HARMAN International Industry: Technology and Consumer Electronics Company CEO: Michael Mauser Company Headquarters Location: Stamford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 30,000+ Your Location (if different from above): Novi, Michigan Words you live by: Never sacrifice your value systems. Who is your personal hero? My mother What book are you reading? In Our Own Image: Treasured African-American Traditions, Journeys and Icons by Karen Pugh and Patrick H. Bass What was your first job? I worked at my family’s dry cleaning business when I was young, but my first professional job in 1985 was with GE’s Aircraft Engines (now GE Aviation) business in 1988. Favorite charity: Salvation Army Interests: I love to golf. When I can get away, I really love to visit Arizona and hike Pinnacle Peak. I also read a lot. Family: An amazing wife, son, and daughter.

Why You Need Both Mentors and Sponsors My mentors were among the top two or three factors that had the most impact on my career. Early on, I realized that it was important to find someone, who had a similar background as myself or had a career that I admired, to guide me in my professional journey. But, there is one point I feel we don’t emphasize enough. There are two kinds of people you need in your career—a sponsor and a mentor. A sponsor is a person that makes the tough calls on your behalf, and puts their trust and reputation on the line to help you grow your career, while advocating for your success. My sponsor, an African American leader, understood my ambitions, was instrumental in helping me gain clear professional goals, and supported me during some really critical points in my career, including advising and recommending me for a big promotion. In contrast, a mentor is someone who

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not only recognizes your strengths and weaknesses, but also imparts the hard lessons you need to do better. My own mentor put my skills through a stress test and prepared me for every kind of challenge, from going into my first day at a new job to taking on a strategic leadership role, where I was responsible for managing 60 percent of the costs of the company and overseeing a couple thousand employees. Their valuable counsel and investment in my professional growth helped to build my character and set me up for professional success. These are the lessons I carry and impart to the individuals I sponsor and mentor today. I show them how they can succeed, while guiding them to reveal the best versions of themselves. But, I also try to impart the important lessons I’ve learned in my career and pass on the wisdom I gained from my own mentors. There is one lesson I always share,

particularly when I’m guiding aspiring Black leaders—network outside your inner circle. That allows you to invest beyond your professional network and support the lives of young people who can contribute to the growth and success of their communities. I too have practiced this through my work with the Advisory Board at Michigan State University to prepare their supply chain curriculum so that it matches up with students’ needs once they join the workforce. And, it is also why I have been very involved with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, where I’ve served as vice-chair. Mentorship is essential to guiding talented individuals, and presenting them with the invaluable insights and experiences to create a future generation of thoughtful leaders, who will always remember to serve in the interest of their businesses, industries and communities.

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2020

Co-Founder & Senior Partner

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: BA, Yale University Company Name: Ivy Planning Group Industry: Consulting Company Headquarters Location: Bethesda, Maryland Number of Employees: N/A Words you live by: When my ego goes up, my money goes down. Who is your personal hero? My mom and dad What book are you reading? Tom Clancy and Lee Child What was your first job? Salesperson at Wilson’s men’s clothing store Favorite charity: Sigma Pi Phi fraternity’s Beta Mu Boulé foundation Interests: Golf and photography Family: Married for 36 years, with 3 adult sons

The Changing World of Work We can no longer apply old school approaches to work in the 21st Century. The pandemic has revealed that we can work differently. Think of the organizations that told their employees that working from home wasn’t advisable or even possible, then suddenly had to flex because they needed work done. Now imagine how many of those organizations are rushing to return to the office and traditional work patterns. Why are they rushing to return, and will the workforce of today agree to working that way? Something has to change. The employer-employee contract is broken. Employee development, training, coaching, mentoring, and sponsorship aren’t occurring consistently and equitably organization wide. Many people managers readily admit that the ratio of time they spend as doers rather than coaches to their employees is 80/20. That’s right, 80 percent of their time is spent doing something other than developing 36

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the people they lead. And those same managers believe their organizations are okay with how they’re spending their time. The organizations say they want employee development, but won’t allocate the time for it to happen. That has to change. What does the new world of work look like? It starts with an appreciation of what people do, not where they do it. It requires developing new ways of evaluating the contributions of knowledge workers. Not assembly line workers who must be someplace specific in order to work or measured by the hours they work, but workers whose contributions are about outputs and outcomes. Given an internet connection, this new world worker is immediately productive. How do we measure these new workers? How do we reward and motivate them? How do we ensure that they are connected to their teammates and the culture of the organization? How do loyalty and appreciation for the mission get established? The organization that figures out

how to do this will have an unlimited supply of talented people who can’t wait to be a part of something special—people who will work harder, share their creativity, and apply their discretionary effort, all because they appreciate being trusted and treated fairly, while having the ability to better connect work, family, and their lives to something they deem to be meaningful. It will also require answering tough questions: Am I trying to control people, do I trust people, and do I believe that managers are responsible for developing their people more than anything else they could do? Ultimately, it requires a migration from management to leadership. The pandemic has taken a horrific toll on so many parts of our society. Let’s make sure we don’t ignore the opportunity to realize the possibilities—to better care for our employees, to reinvent how we work, and to rewrite the employer-employee contract in a way that serves everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to dream big.

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Gary A. Smith


2020

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Janet Crenshaw Smith Co-Founder & President

Education: BA, Harvard University Company Name: Ivy Planning Group Industry: Consulting Company Headquarters Location: Bethesda, Maryland Number of Employees: N/A Words you live by: Pray. Believe. Receive. Who is your personal hero? My mother and father What book are you reading? A Promised Land by Barack Obama What was your first job? Data entry at Marshall Field’s department store Favorite charity: Florida Avenue Baptist Church Robert L. Rollins Memorial Scholarship Fund Interests: Spa, spa, spa! Family: Married for 36 years, with 3 adult sons

Boldly Black The pandemic has taken a horrible toll on everyone and on Black people in particular. Even as we live through this difficult time, I also see that some good has emerged. More Black people have become more boldly Black. What do I mean by boldly Black? Speaking for Black without dilution. Speaking up about being Black with less fear of the consequences. Speaking for Black without dilution. I define diversity broadly. Diversity means all kinds of differences that matter so much that they impact behaviors, actions, and decisions. That includes race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, abilities/ disabilities, religion, education, socioeconomic status, political affiliations, language, thought, and much more. For decades, when I offered that broad definition, there was one thing I could count on: One of the first people to say, “What we really want is diversity of thought” would be a person of color. And often that person of

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color was Black. Early in my career that pattern frustrated and angered me. Later in my career, as I gained more insight into why it happens, it still frustrated and saddened me. Interestingly enough, since May 2020, that statement rarely comes out of the mouth of a Black person. Perhaps because “zooming in” on race has become more understood and accepted by people. We zoom in on a particular dimension of diversity when we understand a particular need. It doesn’t mean that zooming out on diversity broadly is no longer important. It means that given limited resources, efforts to address the realities of Black inequities cannot be diluted by thinly spreading those limited resources. Speaking up about being Black with less fear of the consequences. The very public killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, vividly revealed the truth of the senseless killing of Black

people. But something else happened. Black people also spoke up in corporate settings. I watched the most senior-level Black people in scores of organizations talk about their personal experiences of racial discrimination. That was new. We learned that some people, many people, thought only “certain kinds of Black people” experienced racial inequities. And certainly, not Black people in THEIR organizations. The boldness of Black people at all levels in organizations to speak up and share their experiences has changed everything. It has made things more real for everyone. Being Boldly Black isn’t all that bold after all is it? If we care about our organizations, communities, nation, and world, then of course we will zoom in on the greatest needs. It’s what we do. We fix what needs to be fixed. If we see something, then we say something. Here’s to making it the new norm.

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2020

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Senior Vice President, Government Services

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Charles V. Lawson

Education: MBA, Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management; BA, University of Massachusetts Amherst Company Name: JND Legal Administration Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Jennifer Keough Company Headquarters Location: Seattle, Washington Number of Employees: 200 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: Know who you are and whose you are. Who is your personal hero? Lucille Walker (my grandmother) What book are you reading? The Lincoln Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer What was your first job: Busboy at Red Lobster Favorite charity: Alpha Phi Alpha; Pi Upsilon Lambda Charitable Foundation Interests: Spending quality time with family and friends, and playing golf Family: Husband to Alma Lawson, and father to Mahagani Lawson and Ariana Lawson

The Immeasurable Value of Mentors I was introduced to the formal concept of mentoring while working as a summer intern for a Fortune 500 company during my junior year in college. Only much later in my professional career did I realize that I had benefitted from being mentored throughout my life—by family, friends, and my community. Although these good people did not possess the traditional qualities of corporate America’s definition of a mentor, I view their mentoring as the critical prerequisite to any personal or professional success I have achieved. They supported and advised me, and more important, admonished me, when needed. “Teachable Moments” were used to paint a picture of the consequences of my actions or inactions. A sense of accountability, morality, and pride was taught that I continue to carry today. The

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only return they required from their collective investment in me was that I find my happiness and achieve my fullest potential. As I progressed in my career, my mentoring relationships expanded to include seasoned professionals. It has not mattered that some of these relationships developed as a result of my being assigned to a mentor, while others developed more organically. Nor has it mattered that I have not shared cultural commonalities with many of these mentors, as I had with those of my youth. These mentor/ mentee relationships worked due to the sincere interest my mentors had in my success, along with my willingness to be mentored. These relationships were meaningful in helping me broaden my insight, find my voice and develop my professional skills. Of the many life lessons that my mentors have shared over the years, two were imprinted on me early in

my career: (1) Life will not always be as crystal clear as black and white, or even gray, but will often be clouded by multiple shades of gray; and (2) Always express opinions confidently, with reasons that are rational, easy to explain, and simple to execute, but do not expect complete audience agreement. Learning to be undeterred when navigating chaos, and to appreciate opposing opinions, has been instrumental, personally and professionally. These are the lessons I share with my mentees, as I aim to feed their growth and build their confidence. I thank all my mentors who willingly and graciously invested their time, energy, and wisdom in me. If my career can be considered a success, it is largely due to their mentoring. As such, I encourage each of us to share the best versions of ourselves by mentoring the next generation of leaders.


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Jonathan K. Waldrop Partner

Education: JD, University of Virginia School of Law; BS with honors, Harvard University Company Name: Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Marc E. Kasowitz, managing partner Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 416 Your Location (if different from above): California Words you live by: No matter what it looks like in the Natural, God has already worked it out in the Supernatural. Who is your personal hero? My grandfather, Melvin Turner, Sr., the greatest ever What book are you reading? Belisarius: The Last Roman General by Ian Hughes What was your first job? Packing groceries at a grocery store Favorite charity: CASA of San Mateo County Interests: Reading history, exercise, yoga, listening to music, and world travel (before COVID-19) Family: Cristal (wife of 19 years), Mason (16) and Anderson (14)

You Belong Everywhere As an African American partner at a national law firm, I am the living embodiment of the American Dream. I’m the great-great-grandson of one of Alabama’s largest plantation owners, the great-grandson of a slave, and the grandson of a World War II and Korean War veteran who worked 35 years in a steel mill to raise 13 children in Alabama. However, while I have been able to achieve my version of the American Dream and hold the door open for the next generation, I have not always felt entitled to, that I had a right to, or part of the American Dream. As I advanced in my career (and grew personally), I cultivated great mentors along the way who encouraged me to continue on my path and offered me invaluable advice that has empowered me to accept my power. They also instilled in me the knowledge that I like

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every other American am entitled to and have the right to live the American Dream, and to do so abundantly and unapologetically. My hope is that if everyone takes heed of the advice that was passed on to me many years ago, we can make this country the truly diverse, rich America we all deserve. Be authentic. “No one can beat you at being you.” By that, I mean be you. All of you. Early in my career, one of my mentors told me that no one could beat Jon Waldrop at being Jon Waldrop. Once I understood that I could be successful as myself, I became unstoppable. I no longer compared myself to others. I found creative ways to leverage my unique talents and abilities, and to contribute, and became an indispensable team member and leader. You belong here. “No one is more American than me.” This same

mentor reminded me that I belong wherever I am. Don’t second guess the opportunities that come your way. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t belong. You belong everywhere in this country. The price has already been paid; claim the victory. Seek out like-minded people. “We don’t care what you look like. What’s important is that you are effective.” Marc Kasowitz, the managing partner of my firm, gave me this advice in 2011 at a pivotal point in my career. As a champion and fierce advocate of diversity, I firmly believe you should seek out people who believe in and live by this ethos. I’m fortunate that my firm and colleagues embody this ethos, which has not only been instrumental to my professional success at the firm, but it also has created an environment where I can flourish as my authentic self.

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2020

Senior Vice President & Enterprise Chief Employment Counsel

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Deidra L. Byrd

Education: Juris Doctor, DePaul University; BA, psychology, DePaul University Company Name: Kindred Healthcare Industry: Health care Company CEO: Benjamin A. Breier Company Headquarters Location: Louisville, Kentucky Number of Employees: 32,000 Words you live by: All you have to do is put your mind to it .... If I need or want to do something, I keep at it until I get it done. Who is your personal hero? My mother, Margaret Wasp What book are you reading? Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward by Valerie Jarrett What was your first job: Cashier, Harold’s Chicken Shack #27; Chicago, Illinois Favorite charity: Community Counseling Centers of Chicago Interests: Spending time with my family, traveling, gardening, listening to good music, and dancing Family: Son, Christopher W. Byrd and daughter, Jada L. Byrd

Everyone Needs a Miss Pat Mentors have been very important to my career success. When I was a young girl, my parents enrolled me in the Miss Pat School of Dance—a small dancing school owned by a young black woman named Patricia Daley. The school, located in a small strip mall on the South Side of Chicago, started out small but Miss Pat’s vision, thoughts, and dreams were not. Everything she did was first class and never half-baked. In many ways, our dancing school was like many others. We were taught various dance styles, techniques, and dance routines. The difference was that in the early 1970s, Miss Pat often sat classes of young girls down and talked to us about what it meant

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to be a lady and how we should carry ourselves. She told us we were smart, and beautiful, and could be whatever we wanted to be. Many of the lessons she passed on to her students are still with me today. Miss Pat commanded respect. She was younger than the parents of almost all of the students at her school. While she was respectful of our parents, it was also clear that all of our parents respected her. In fact, we secretly knew that our folks would be okay if we grew up to be just like her. In keeping with her style and goals, our dance recitals were not held at nearby high school auditoriums like other dance schools in the neighborhood. Miss Pat held our recitals at Orchestra

Hall in downtown Chicago. Orchestra Hall seats over 2500. It was then and still is home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As a young preteen, I was selected to have speaking roles during many of our recitals. Knowing that one of my idols, Miss Pat, selected me gave me the confidence to step out on a stage designed for accomplished musicians and speak with poise and confidence. During my career, I have been in the room when important decisions are being made, and I have had the task of speaking to thousands. I have never felt like I did not belong, and I have always had the confidence to speak up. I thank Miss Pat for this because of the faith she had in me when I was just a young girl.


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Kevin Andrew Chambers Partner, Co-chair Litigation & Trial Department in Washington, DC, and Global Chair Diversity Leadership Committee

Education: JD, Yale Law School; BS, State University of New York at Albany Company Name: Latham & Watkins LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: N/A Company Headquarters Location: N/A Number of Employees: N/A Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: Actions, not words. Who is your personal hero? My mother What book are you reading? A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James What was your first job? Paperboy Favorite charity: Brotherhood/Sister Sol Interests: Playing golf poorly Family: Wife, Damara Chambers, and three children, Kadence, Kaia, and Kingston

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received I firmly believe that success always results from collaboration and team effort. This is no less true for personal success. No one does it alone. In my case, as I consider the road that has led me to what some may call a successful legal career, I know that I have greatly benefited from mentors and sponsors along the way who took an interest in my academic or professional career and took the time to provide encouragement, present opportunities, and dole out a little tough love when the situation called for it. These mentors are far more than an important part of my success; they are the reason that success was possible at all. Young professionals often ask, “How do I find a mentor?” The answer is that you must take own-

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ership of your development and pick your mentors. You may be fortunate enough to have a mentor step up and offer to guide your career, but you cannot count on that. Instead, when you find a person who embodies the values you hold dear and who has trodden the road you hope to travel, be the one to take the first step. Ask her to be your mentor. Some may decline for any number of legitimate reasons, but most will be honored to be asked and happy to play a role in your development. Either way, it will demonstrate that you take your career seriously. Keep in mind that we all have the need for mentorship. To this day, I can point to several of my colleagues who continue to provide guidance, and I am grateful to have these people

in my corner. Since we’re talking about mentors, I’d like to take a moment to share some of the best advice I’ve ever received: Make a plan, but always be ready to abandon it. Too often we create these elaborate road maps to success, and we are so afraid to step off the path that we miss out on tremendous opportunities and experiences that, in the long run, will make us so much better at whatever it is we want to do. Walk the path you lay out for yourself, but always be open to taking a detour. When I think about my career, the most interesting things I’ve done are those things that were far off the path that I so painstakingly built. In retrospect, these detours were some of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

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2020

BLACK LEADERS

Partner, Litigation & Trial

Worth Watching

Education: JD, Georgetown Law School; BA, Harvard University Company Name: Latham & Watkins LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: N/A Company Headquarters Location: N/A Number of Employees: 5000+ Your Location (if different from above): Los Angeles, California

Seize the Opportunity to Mentor I often say that I grew up in a courtroom. My dad was a criminal defense lawyer, and having spent many hours watching him, I knew I wanted to be a litigator. What I did not know was what my path to that goal would look like and how important a part mentorship would play. The first year after law school, I clerked for a Black female judge in Santa Clara, who advised me that I could always be a prosecutor but I should try a big law firm. Though I had no idea what Biglaw was, if a judge tells you to do something, you say, “Yes, Your Honor,” and do it. Without her sage advice, and her taking the time to invest in me and my career path, I simply would not be a Biglaw partner today. Setting goals has been essential to my professional drive. As a student athlete, once I reached a goal—whether it was playing varsity

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in high school or playing for my college team—I would immediately set a new one. That has remained my approach in my practice. As a junior associate, I worked steadily toward my goal of making partner at my firm. Then, my path took another turn. As a sixth year associate, my mentor and sponsor invited me to follow him to Latham to build out a nascent entertainment, sports, and media practice. I leapt at the opportunity, knowing it might slow my rise to partner but trusting that the new practice would thrive. When I did make partner, I began to view goal setting and mentorship in new ways. Yes, it felt amazing to reach another personal goal, however it was equally incredible to realize what my achievement meant to others. I received so many congratulations and heartfelt messages from colleagues throughout my firm,

and was struck by the number of notes sent by women associates of color. Though I had never met some of these women, they told me I had inspired them and now they saw that they too had a path to partnership. I was immediately humbled and understood that I needed to seize this opportunity to mentor and invest in others—like my judge did for me. You cannot reach the top and then not pay it forward. Leadership requires finding the time to talk to people and give them advice. No matter how focused I may be on the details of a specific matter or litigation, I try to do my best to carve out time and invest in the next generation of leaders. It is thus my honor to serve as partner-adviser to my firm’s associate-led Black Lawyers Group, and I seek out other opportunities to offer insight whenever I can.

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Laura R. Washington


2020

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Bob Thomas Senior Vice President & Regional Executive, Northeast

Education: BA, communications, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (formerly North Adams State College) Company Name: Liberty Mutual Group Industry: Insurance Company CEO: David H. Long Company Headquarters Location: Boston, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 50,000 Words you live by: There’s always room for improvement; it’s the biggest room in the house. Who is your personal hero? Martin Luther King Jr. and Willie Mays What book are you reading? Soaring to Glory: A Tuskegee Airman’s Firsthand Account of WWII by Philip Handleman, with Lt. Colonel Harry T. Stewart Jr. What was your first job: Busboy at the Flaming Pit Restaurant in Springfield, Massachusetts Favorite charity: Bay Cove Human Services Interests: Golf, snowboarding, baseball, and photography Family: Married, with 5 children and one amazing little grandson

My Most Important Mentors Were My Parents In 1960, my parents, Elijah, a young black man from South Carolina, and Margaret, a young white woman from Liverpool were married in Kensington, England. My father, who dropped out of high school to join the United States Air Force, would soon find himself providing for four young boys and a wife. He would move his family back to the United States at the height of civil rights tensions. We were an Air Force family and we moved a lot. We were also an interracial family. That came with prejudice from both white and black people. My parents handled it with grace and somehow managed to soften its impact on us. They made us feel “normal” at a time when understanding our identity wasn’t easy. After the Air Force, my father struggled to find work to support his family. My mother got a job, but with limited education came limited www.diversityjournal.com

opportunities. My parents needed us to be independent, self-sufficient, and responsible. My proud father, who had seen so much in his lifetime—tours of duty in Korea and Vietnam, race riots in the States, and the reality of a limited education— laid out his goal for his children: finish high school and stay out of jail. That was it. That was the bar. This backdrop had a tremendous influence on my career path. I finished high school with grades good enough to get into prestigious universities. But with no money for that, I attended a budget-friendly state college instead. I also poured myself into extracurricular opportunities like student government, residence leadership, and intramural sports, trying to maximize my college experience and crush this low bar set by my father. As a senior, I found myself starting to stress about a career. I kept thinking, “You finished high school, you’ll soon

finish college, but how will you support a family like dad did?” I graduated on a Saturday and began my new career the following Monday. Soon I was advancing from one job to the next, arriving at Liberty Mutual 18 years ago. I answered the question that plagued me in college about supporting a family, believing my degree was the answer. And in part, it was. But I also realized that my parents had already provided me an invaluable foundation: being confident and independent; self-motivated and determined; inclusive and compassionate; inquisitive and decisive; eager and persistent. My career path could have taken many different forms, but it was always going to be defined by the qualities that my interracial parents imparted to their four boys and a bar that to some I’m sure is considered incredibly low. I can’t express the motivation that has given me. www.womenworthwatching.com

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2020

Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, and Head of Culture & Engagement

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: MA, counseling psychology, Howard University; BA, psychology, Spelman College Company Name: Lincoln Financial Group Industry: Financial services Company CEO: Dennis Glass Company Headquarters Location: Radnor, Pennsylvania Number of Employees: 11,000 Words you live by: Listen, learn, and then, lead. Who is your personal hero? Shirley Chisholm What book are you reading? White Fragility by Robin DeAngelo What was your first job: I started working for my father’s printing business in second grade, helping collate books. Favorite charity: Urban League of Philadelphia Interests: Rowing, interior decorating, trying new recipes, community service, helping to preserve HBCUs, and mentoring young African American females Family: From a family of four; recently married into and now part of a family of six—with my husband and four stepchildren

Without the Burden of Racism Education was always paramount in our family. It was positioned as one of the factors necessary to independently navigate one’s life. I am fortunate and proud to have attended two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Spelman College and Howard University. Deciding to attend an HBCU for both undergraduate and graduate school were choices “by design.” Growing up in the south, which by the way I loved, afforded various types of opportunities to learn and experience race relations (both positive and negative). At the age of 17, I made the decision to attend a college where gender and race would not be “by design” differentiators or obstacles. This was important for me, because I craved the freedom to compete and achieve based on merit and talent. I wanted at least four years in life where race was not an issue, and to be “judged by the content

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of my character, not the color of my skin,” as Martin Luther King famously said. These are formative years as you begin to define who you are, determine what you want to do, and build the confidence to go out in the world and be your best. I did not want the real or perceived barriers of race, racism, sex, and sexism to get in my way—and they did not. Without the burdens of discrimination based on race and gender, assumptions of inferiority, and suspicion of not earning what was awarded, I flourished. We were supported and encouraged to achieve, to be successful. The only limits were the ones you set for yourself. This experience enabled in me the confidence and tenacity to lead with my talents, to not be deterred by barriers placed in my way by others, and to expect to be treated equitably. One wise saying I learned in school, and think about more now than ever, is this: Race

does not have to be a factor. It is not your burden, it is others’. When you encounter racism, it’s not because of you; it’s because of the perpetrator’s ignorance. Having the opportunity twice to live, learn, and develop intellectually without barriers and burdens imposed by others instilled in me an unwavering assurance that I could successfully address diversity challenges in the workplace. Today, in my role as chief diversity officer, I am responsible for and passionate about developing, implementing, and overseeing diversity and inclusion strategies throughout the organization. The expectation is that I can help advance inclusion, equity, and equality within our workforce and in our workplace, marketplace, and community engagement practices. My experiences led me to a career that I am passionate about—one that allows me to address these challenges every day.

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Allison Green Johnson


2020

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Jonathan C. Hughley Partner

Education: JD cum laude, University of Illinois College of Law–Urbana-Champaign; BS, mechanical engineering, University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign Company Name: Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP Industry: Law (Intellectual Property) Company CEO: Jeffrey S. Sharp, Managing Partner Company Headquarters Location: Chicago, Illinois Number of Employees: 200 Words you live by: I strive to be a positive example for others in everything I do. Who is your personal hero? My father, Coleman Hughley What book are you reading? I’m revisiting The 1619 Project published by the New York Times What was your first job: I was a garment bagger at my neighborhood cleaners. I rode my bike uphill both ways! Favorite charity: Lupus Foundation of America. My late mother lived with this illness for many years, but remained positive throughout. Interests: Serving at my church, cooking for my family, collecting vintage vinyl records, and (mostly unsuccessful) fishing trips Family: I am incredibly grateful to have the support of my wife who, along with my son, makes me a better person.

How I Succeed in Spite of Workplace Bias Unconscious bias in the workplace ensures that minority candidates are subjected to heightened scrutiny, in hiring, promotions, business development opportunities, and more. It is not uncommon for Black lawyers to have their work reviewed unnecessarily rigorously. Another form of bias that I have experienced in the workplace is microaggression. Though I’ve been the recipient of unwarranted and unprofessional berating on far too many occasions, I was always taught growing up to have a thick skin and not let it get to me. Instead, I try to focus on the advice of my father—to exceed expectations by always putting in twice the effort. Being committed to doing at least twice as much as I am asked has allowed me to go farther than even my own expectations. I genuinely believe

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this was the best advice I ever received and helped me to quickly accelerate in my career. That said, this advice now extends into my personal life as well, where I’ve learned that I also need to work twice as hard at prioritizing and being present with my family. However, while having a thick skin and a strong work ethic can help us overcome challenges on an individual basis, we must still work together to combat systemic racism and eradicate unconscious bias and microaggressions from our workplace. If we do not, people will continue to not be hired, promoted, or even considered for opportunities simply because of the color of their skin. This behavior negatively affects the ratio of minority employees in companies, not only because of low

hiring numbers, but also because people feel undervalued and ultimately leave the company. Looking towards the future, I hope one day we won’t need to recognize Black Leaders Worth Watching separately from others. The reason these awards are necessary is because, historically, Black leaders haven’t been recognized for their accomplishments. I hope our society can get to a point where any group of minority leaders are recognized alongside the majority for their accomplishments. To that end, I am grateful for this honor and would like to use this opportunity as a springboard to continue to help others achieve their goals. I invite young professionals to connect with me on LinkedIn or reach out in other ways if sharing my experiences will be helpful to them.

www.womenworthwatching.com

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BLACK

2020

Partner

LEADERS Worth Watching

Education: JD, Yale Law School; M.Sc., University of Oxford, Oxford UK (Rhodes Scholar); BA, Williams College Company Name: Mayer Brown LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Paul Theiss Company Headquarters Location: N/A Number of Employees: More than 3,600 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: You must be the change you want to see in the world. Who is your personal hero? I have many heroes, but my first heroine was my mother, Mary Christian. What book are you reading? These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore What was your first job: Packing oranges at a citrus company Favorite charity: Charities supporting educational achievement of children from low-income backgrounds Interests: Fitness, sports, travel, woodworking, and barbecue Family: I am married to Valda Clark Christian. We have three children.

My Roadmap for Success People would be surprised to know that my introduction to Head Start provided a roadmap for taking on new challenges. When I first stepped into a Head Start center, few people imagined that I would attend college one day, let alone law school. Truth be told, I tried my hardest to convince everyone that I would not become a Head Start student. When my father tried to leave me there, I erupted in a four-year-old’s fury that not even my father (a man quite skilled in the art of corporal punishment) could deny. I kicked, I screamed, I cried, and I pleaded. Before long, my father decided to take me back home. “Lesson taught,” I thought to myself. But the next day—to my surprise—

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my father took me back to the Head Start center. When we arrived, I concluded that he must have forgotten my lesson. So I resolved to refresh his recollection. Not only did I kick, scream, cry, and plead, I dropped to the floor, which I fully expected to end the matter. It did: my father left me there. And I became a student that day. What I could not understand at the time was that my parents knew that Head Start and other educational opportunities would improve my life. They were able to envision the promise of the future, not only the pain of the present. With a room full of strange children staring at me, I had no choice but to get up off of the floor and adapt to my new environment. Fortunately, the Head Start

teachers helped me up. They were members of my community who nurtured me in ways that I did not always appreciate at the time. Whenever I face a new opportunity or challenge, I think of how my formal education began. It provides a roadmap for me. My education began with the understanding (not necessarily mine) that the pursuit of what I could be required me to leave my comfort zone. It began with the realization that I had a lot more to learn than to teach. It began with the support of a community of people who were committed to my growth and success. And when I have fallen, that community has been there for me. That is my formula, and I am sticking to it.

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Marcus A. Christian


2020

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Oral Pottinger Partner

Company Name: Mayer Brown LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Paul Theiss Company Headquarters Location: N/A Number of Employees: More than 3,600 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” –Frederick Douglass Who is your personal hero? Arthur Ashe What book are you reading? Grace and Justice on Death Row by Brian Stolarz What was your first job: Paperboy for Minneapolis Star & Tribune Favorite charity: Hope and a Home (Washington, DC) Interests: Sports of all kind (particularly tennis, basketball, football, baseball, hockey, and golf) and travel Family: Nyree (wife); Morgan (daughter); Dean (son)

Showing the next generation that education can be a path forward to elevate yourself is so vitally important to mentoring the next generation.

I Look for Opportunities to Give Back I think it is vitally important for those who are more established in their careers to reach back and mentor the next generation. I truly believe that without mentorship in the legal or business world, one cannot fully reach his or her potential. I have had so many mentors during my career, and I continue to have mentors. You never reach a point where you are not learning and growing. I have had mentor/ mentee relationships as the mentor, where I have learned just as much from my mentee as I hope I passed on. I also think it is important to have diverse mentors. I don’t just have African-American mentors. Some of my biggest advocates have been white men and women. www.diversityjournal.com

I grew up in a family that immigrated to the United States in 1972 from Jamaica. My parents instilled in me and my two brothers the importance of education and of doing what was necessary to sacrifice for the next generation, so they would have greater opportunities than you did. I was fortunate that the places where we lived, like Rochester, New York, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Fargo, North Dakota had great public school systems which gave my brothers and I excellent resources and the opportunity to elevate ourselves. As a result, we now enjoy careers as a lawyer, a pharmaceutical sales executive, and a college professor. But beyond our careers, I believe the three of us are people

who look to give back to others. How does this tie into mentorship? Showing the next generation that education can be a path forward to elevate yourself is so vitally important to mentoring the next generation. So often, the young do not have the same opportunities I had in great public school systems. Often, even the basic resources are lacking. So I look for opportunities where resources are lacking, and I give back as much as I can and hopefully I guide others to do the same. I live by this verse from the Book of Luke, “To whom much is given, much will be required.” Hopefully, I will leave my small portion of the world better because I do. www.womenworthwatching.com

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2020

CEO, MetLife Legal Plans

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Ingrid Tolentino

Education: Bachelor’s degree, political science, Syracuse University Company Name: MetLife Legal Plans Industry: Insurance Company CEO: Ingrid Tolentino Company Headquarters Location: Cleveland, Ohio Number of Employees: 180 Words you live by: “Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality.” –Les Brown Who is your personal hero? I have two, Maya Angelou and Ruth Bader Ginsburg What book are you reading? Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson What was your first job? Nanny Favorite charity: Facing History and Ourselves Interests: Reading, cooking, and movies Family: I live here with my husband, Jeff Potter, and my parents. We have two daughters, Abbey and Kamryn.

Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor Mentors have been a critical part of my career success. I firmly believe that regardless of how talented and hard working you are, no one succeeds on his or her own. A good mentor is someone who is committed to your career success and who therefore spends precious time coaching and developing you. A relationship that is built on trust and respect, where you are able to have honest discussions about your strengths, opportunities, and challenges are invaluable for your development. I have been privileged to have had the advantage of mentors from very early in my career, and they definitely positioned me for success. Unfortunately, where you come from still plays too large a part in determining where you succeed; having the right mentor can help level the playing field, especially for people of color. What I mean by that is that often people of color

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need more support learning how to navigate an organization and understanding the unspoken rules of operating. Having a more experienced person who understands the rules of the game makes a real difference. Unlike a sponsor, who is someone who can hire, promote you, or influence someone else to do so, my relationships with my mentors have been more personal. I have developed long-lasting friendships with many of my mentors. When I first entered corporate America, I was the only woman of color at the supervisor level, and I was not fitting in. Instead of finding my voice, I made myself small and quiet; taking the jobs no one else wanted and working long hours to try and prove myself. It was my first mentor who witnessed my behavior and stepped in. He reminded me

that I had every right to be at the table and that I had valuable views that needed to be shared to help the entire team achieve our goals. It took some time, but I leaned in and I spoke up. When I found my voice, my contributions to the team increased exponentially and I have never looked back. I built a brand based on achieving results, collaborating, and developing strong teams. It has led me to the position I am in today. When I see talented people who step back instead of stepping up, I reach out to them and pay back the gifts I have received. My advice is that if you don’t have a mentor, you should seek one out. When you do that, remember that the mentor/ mentee relationship is a win/win. The mentor gets to develop talent, which all leaders need to do, and the mentee gets to grow her capabilities. We have a responsibility to bring each other up.


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Terry Pierce Regional Campus Recruiting Senior Manager

Education: Bachelor of Science (Honors Program), English and accounting, Langston University Company Name: Moss Adams Industry: Public Accounting Company CEO: Chris Schmidt Company Headquarters Location: Seattle, Washington Number of Employees: 3,300+ Your Location (if different from above): Dallas, Texas Words you live by: “Always act like you belong.” –my father, Terry Pierce, Sr.; “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring in a folding chair.” –Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm Who is your personal hero? My father, Terry Pierce, Sr. What book are you reading? An early copy of my mother, Rose Pierce’s second book, Poetry & Paintings to Inspire; and How to be an Inclusive Leader by Jennifer Brown What was your first job: Proud pizza maker at Little Caesar’s in Plano, Texas! Favorite charity: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Education Foundation (focused on scholarship, programs, and training) Interests: Cheering for all Dallas professional sports teams, fun with family, and Marvel movies Family: Daughter, Taylor Pierce (20 yrs old); Son, Terry “Trey” Pierce III (19 yrs old); Fiancée, Angelique Watson

Moving Toward a Better World My professional passion and dedication to making an impact around diversity, inclusion, and equity was ignited by lessons learned from my parents, Rose and Terry Pierce, Sr. They focused on providing the best possible home, education, and opportunities for our family. The values of hard work, respect, faith, and family were always evident in our home. My mother developed and presented some of the original Black History Month programs in our school district. That early knowledge of our culture and ideals my parents exuded influenced my decision to attend Langston University, a Historically Black College & University, in Oklahoma. There, I learned many life lessons, and was pointed in the direction of the accounting profession by my late advisor and mentor, Mr. James Wallace. Somehow, he tricked me into enjoying accounting.

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When I entered the public accounting industry in 1994, Blacks only made up two percent of CPAs in the United States. Sadly, that has only increased to about four percent today. I want to help increase the number of Black and diverse students coming into the profession. That starts with developing outreach programs in early grades to enlighten students regarding opportunities in accounting. It is also necessary to connect with students in college to help them realize they can excel in the field and get current employees engaged in recruitment. We must support, develop, and promote our diverse professionals. Representation matters! Ensuring that students see others who look like them in the profession and achieving goals they have set can make a world of difference to someone. This keeps me motivated to make an impact for current and future generations.

For future generations, including my two children who are currently in college, I hope the world becomes a safer, kinder, more respectful place. The social injustices brought to the forefront of society this year, in the midst of a global pandemic, must become the spark for us to be better. These moments must become a continued movement to fight any and all racism—to uphold the life, liberties and rights we claim as humans and citizens. After the tragic death of George Floyd earlier this year, I shared with colleagues at Moss Adams my feelings of anger, sadness, helplessness, fear, and exhaustion. Society continues to show it has cataracts, when it comes to African Americans and people of color. We are not loved, respected, seen, or considered the same, as others. I hope my actions at work, in my profession, and within my community can have a positive impact in moving toward a better world.

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2020

BLACK LEADERS

Partner

Worth Watching

Education: JD, Georgetown University Law Center; BS, College of the Holy Cross Company Name: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Jim Lehman Company Headquarters Location: Columbia, South Carolina Number of Employees: 1,540 firm-wide Your Location (if different from above): Baltimore, Maryland Words you live by: Every day alive is a gift and a blessing. If you don’t ask, the answer is already no. Who is your personal hero? My mother, the strongest person I have ever met in my life. What book are you reading? Fraternity by Diane Brady What was your first job: Newspaper boy Favorite charity: The Homeless Persons Representation Project Interests: Time with friends and family, travel, and golf Family: Married, with two daughters, ages 21 and 18

We Are an Asset Law Firms Need What ignites my professional passion is a strong desire to see more Black lawyers become successful at law firms within the United States. I have always noticed that there are few Black lawyers in what are considered the premier U.S. law firms. Every year for the last 20 years, I have looked at the rankings of the top law firms to see how many of the lawyers in these firms were Black and, more specifically, how many were Black partners. The percentages are so low it defies logic. Despite the fact that Black lawyers make up 10–15 percent of all lawyers, Black partners only make up around one percent of partners. I always believed that if more Black lawyers got opportunities to work at these large law firms, the firms would realize

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how talented Black lawyers are, and how effective they can be in generating more business and in turning around excellent work product. From the time I began working at large law firms in 2009, I have pushed hard to ensure the success of Black lawyers and to help elevate them to the position of partner within these firms. There is no reason not to give Black lawyers the opportunities and support they deserve to make partner. In the age of George Floyd, many colleagues and lawyers from other firms have asked me what can be done to improve the plight of Black Americans, with all the racism and division that exists in this country. My response is always the same: Start with the people around you who are

Black and treat them in the same manner as you treat those whose skin is another color. That means, in law firms where you have Black lawyers, properly train associates and then give them the opportunities given to other lawyers to establish business contacts so they may elevate to partner. Lately, I have seen a greater commitment from law firms to provide opportunities to Black lawyers in an effort to make the Black lawyers in their firms more successful. Let’s hope these efforts continue and are sustained by these firms. Simply put, law firms will be better off with the perspectives of Black lawyers in business and law, as well as in social matters. We are an asset that all law firms need.

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Michael A. Brown


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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BLACK

Anthony Holt Branch Manager

Education: BS, criminal justice, North Carolina Central University Company Name: New American Funding Industry: Mortgage Company CEO: Rick Arvielo Company Headquarters Location: Tustin, California Number of Employees: 4300+ Words you live by: “… lifting as we climb …” –Mary Church Terrell Who is your personal hero? My mother What book are you reading? Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles What was your first job: Dishwasher at a restaurant called The Silo Favorite charity: Urban Prep Academies in Chicago Interests: Car enthusiast, attending car shows, gardening, interior decorating, watching movies, spending time with family and friends, and traveling Family: One 11-year-old daughter, Gabrielle or “Gabby”

My ultimate wish is to help create meaningful ways to bring financial literacy to the dinner table in the black community.

Giving Is Essential to My Success I wake up every day and ask myself, “What can I do as an individual to make this world a better place?” I truly believe in being a blessing to others through giving and practicing random acts of kindness. When I cross paths with people, I never truly know the burdens they carry. A smile, a compliment, a quick phone call to say “hey, you were on my mind,” opening a door, paying for a meal, offering a listening ear, or just saying thank you may be the small gesture that provides hope and inspiration for that person to keep going. A spirit of giving is the one trait I consider essential to my

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success. I believe in the law of attraction and positivity, and how it affects culture in organizations. The words I live by daily are “lifting as we climb.” I ask what I can do to support and uplift my fellow team members, friends, and family members, as well as complete strangers. Helping team members work through challenges, finding solutions, and seeing them succeed in helping families achieve the dream of homeownership drives me. There is an amazing feeling of joy that comes from knowing you’ve been an integral part of what may be one of the largest financial achievements of their lives. I was recently nominated to chair New American Funding’s

New American Dream initiative. This initiative was launched in 2016 by NAF President Patty Arvielo, with the goal of increasing black homeownership across America. In this new role, I will be working diligently to address the many barriers to black homeownership. I will be working tirelessly with other organizations, as well as internal team members, to create actionable solutions to increase black employment and leadership opportunities in the mortgage industry and financial literacy platforms for aspiring homeowners. My ultimate wish is to help create meaningful ways to bring financial literacy to the dinner table in the black community.

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51


BLACK

2020

Branch Manager

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Dwayne A. Graham

Education: Studied criminal justice, Texas Southern University Company Name: New American Funding Industry: Mortgage Company CEO: Rick Arvielo Company Headquarters Location: Tustin, California Number of Employees: 4300+ Your Location (if different from above): Sugar Land, Texas Words you live by: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” –Henry Ford Who is your personal hero? My dad What book are you reading? The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy What was your first job: Customer service representative at Pizza Hut Favorite charity: Alzheimer’s Association Interests: Family time, going to the movies, and going to the beach Family: Lindsey Graham (wife), Kalaya Graham (daughter), and Kaiden Graham (son)

Being both a borrower and a loan officer really helps me understand what individuals go through in the home-buying process. This keeps me grounded.

I Hope My Children See Me as a Role Model Most people would be surprised to know that I was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. I learned from a very young age that hard work was part of my culture. When I was 19 years old, I came to the United States to advance my education and attract opportunities. I was going to school and working two jobs, but was happy because I knew that I was on the right path. At 21, I purchased my first home and felt an enormous sense of pride and accomplishment. I wanted others to know the same feeling of homeownership that I had felt. However, I wanted to make the home-buying process friendlier. My first mortgage was an

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Adjustable Rate Mortgage. When the interest rate increased, I followed the general practice at the time of going back to the same mortgage company and refinancing with them. However, I realized a different mortgage would have better suited my financial needs. I was overwhelmed by the inflated mortgage rate, and I felt I had been taken advantage of. I knew I needed to do something, but wasn’t sure what. A good friend of mine suggested that I go to school to become a loan officer, so I could protect myself and others from predatory loan practices. After I obtained my loan officer license, I worked for many years

in this very competitive industry, building relationships with clients who are now friends. Over my career, I have helped hundreds of people attain the American Dream of homeownership. Being both a borrower and a loan officer really helps me understand what individuals go through in the home-buying process. This keeps me grounded. Regardless of how many hours I work, I always come home to my wife and children with a sense of accomplishment. I hope that as my children get older, they will take note of my hard work, kindness, and appreciation, and see me as a role model.


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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BLACK

Eric B. Jackson Corporate Vice President and Market Manager

Education: Bachelor of Science, business–management, Johnson C. Smith University; Chartered Life Underwriter, insurance, American College for Financial Services Company Name: New York Life Insurance Company Industry: Financial/Life insurance Company CEO: Theodore A. Mathas Company Headquarters Location: New York City, New York Number of Employees: 11,000+ Your Location (if different from above): Atlanta, Georgia Words you live by: To empower the African American community through wealth creation Who is your personal hero? My mother, Norma Jackson What book are you reading? Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin What was your first job: Piano Player at my local AME Church Favorite charity: Alzheimer’s Association Interests: Working out, cooking, exploring nature, and quiet time

Changing Lives and Impacting Generations My professional passion is ignited by doing the work of promoting financial literacy. I have the privilege of working alongside the more than 1,400 financial professionals as the corporate vice president and market manager of the African American Market Unit for New York Life Insurance. For me, it dates back nearly 20 years when I was a college intern for an established agent within the company. What initially was a requirement for graduation became an epiphany, and the catalyst for finding my passion and purpose. In the years that followed, my career provided a clear path toward serving my community directly and indirectly. Transitioning from intern to sales development manager and ascending the organization’s ranks in the years that followed allowed me to learn the invaluable fundamentals of financial literacy. I also saw first-hand how many of the communities around me were using insurance and finan-

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cial products to build, protect, and preserve wealth. This experience made me aware of the possibility of financially empowering and uplifting Black communities by creating generational wealth. Many African Americans contend with financial inequalities due to decades of injustice and subsequent disenfranchisements. These disadvantages have created a significant wealth gap compared to our white counterparts. This challenge serves as an opportunity for my team and me to inform and empower our community. Because of this, I am most passionate. It is what keeps the fire within me burning. A notable achievement that I’ve garnered during my New York Life career is the support I provided to the African American Market’s “$50 Billion Empowerment Plan.” Launched in 2011, the Empowerment Plan is a national movement with the mission of creating over

$50 billion of tax-free, future income through insurance. Our team achieved that goal in 2017; the work continues, and of this, I am incredibly proud. This year, COVID-19 and the social justice push occurring throughout the country have presented new challenges for the African American community. The opportunity to help meet those challenges has sparked my passion once again. As a leader, I had to regroup with my team to re-imagine our approach to serving the community. We’ve leaned into embracing technology in our engagement and outreach. Additionally, we’re partnering with national financial and social justice thought leaders to develop fresh ideas and implement best practices. Our objective is to deliver the support and resources to what I am most passionate about personally and professionally, the Black Community. We’re not just changing lives, we’re also impacting generations.

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53


BLACK

2020

Executive Vice President

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: Master of Science, human resources development, Clemson University; Bachelor of Science, telecommunications, Ball State University Company Name: OneAmerica® Industry: Insurance and Financial Services Company CEO: J. Scott Davison (Chairman, President, and CEO) Company Headquarters Location: Indianapolis, Indiana Number of Employees: 2,300 Words you live by: “When you know better, you do better.” This is something I grew up hearing from my parents. It was their way to get me to pay attention to the lessons that life teaches us along the way. Who is your personal hero? My mom, Betty Fernanders What book are you reading? Across That Bridge by John Lewis What was your first job: McDonald’s fry station for about three weeks for a summer job Favorite charity: United Way Interests: Traveling with family and friends; bird watching with my husband, Edgar Family: Edgar Sarratt Jr. (married 25 years), Kamryn (daughter), Edgar III (son), and Scout (family dog)

Do Well by Doing Good I have always tried to make career choices with organizations that align with my values and purpose in life. I look for organizations in which the culture is their strongest asset and the people really matter. When the nexus between business and the community is most effective, you are inspired to “do well by doing good.” Working in the insurance and financial services industry has taught me about the importance of financial security through all stages of life, and how this can create certainty in times of uncertainty. But in this extraordinary time in the history of our country, enabling greater economic empowerment in underserved communities is at the forefront for our industry and our company. At OneAmerica®, one of our innovative strategies has been to create a Pathways Program that connects our business growth to our community commitment. The Pathways Program focuses on: 1) beginning to break generational poverty cycles for individuals; 2) improving diversity

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in our talent pipeline for long-term success; and 3) creating career opportunities for those who may not be college-bound, as well as those with college aspirations. The first phase of this program was introduced in late 2018, after reviewing Brookings Institution’s research about what constitutes “good jobs.” We examined all our positions, made some immediate pay adjustments and created the Pathway to Sustainable Income. This ensures that our associates are on track to achieve a sustainable income during their career, which includes total cash compensation, and health care and retirement benefits. To build and strengthen our local workforce, we developed the Pathways Junior Fellows program. We select high school students and recent high school graduates to participate in our Pathways Junior Fellows program during their summer breaks. They participate in a 5-week custom curriculum that includes introducing career options, building business

acumen, establishing a leadership network, unique job shadowing experiences, community volunteerism, and a capstone presentation. The program has been an overwhelming success, and we plan to scale the program to create more than 100 Fellow experiences annually! Studies show that financial empowerment can increase financial well-being across income and education levels, in addition to moving more households out of poverty. This will take time, but we are committed to improving financial security for more families, especially those in underserved communities. One of our core diversity and inclusion beliefs says, “OneAmerica® isn’t just the name of our company— it represents our belief in unity, togetherness, and a commitment to supporting those who need us.” As a OneAmerica® leader and teammate, I am inspired every day to continue bridging the nexus of business and community! You can indeed “do well by doing good.”

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Karin W. Sarratt


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Audrey Forbes

AWARD

BLACK

Senior Vice President, Member Experience

Education: Master of Public Administration, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Bachelor of Administrative Studies, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Certified Employee Benefits Specialist, Dalhousie University & the IFEBP Company Name: OPTrust Industry: Financial Services (Pensions and retirement services) Company CEO: Peter Lindley Company Headquarters Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Number of Employees: 350 Words you live by: Tentanda Via (The way must be tried.) –motto, York University; Do what you can’t—the obstacle leads the way. Who is your personal hero? Zanana Akande, a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario What book are you reading? The Intangibles of Leadership by Richard Davis, PhD What was your first job: Electrical technician at a telephone company Favorite charity: Canadian Diabetes Association Interests: Hiking, volunteering, reading, and dancing Family: 3 daughters and a husband of 32 years

It’s Time to Unmask Within our fishbowl (social media driven) society and the competitive business environments we operate in, 99.9 percent of us show up to work every day, wearing masks. But what might surprise you is that I’m not referring to the creative and sometimes funny protective masks we should all be wearing to keep ourselves safe from COVID-19. I am instead referring to the protective facade we unintentionally or intentionally wear each day to cover up the psychological and emotional scrapes and bruises—or even gashes—we sustain throughout our lives. In my mind, one of the most powerful ways to support the next generation of Black business leaders is for seasoned leaders to remove these figurative masks, acknowledge and talk about our fears and failures, and deeply own and share our experiences. Along my own precarious yet rewarding journey to becoming

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an executive, I recall reading Jack Welch’s book, Jack, Straight from the Gut, and being struck by how honest and open he was about his humanness, his insecurities, and his setbacks. I remember being in my mid-thirties and pleasantly surprised by this modern-day portrayal of the sometimes messy sojourn of a man as accomplished, as powerful, and as controversial as the chairman of General Electric himself—Neutron Jack. True, I’ve been very moved by others within the annals of history (Blacks and others; controversial and not), but this was for me a great unmasking, and I was inspired. As an immigrant to North America, a woman, and a Black person, I’ve had my own share of challenges, insecurities, and awkwardness to carry around. Most young Black leaders are already driven, well-educated, and skilled in their various fields of endeavor, so for me, one of the most powerful

ways to help is to unmask and provide psychological support, spiritual energy, reassurances, and a caring community. I want to tell young leaders they’re not alone if they have to battle early-stage feelings of insecurity, but they must acknowledge and address them. I want to tell them that it’s all right if they do not yet have the wisdom that seems to come so easily for people with more life experiences, but they must not walk away from their aspirations. For most seasoned racialized leaders, its only after years of feeling “less-than” or like we’re the only ones in the room that don’t get it or like others are smarter than us because golden words roll effortlessly off their tongues, that we find out the truth. Deep down, most humans struggle with the same insecurities. We all have flaws and kinked armors, and if we push hard enough, we eventually overpower them.

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55


BLACK

2020

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Tammy Tumbling

Education: Master’s degree, public administration and Bachelor’s degree, business administration, California State University, Dominguez Hills Company Name: The Orange County Community Foundation Industry: Nonprofit Company CEO: Shelley Hoss Company Headquarters Location: Newport Beach, California Number of Employees: 27 Your Location (if different from above): Cerritos, California Words you live by: Let’s get to work! Who is your personal hero? My personal heroine was my mother, Edwina Tumbling. Although she only had an 11th grade education and could offer her five children only a modest upbringing, she filled our hearts and home with kindness, faith, and hope. She is the first person to provide me (and so many others) with unconditional love, educational aspirations, and a vision of a better future. What was your first job: Braiding cornrows while in elementary school Family: The love of family is at the core of who I am personally and professionally. I have four brothers and sisters, and four children, whom I love dearly.

We Need to Roll Up Our Sleeves and Get to Work Throughout my career, I have operated by the motto: “People first. The plan, second.” I have witnessed time and time again that if you focus on people and provide strong mentorship, success will follow. If you empower your team members, they will accomplish their goals. I have benefited from this kind of professional and personal guidance throughout my life and now strive to embody that as I support my colleagues and advance positive change in our community. I was born in Los Angeles and raised in Compton, California. Growing up in the inner city, the cards were stacked against my siblings and me. Upon the sudden passing of my mother when I was 19 years old, I carried on with providing love and support to my siblings, and later my own immediate family, by working hard to be a good provider and role model. I was also fortunate to find allies and mentors who supported me professionally and personally. They rallied around me and gave me the tools I needed to 56

Fall 2020

pursue multiple degrees, and later, to progress in my career. Mentors were especially important as I transitioned from my early roles as an individual contributor to become a C-suite executive. I began my career in fundraising roles at United Way of Greater Los Angeles and then, at the Music Center of Greater Los Angeles, where I raised more than $3 million for the organization’s education division and operating companies. In these positions, and during my 21 years of service at Southern California Edison, I sought out leaders who exemplified the traits that were most important to me—those who had strong work ethics, empowered their employees, and exhibited great compassion for others. Now, as executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), those are the same traits I strive to demonstrate and instill within my teams. They are also how I approach community leadership. My work ethic and

focus on the well-being of others extends to helping improve the lives of others through philanthropy and community service. I am proud to have founded the African American Alliance Fund at OCCF to support programs designed to improve outcomes in the areas of education, health, human services, economic development, and civic engagement. This Fund is an opportunity to build bridges—to give people a place to join hands and address racial inequities. Because I have witnessed firsthand the power of allies, I want to encourage individuals from different backgrounds and socio-economic statuses to get involved. Ultimately, it is my hope that other funds will be established at OCCF down the road to address issues related to other diverse groups. Right now, our communities and our world need the same traits that make a great leader in the workplace. We need compassion. We need focus and commitment. We need to all roll up our sleeves and get to work. And that’s what I plan to keep doing.


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Dara M. Kendall Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Global Innovation and Brand, Fabric and Home Care

Education: JD, North Carolina Central University School of Law; MS, engineering (ChE) and BS, chemical engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Company Name: The Procter & Gamble Company Industry: Consumer Goods Company CEO: David S. Taylor Company Headquarters Location: Cincinnati, Ohio Number of Employees: 97,000 Words you live by: You will never regret doing the things you fear. Victory always rests on the other side. Who is your personal hero? Dr. Karen D. King was my best friend; she accomplished so much in such a short life. What book are you reading? The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein What was your first job? Working as an OIC intern at the University of the DC Library Favorite charity: Delta Research and Educational Foundation Interests: International travel, collecting black art and stamps, and shopping Family: I am swinkin’ (Single with no kids) and am the eldest of 3 children.

We Are All People First When I look back on my career, one of the most essential traits contributing to my success at P&G as a legal leader has been having a high emotional quotient (EQ), which I let guide me daily. My faith teaches me to be a servant leader, and this belief drives my understanding of what I can do to help those around me, particularly in the case of collaborating or coaching in the legal context. Caring about people first and the job to be done second buys credibility with my team in such a way that people do their best because they know their interests are viewed as a major priority, on par with those of the businesses we serve. Putting people first allows employees to learn, grow, and ultimately, to shine. When they shine, our jobs get done and the needs of the business are not just met but exceeded.

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As a leader, particularly as a black female leader, I think it is important for my team to see that I care for them, their well-being, and their growth as attorneys. I recognize that I may be the only black leader they encounter in their careers, and I must make that impactful for them. It is my intention to build relationships while serving in the trenches with my team, such that they feel supported, understood, stretched, and enlightened. The enlightenment relates not only to the legal work, but also to why diversity matters in the legal field and in their own lives. This intentional work style was a natural fit when I took an assignment in China where “guanxi” (or the relationship) is highly valued; little did I know that my modus operandi was well placed there. Taking time to understand my team members as

individuals—their respective needs and desires, and what opportunities for improvement they observed in the work to be done—helped us step up our level of support to the business. Having a high EQ allowed me to humbly recognize my team’s expertise in China operations and legal principles, and defer to them in most instances and add value where I could. This same scenario has played out in each of my assignments in one way or another. Even in my current role, I am learning new areas of law and constantly calling on my team for input and advice. Operating with a good EQ allows a leader to establish connections which propel the entire team to a higher level of performance. In the end, we’re all people first and employees second and we cannot forget that.

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BLACK

2020

Head of Corporate Advocacy Programs

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Company Name: S&P Global Industry: Ratings, commodities, data analytics, technology Company CEO: Douglas L. Peterson Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 23,000 globally Words you live by: Everything happens in its time. Who is your personal hero? Maya Angelou What book are you reading? Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr. What was your first job? McDonald’s in High School Favorite charity: Include NYC Interests: Sewing, DIY Projects, and writing

Mentoring and the Next Generation I was raised in South Philadelphia during a time when access to information was not as extensive as it today and my world was mostly limited to my immediate surroundings. After extremely humble beginnings, I have had many educational and career opportunities for which I am grateful. Navigating society and corporate environments has not always been an intuitive process, and with odds stacked against me, support from others has been crucial in my development. The importance of having mentors became very apparent to me while pursuing my undergraduate studies. In unfamiliar territory, I quickly found a community at Howard University where members of the staff and faculty went above and beyond, serving double duty by encouraging me to always seek excellence and maintain accountability for my actions. My mentors at Howard provided targeted

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guidance and encouragement, which boosted my confidence level, creating a foundation that empowered me to work hard and aim for more, while remaining authentic. I have often been the only or one of few Black employees in the room in the corporate environment. Conscious and unconscious bias has, at times, limited my ability to access a “community” accessible to others. This often resulted in my missing out on insider knowledge, potential opportunities, and fair consideration. However, informal and formal mentors have been extremely instrumental in my journey, particularly when I was trying to navigate and conquer unfamiliar and sometimes unwelcoming environments. Many have also supported me through career changes and tough decisions. Over the years, mentors have assisted with core-skills building, career counseling, networking, and spiritual guidance. In my experience, mentors

have come in all forms and many times did not look like me. They have filled important roles as teachers, bridge builders, cheerleaders, spot checkers, and even friends. Unfortunately, having the opportunity to reach out to a trusted advisor is often something not available to people of color due to limited networks. The lack of networks, coupled with systemic social and economic issues that have plagued the Black community results in limited employment and development opportunities. As a current participant in the CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellowship, and in my role as a Corporate Advocate, I am aiming to help find solutions that will help rectify longstanding employment, development, and pay disparities impacting the Black community. Personally, I believe mentoring is one of many ways to directly impact these disparities, and I believe there’s a role everyone can play in supporting the next generation of leaders.

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Cheryl Lynn Baxter


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Mona-Lisa Chandler Administrative Professional

Education: Diploma, Beach Channel High School Company Name: S&P Global Industry: Ratings, Commodities, Data Analytics, Technology Company CEO: Douglas L. Peterson Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 23,000 globally Who is your personal hero? My personal hero is my mother What book are you reading? Becoming by Michelle Obama What was your first job: My first job was at the law firm of Eisner & Lubin Favorite charity: Grace Institute; World Central Kitchen Interests: Reading, dancing, photography, and volunteering Family: Married 32 years to Steven; sons: Xavier, 26, and Zane-Charles, 20

It Truly Takes a Village COVID-19 has negatively impacted the black, brown, and Native American communities at a very high rate. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we give back and provide support. Supporting your community can be done in several ways. You can serve on a community board, volunteer in a school, or serve in a food pantry or at an afterschool program. I have chosen to give back by utilizing S&P Global’s signature employee volunteer program, leveraging our core capabilities to address the needs of society. These efforts promote sustainability; elevate people through science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills; and support women entrepreneurs. One project which helped to elevate people was hosting A Day with Grace with the women from

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Grace Institute. The programming consisted of a panel of women leaders at S&P; a workshop to help attendees with their resumes, and LinkedIn profiles; and providing a professional headshot they could use. This opportunity provided the women with insights into a corporate setting and the confidence to help them reach their potential. Volunteering as a mentor in the Read Ahead program has been a pleasure. Read Ahead is a reading-based mentoring program that develops essential social-emotional skills for academic and lifelong success. Along with a co-mentor, I’ve had the opportunity to help a student enjoy the world of books and reading. Education is important and I pursued and was elected to serve on the Citywide Council on High Schools, Queens High School Presidents Council, and

held several positions on PTA boards from elementary through high school level. At S&P Global, I’ve been able to contribute to several groups, including BOLD (Black Organization for Leadership and Development), WINS (Women’s Initiative for Networking and Success), and the APB (Administrative Professionals Board). Each of these groups has been instrumental in my professional growth and development. I currently serve as co-president of BOLD, and I am proud to work at an organization which puts their people first. These employee resource groups exist to elevate, enhance, and provide leadership opportunities. I encourage everyone to find out how they can give back and serve our communities. It truly takes a village.

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BLACK

2020

Vice President & Chief Security Officer

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Cal Mathis

Education: Master’s & Bachelor’s degrees, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Graduate, FBI National Academy 154th session; Certificates in Security Leadership, The Wharton School, UPenn and Georgetown University Company Name: S&P Global Industry: Ratings, commodities, data analytics, technology Company CEO: Douglas L. Peterson Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 23,000 globally Words you live by: Focus on that which is most important. Who is your personal hero? Dr. John Glover, the first Black chief security officer of a major company What book are you reading? Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson What was your first job? Guard at a maximum security prison Favorite charity: Citizens Committee for Children NYC and Get Out & Stay Out NYC Interests: Family time, international affairs, traveling, and reading Family: Married 32 years to Arlette; son Caliph (32); and daughters Ashley (30) and Gabrielle (26)

Always Doing My Best My work at S&P Global has a singular focus: protect that which is most important—my colleagues around the world who support the markets and our customers. Business objectives are often difficult to achieve in high-threat environments, whether these are natural disasters, terrorism, kidnapping, violence, disease, or other risks. My job is to scan the horizon for these events, develop an action plan to avoid or minimize impact, and ensure the ability to respond effectively. Whenever the company is successful in pursuing opportunities in challenging environments, it’s rewarding to know that Global Security provided some level of support. The career path leading to my current role has been filled with many accomplishments and rewarding experiences. My first job, while in college, was working as a guard at a maximum-security prison. This led to a 20+-year career as a policeman in New York City. Eventually, I was appointed to lead the New York City Sheriff’s Office. Later, I joined S&P Global’s security team. 60

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Mentoring has been an important aspect of my career and individual development. The mentors I’ve learned from taught me that success is best measured by earning a reputation of fulfilling the tasks required for your position, and performing these to the best of your ability. This often leads to greater leadership opportunities in more challenging roles. These are the lessons I share with my mentees at S&P Global, and at Big Brothers Big Sisters and Get Out & Stay Out NYC. It’s rewarding to work at a company that understands corporate responsibility and the importance of giving back. S&P Global partners with community organizations, provides support to employees who volunteer their time, and funds programs such as STEM education, youth reading, women-owned businesses, student internships, and other important causes. The company also encourages employees to engage in courageous conversations about relevant social justice topics such as race and racial disparities in the United States and abroad, unfair

treatment of minorities, police brutality, and micro-aggressions. The effects of COVID-19 are unprecedented within the last 100 years. The pandemic has significantly affected humanity, with virtually everyone experiencing some impact. Globally, communities of color and the underprivileged are faced with compounded challenges, such as poverty, higher levels of unemployment, inadequate health care, educational inequities, and discriminatory policies. Even worse, additional life-threatening risks, including starvation, water scarcity, food insecurity, and conflict in many parts of the world, cause further harm. My inspiration comes from several sources, especially from my incredibly wonderful and supportive wife and family. I also get inspiration from my phenomenally talented team, who are among the finest security professionals in the world. Finally, I find inspiration in knowing that the company’s senior leadership and my 23,000 colleagues in 37 countries have entrusted me with ensuring their safety and security.


2020

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Richard Rodney Senior Director, Head of Content Systems Development

Education: Bachelor’s degree, computer & systems engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Company Name: S&P Global Industry: Ratings, Commodities, Data Analytics, Technology Company CEO: Douglas L. Peterson Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 23,000 globally Words you live by: The biggest room is the room for improvement. Team work makes the dream work Together Everyone Achieves More What book are you reading? Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek What was your first job: Database Engineer @ S&P Global. This is my first company as a working adult. Favorite charity: Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) Interests: Spinning, traveling, listening to books, mentoring, and gardening Family: Married 4 Years; no kids

Necessary Sacrifice As we look back at the tracks that we have traveled to pave the path for our success, there are numerous examples of luck and hard work, but most important, the people who assisted us. It is rare to hear that someone who accomplished something did so by him or herself. Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, attributes his success to the upbringing his parents provided. LeBron James had countless team members and coaches in high school who played a role in his accomplishments. As we look back on our careers, it’s imperative that we pay it forward by being beacons of light for those around us. Supporting the next generation of Black business leaders does not start after we have hired them; it starts at the grassroots, back to where they build their foundation. Often we hear companies complain that they aren’t able to find enough Black leaders. However, I think one of their failures is the lack of investment in the pipeline, thus they

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do not have enough candidates to draw from in a competitive technology landscape. There is a necessary sacrifice that’s needed, and it starts by investing in programs that give the younger generation exposure to what’s possible. I live this by volunteering at institutions that create an environment where our youth are exposed to diverse experiences that they wouldn’t have normally gotten in the classroom. At the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), I participate in career discussion panels, and communication and writing workshops. This allows the students to interact with leaders who look like them, and opens their eyes to the plethora of career options available. Another example is my work with the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) robotics competition in New York City, where I volunteer as a Lead Team Queuer. Here, students from inner-city schools build 120-pound

robots over six weeks and compete against other schools. The program allows us to lend support by creating a space for students to express their creativity and learn the importance of teamwork. The activities mentioned above wouldn’t have been possible without great organizations like S&P Global. Through their various corporate responsibilities initiatives, the company sponsors FIRST robotics teams at schools in NYC and Denver. But most important, S&P Global allows its employees to volunteer their time, using GIVE BACK DAYS. When all is said and done, the most important component in making a difference is time. Time allows us to create impactful experiences for our successors. If organizations provide time to help define, build, grow, and support the grassroots programs and initiatives that our young Black youth participate in, we will see an abundance of Black leaders ready to lead around the world.

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BLACK LEADERS

Partner

Worth Watching

Education: JD, Harvard Law School; BA, Stanford University Company Name: Sanford Heisler Sharp Industry: Law Company CEO: David Sanford Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 100 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: “To thine own self be true.” William Shakespeare (Hamlet) Who is your personal hero? Bryan Stevenson What book are you reading? Florida by Lauren Groff What was your first job? Cashier at Publix Supermarket Favorite charity: The National Bail Out Collective Interests: Reading, cooking, Peloton, education policy, and podcasts Family: Husband, Emanuel Ryan, and son, Nahom

Unconscious Bias Is Still Bias As an attorney representing employees who have been subjected to discrimination, unfortunately, I still see cases where employers express openly biased opinions of women or minorities. Many of my clients have never had someone explicitly express discriminatory animus towards them. Instead, they report being denied opportunities given to their similarly situated colleagues or being judged by harsher standards. For example, my clients often share being passed over for informal career enhancing experiences, such as sitting in on an important client meeting or deposition. The bias they experience often manifests in subtle but important ways that can have a significant impact on their career advancement. Over time, the denial of access to informal mentoring and career experiences can mean the difference between a big promotion and being shown the exit door. The bias may be “unconscious” but that hardly matters to an employee if the result is the same as more inten-

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tional discrimination. In many ways, unconscious (or implicit) bias is harder to address in the workplace because it requires employers to be more aggressive in proactively detecting and eliminating differential treatment. We all know we are not supposed to treat people differently based on their race or gender—few, if any, managers would admit to making decisions favoring employees of one race because they believe employees of other races are not as competent. Employers can easily train managers not to express biased opinions when making human resource decisions. But a recent study of supervisor evaluations of black and white law firm associates demonstrates the challenge implicit bias presents. A 2017 Nextions study found that supervisors judged black associates’ writing more harshly than white associates’ writing, even when given identical memos to evaluate. Of course, none of the supervisor evaluations stated they were treating the black associate differently, but the

study shows that the supervisors may have allowed their negative biases about African Americans to affect their judgment in deciding whether an associate’s performance met firm standards. Traditional antidiscrimination training may not go far enough in addressing this situation. Employers must have systems in place to monitor data on human resources decisions and, where disparities are showing up for certain groups, they must encourage difficult conversations to expose and address any implicit biases that are affecting those groups. Employers are more open now than ever to discussing unconscious bias, particularly because of the growing body of research that validates its existence. But it is not enough to educate managers and employees on the existence of implicit bias, employers must actively address the ways implicit bias can have a negative impact in the workplace.

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Saba Bireda


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Vincent McKnight Managing Partner (D.C office); Co-Chair, Whistleblower Practice

Education: JD, University of Pennsylvania School of Law; BA, Brown University Company Name: Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: David Sanford, Chairman Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 100 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: Life is full of second chances. Who is your personal hero? My father, Herbert V. McKnight, MD What book are you reading? The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson What was your first job: Day camp counselor, Sundial Program, D.C. Dept. of Recreation Favorite charity: NAACP Legal Defense Fund Interests: Jass and guitar Family: Married to EEOC Administrative Judge Cynthia McKnight; three sons: John, Devin & Connor

My advice to young professionals is this: Seek out a mentor— you have much to learn.

A Good Mentor Can Make All the Difference After law school, I was fortunate to work as a law clerk to the Honorable William C. Pryor on both the D.C. Superior Court and on the D.C. Court of Appeals. He reignited my passion for the law and, by his example, showed me how to

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conduct myself as a black professional in a predominantly white profession. He was the consummate professional, always prepared. He treated everyone with respect and dignity. At the same time, he knew how to

firmly take a stand. Throughout my career, he has always been there for me. I am fortunate that he came into my life. My advice to young professionals is this: Seek out a mentor— you have much to learn.

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Director

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: JD, Georgetown University Law Center; PhD, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, Cornell University; BS, biology, Haverford College Company Name: Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Industry: Law Company CEO: Michael B. Ray (Managing Director) Company Headquarters Location: Washington, DC Number of Employees: 375 Words you live by: Live without regret. Who is your personal hero? My grandmother—a wise, kind, loving woman What book are you reading? Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing What was your first job? Working in my college’s cafeteria Favorite charity: American Red Cross Interests: Boating Family: Large extended family, fiancé, and two future stepchildren

We Don’t Succeed Alone As the child of a police officer and a factory worker, I never would have guessed that I would obtain a PhD from an Ivy League university and become a patent attorney, equity partner, and member of a law firm’s executive committee. It’s not that I doubted I would become a professional (I wanted to become a “real doctor,” as my mother called it), but I had no clue about the field of patent law. My interest in patent law was piqued when my PhD advisor sought to patent the protein I studied for my dissertation. Then, a friend’s father told me about technical specialist jobs in law firms, and another friend’s mother made an introduction that helped me land such a job. I suspect I would not be where I am today

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without those individuals opening my eyes and opening doors for me. But initial opportunities, and even hard work, do not ensure success in law; statistics in law firms show that attrition rates for women and persons of color far outpace those for men and white people. In the early years of my career, Paul Clark, a white, male partner with whom I worked, invested time not only in giving me candid feedback on my work product, but also in getting to know me personally, building a trusting relationship, and giving me forthright career advice. Were it not for his efforts, my career may well have gone off track in its early stages. Upon moving to my current firm, I was fortunate enough to work closely with Jorge

Goldstein, another white man who gave me candid feedback and advice. I seek his guidance to this day. He also gave me opportunities and support, not only on client matters, but also in navigating the dynamics of a law firm. Again, individuals had a significant, positive impact on my career. Of course, many other people contributed to my professional development over the years—in some instances because they motivated me not to become like them. But the individuals to whom I refer above stand out for their selfless support of me personally and professionally. They also exemplify to credo of paying it forward, which I have done in my career for both women and men of various backgrounds.

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Eldora L. Ellison, PhD


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Inajo Davis Chappell Partner; Group Leader of the Nonprofit Practice Group; Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Education: JD, Columbia Law School; BA, Yale University Company Name: Ulmer & Berne LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Scott P. Kadish, Managing Partner Company Headquarters Location: Cleveland, Ohio Number of Employees: 305 Words you live by: “To whom much is given, much is required” –Luke 12:48; and Authenticity Who is your personal hero? My maternal grandmother What book are you reading? Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden What was your first job? Youth Reporter, WEWS, Channel 5, Cleveland (Scripps) Favorite charity: Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio Interests: Piano playing, swimming, and scuba diving Family: John R. Chappell (Husband)

This Is a Call to Action What an honor to be selected as a Black Leader Worth Watching and to have the opportunity to write this essay. To be visible to the watchful eye carries with it the responsibility of engaging in conduct worthy of note and saying something worth listening to. I am spirit-led and believe that every honor, accolade, and award is a blessing from the God I serve. So what would a watchful God want me to say? First, it is not about me and never has been. It is about the individuals I mentor, the volunteer work I do to improve the lives of others, and the commitment I have to live my life in a way that might inspire others to be their best selves and to change the world.

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My service as an elections official at my local board of elections over the past 13 years (including three prior presidential election cycles) has taught me some invaluable lessons — that voter suppression, racism, sexism, misogyny, and otherism are rampant. It is troubling that the very things that run counter to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are being embraced and displayed at the highest levels of leadership in our country. It is sad and shameful. It is deeply concerning that the world we are living in is moving in the wrong direction in a way that adversely impacts people of color and all of those who value justice, fairness, and truth. We are witnessing the resurgence of white

supremacists, violent militias, and other extremist groups, who have stepped forward boldly to promote intolerance and hatred. But, we cannot stand by and just watch. We need some truth-telling and bold action to effect a course correction. I am committed to working to change the division, polarization, and hate we are witnessing in our country. This is a call to action. We all must renew our commitment to advancing the goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion; achieving fundamental fairness; and making racial and social justice a reality in our world. I look forward to engaging with others to contribute time, talent, and treasure toward the cause. Watch us change the world!

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BLACK LEADERS

Associate Professor, Trauma and Acute Care Surgery

Worth Watching

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Education: MD, University of South Florida College of Medicine; BS, aeronautical engineering, United States Air Force Academy Company Name: University of Chicago Medicine Industry: Hospital Company CEO: Thomas Jackiewicz Company Headquarters Location: Chicago, Illinois

COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity for us to radically reshape our society so that we all can be safe and healthy within our communities.

Anyone Can Make a Difference After I delivered the news of her son’s death from multiple gunshot winds, I felt uneasy as the mother fell into my arms crying. Not because of her overwhelming public display of sorrow. I’d been there many times before. It was the disregard for social distancing during the era of COVID-19. Ordinarily, I would not give it a second thought, because learning of the death of a loved one requires human touch to minimize the trauma. But I was concerned that I, dressed head to toe in personal protective equipment, might infect her—

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or vice versa. That singular moment encapsulated so much about what ignites my professional passion. It is about service. As a military veteran, and now a frontline healthcare worker, my commitment to service infused my professional life. Choosing to pursue purpose over position motivates me to continue the work I do during the pandemic because COVID-19 has pulled back the curtain on many inequities that were hiding in plain sight. Despite the challenges manifesting across so many sectors

in society, I feel fortunate that I can play a positive role in helping our communities. I can do this not just as a doctor, but also as an expert commentator and advocate for social equity. COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity for us to radically reshape our society so that we all can be safe and healthy within our communities. Although I am thankful for this recognition, I know I am only one of many who can serve as an agent of change. Even small acts of service can have a tremendous impact. Anyone can make a difference, and that person can be you.

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Brian Williams, MD, FACS


2020

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Candace L. Strother Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Education: Bachelor of Science, business administration (concentration, marketing, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Company Name: Vortex Companies Industry: Trenchless Infrastructure Company CEO: Michael Vellano Company Headquarters Location: Houston, Texas Number of Employees: 360 Words you live by: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” –Martin Luther King Jr.; Self-love is the belief that we are worthy, self-care is the action we take to prioritize that belief. –Unknown Who is your personal hero? God and my mother What book are you reading? The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle What was your first job? Mortgage Loan Officer for Wells Fargo Favorite charity: QueenLyfe Inc. and The Star of Hope Mission (Houston, Texas) Interests: International travel, attending live music concerts, mentoring middle school students, and hiking in Arizona and Colorado. Family: Single, no children; just 4 energetic nephews that I love spending time with.

Building Equity by Embracing Diversity What Ignites My Professional Passion Building community and equitable treatment for humanity is what ignites my professional passion. I have been in spaces where I did not feel seen or heard, which stifled my creativity and drive to unleash my full potential. I personally understand how a sense of belonging is essential to human flourishing. We have an opportunity to build equity by embracing diversity. The current state of civil unrest reminds us all that there is more work to be done. I understand that diversity conjures up different meanings for different people. As the director of diversity & inclusion for Vortex Companies, my vision is to restore communities through the diversity of our people, meaningful partnerships, and the innovative solutions we provide. Our CEO, Michael Vellano, a committed www.diversityjournal.com

champion of transformation, along with a highly engaged diversity committee, creates an opportunity for us to disrupt the status quo in an industry that is open, but has been slow to change. Learning to overcome moments of adversity led to meaningful pathways. Prior to accepting the position, I founded QueenLyfe, a nonprofit organization that promotes health and wellness, financial responsibility and mentorship for women of all ages through social-emotional programming. The L.Y.F.E. acronym, stands for Love Yourself First Everyday. It affirms the importance of self-love and self-confidence. Through QueenLyfe, thousands of young women have been empowered to find comfort in their identity, build meaningful connections, and cultivate a powerful foundation for success.

The One Thing I Hope to See Change One thing I would love to see change in the world is that more of us would learn how to first love ourselves. The way we treat others is a reflection on how we feel about ourselves. The way we view ourselves has a huge impact on our ability to influence change and make a positive impact in the communities where we live, work, and serve. The One Trait I Consider Essential to My Success One trait I consider essential to my success is allowing myself to be fully human and, as a diversity leader, to create safe spaces for others to do the same. Not only does it make for a better workplace, it will lead to a better world. People want to feel included and connected to something meaningful. Many people feel voiceless and isolated in the workplace because a sense of community is missing. www.womenworthwatching.com

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Partner and Co-Chair, Anti-Discrimination Practice

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Danielle Conley

Education: JD cum laude, Howard University School of Law; BA, English and African Diaspora studies, Tulane University; Clerkship, The Hon. Rosemary M. Collyer, US District Court for the District of Columbia Company Name: Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Susan Murley and Robert Novick, Co-Managing Partners Company Headquarters Location: Washington, DC and Boston Massachusetts Number of Employees: 2,030 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: “Wherever you are, be all there.” Jim Elliot Who is your personal hero? My grandfather What book are you reading? Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson What was your first job? Chuck E. Cheese Favorite charity: Martha’s Table Interests: Wine, traveling, baking with my daughters, and musicals Family: Aaron (husband), Harper (daughter, 9), and Marley (daughter, 6)

I Thrive on Solving the Tough Problems As simple or trite as it may sound, I love solving tough problems. I thrive when I’m helping my clients navigate crises and other complicated, high-risk problems that seem to have no clear or perfect solutions. As one of my colleagues recently told me, “Many people see fires and run from them; you see a fire and run toward it.” My desire to work on difficult, significant issues is something that has remained constant during my time in both private practice and the government (I served as associate deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice at the end of the Obama Administration). While at DOJ, I worked on a variety of civil rights policy and enforcement matters, including issues related to policing, sexual misconduct on campus, LGBTQ rights, and criminal justice reform. Some of my favorite and most memorable moments at the Department involved sitting around a table with smart

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and thoughtful people, and turning over a really hard problem that had to be addressed carefully but quickly. Knowing that the decisions we made would impact people’s lives in a very real and meaningful way made the pressure to get it right even greater. Similarly, at WilmerHale, I regularly work with companies and universities facing high-profile and reputation-threatening challenges—from reported incidents of sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination to inquiries and enforcement actions brought by the Department of Justice and other federal regulators. One of my strengths is my ability to help my clients quickly develop a strategy to attack the problem and my willingness to work extremely hard to execute that strategy. The legal profession can be incredibly demanding, and at times, all consuming. And while I do work hard to find balance, I have

always loved the fast-paced and high-pressure nature of the legal jobs I’ve held. My 9-year old daughter, Harper, recently said to me, “Mom, I hope that when I get older, I’ll love my job as much as you love yours.” I, like many other working parents, often beat myself up because I miss a soccer game, a play, or a school field trip. I have never been a room parent, regularly forget when it’s “dress like a book character” or some other theme day at school, always bring things that don’t require cooking to potlucks (napkins and wine are my go-tos), and have dialed into more parent/teacher conferences than I can count (thank God for my incredibly supportive and patient spouse). But knowing that I am setting an example for my daughters of what it means to have a career that you take pride in and that brings you joy makes it all worth it.


2021 LATINO LEADERS Worth Watching Awards TM

NOMINATION DEADLINE: December 18, 2020

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For more than two decades Profiles in Diversity Journal has showcased and honored individuals who have blazed new trails, led the way, mentored others, advanced diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the community, and excelled in their chosen fields. In the upcoming winter issue of the magazine, PDJ will recognize Latino Leaders with our first ever Latino Leaders Worth Watching Awards.

Profiles in Diversity Journal is proud to honor these individuals who contribute to the success of your organization. We invite you to join us in this endeavor by nominating a member of your team who, through their advocacy, perseverance, legacy, or professional achievements, has addressed racism and bias to become a Latino Leader Worth Watching. Your nomination of one or multiple Latino Leaders Worth Watching affords you an important opportunity to recognize and showcase the talents, ambition, and achievements of these exceptional people, while also voicing your support of a truly diverse and inclusive workplace.

Go to www.diversityjournal.com to nominate today!

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Innovations in Diversity Awards Innovation happens when aspiration and inspiration meet commitment and hard work, and turn powerful ideas into exciting realities. Innovations in diversity and inclusion show all of us new possibilities that can transform cultural and social landscapes across the globe. Innovative thinking invites us, as individuals and organizations, to embrace a new and better future. Profiles in Diversity Journal is proud to share this year’s ambitious—and sometimes revolutionary—innovations in diversity from 19 of the world’s leading companies. They are programs and initiatives that are taking diversity and inclusion to a new level. Please explore and enjoy the creative ideas on the following pages. One of these exceptional and exciting innovations in diversity may be your company’s best next step.

Profiles in Diversity Journal’s

Top Ten Innovations in Diversity for 2020 (in alphabetical order)

1. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): Signing Up for Belonging Introduced: 2020

In brief: AMD implemented an ERG (Employee Resource Group) Sign Up feature within AMD’s New Hire Onboarding platform. New hires may view and select ERGs they would like to join. ERG site leads serve as cultural ambassadors, welcoming the new hire, communicating AMD’s commitment to belonging, and inviting them to attend an event. This unique but simple process has been very successful in allowing candidates to feel attached to AMD before they walk in the door. More than 1,400 new employees have signed up to learn more about ERGs since the launch. New employees are positively impacted by this program, as they connect with current employees before their start date and have a head start on engaging with AMD.

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Innovations in Diversity Awards

2. CVS Health: Community-Based COVID-19 Testing Introduced: 2020

In brief: In early April, CVS Health formed a task force to determine how the company could be most impactful and expand its reach in the communities it serves. Operations, legal and government affairs, strategic diversity management, community relations, and corporate communications worked collaboratively to identify and break down barriers that might keep those who need it most from receiving COVID-19 testing and public information. The company has particularly focused on reaching Black people and other people of color who may not otherwise have access to testing. There are now more than 4,000 CVS Pharmacy locations in 33 states and the District of Columbia, offering no-cost self-swab testing. CVS Health also operates 11 free, community-based testing sites and has tested more than 100,000 people. Results are provided on the spot and testing is available to patients at no cost.

3. Dechert LLP: Building Understanding: A comprehensive program to deepen our understanding of racism, anti-racist practices and ally-ship Introduced: 2020

In brief: In response to Black Lives Matter, Dechert implemented a comprehensive employee program to deepen our understanding of racism, anti-racist practices, and ally-ship. Resources and programs include the following: Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit: Available on the firm’s intranet, it offers hundreds of resources, including movies, articles, podcasts, book recommendations, and access to training and volunteer opportunities. Juneteenth—A Day to Reflect and Recharge: U.S. operations close early, giving U.S.based employees a half day of leave and encouraging all employees to reflect and learn. Virtual Forums for Black Employees: These provide an opportunity for people to share how they are feeling, listen to each other, and offer support in a safe space. Stand Against Racism Town Hall and Speaker Series: Addresses recent events related to racism and social justice in the United States and around the world. People are feeling supported and listened to, and difficult conversations are being had.

4. Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate and Clark | Weitz | Clarkson: New Terminal Project at Kansas City International Airport Introduced: 2018

In brief: When Edgemoor was selected to build the new $1.5 billion airport terminal at Kansas City International Airport, it promised the project would reach historic and transformative levels of diversity, spurring economic growth for minority and women-owned businesses. Edgemoor and its design-builder, Clark|Weitz|Clarkson (CWC), have added more than 100 MBE and WBE partners to the New Terminal project roster since the start of procurement in 2018 and awarded more than $240 million in contracts to these firms of the $950 million of subcontracted work on the project. Edgemoor also rolled out programs to remove barriers that typically impact small, disadvantaged, minority, and women-owned businesses, including A Pay Without Delay program to ensure firms are paid within 14 days for their work; Low-Interest Loan program to help M/WBE firms acquire equipment and working capital; KCI Supplier Support program, which allows M/WBE contractors to leverage CWC’s purchasing power to rent or buy equipment; and An executive MBA-style program for M/WBE, veteran-owned, and disadvantaged businesses, free of charge.

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5. Idaho National Laboratory: Embedding Inclusive Diversity into the Fabric of the Organization Introduced: 2017

In brief: In 2017, Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research, embarked on a new journey towards inclusive diversity, a fresh approach to inclusion grounded in psychological safety, treating everyone with dignity and respect, and creating a sense of belonging. The goal was to double the number of women and people of color, while strengthening INL’s success among military veterans and employees with disabilities. Since the program’s inception, INL’s Executive Leadership Team has grown to 23% people of color, 23% military veterans, and 12% people with disabilities. Women made up 35% of the executive team in fiscal year 2019. During this same timeframe, INL substantially reduced women attrition lab-wide by 53% by focusing on retention, psychological safety, and inclusive career development. To date, INL has saved $1.6M dollars by focusing on retention—$1.2M specifically, through retaining women and people of color.

6. Ingersoll Rand: Lean into Change: Cross-Cultural Conversations Introduced: 2020

In brief: After the merger of Gardner Denver and Ingersoll Rand’s Industrial Segment in March 2020, an Ingersoll Rand task force devised Lean into Change, a series of conversations to create a safe space for sharing experiences and forging meaningful connections across cultural boundaries. The purpose was for employees to experience the new company’s values, including a commitment to inclusion, belonging, respect, and equity. Lean into Change has yielded significant results. A post-session employee survey indicated two-thirds of participants strongly agreed it was a valuable investment of time and felt motivated to apply what they learned. One hundred percent either agreed or strongly agreed they gained fresh and invigorating perspectives. The company has since launched a facilitation guide, compiled a resource list to support discussion, and extended training to Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

7. Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP: Diverse Pipeline Outreach Program Introduced: 2020

In brief: The Nelson Mullins Diverse Pipeline Outreach program goes beyond simply recruiting diverse candidates for employment; it takes a holistic approach to preparing diverse undergraduates for successful careers in the field of law. The program uses a localized approach to increasing diversity in the legal profession by directly targeting communities Nelson Mullins serves. The Columbia, South Carolina-based firm is partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the Carolinas and Georgia to reach a wide range of undergraduates. Nelson Mullins’ team engages students on a personal level, providing them with curriculum guidance, skill set development, networking opportunities, attorney-led practice sessions, and one-on-one mentorship. Additionally, the program provides one paid internship per participating school. Although delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Diverse Pipeline Outreach program has been successfully launched at North Carolina Central University. It will place its first intern in the spring of 2021.

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Innovations in Diversity Awards

8. New York Life: Coming Together: Impact of COVID-19 Series Introduced: 2020

In brief: Recognizing the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has on diverse communities, New York Life leveraged an existing program—the Coming Together: Courageous Conversation Series—to respond to emerging needs. This new series of conversations, entitled the Impact of COVID-19, launched in April, just one month after the pandemic emerged in the United States. The inaugural session, Fear and Bias, addressed the prevalence of racism and xenophobia faced by the Asian community during the pandemic. The series supports all seven of the company’s Employee Resource Groups and raises awareness regarding the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on diverse communities. Employees can share their perspectives on challenging issues, hear from industry experts, gain a deeper understanding of what their colleagues may be facing, and learn coping mechanisms. Each Impact of COVID-19 session is supported by a comprehensive resource guide for employees.

9. Sephora: “We Belong to Something Beautiful”: Leading the Way in Beauty and Retail DEI Introduced: 2019

In brief: Last year, Sephora debuted its “We Belong to Something Beautiful” campaign to build the most inclusive beauty community in the industry. In June 2020, as widespread calls for racial justice took hold, major brands and companies were called upon to do more than voice their support for the movement— they were challenged to take meaningful action. Sephora did just that by making these industry-first commitments: Fifteen-percent Pledge–Sephora became the first major retailer to commit to dedicating 15% of its shelf space to Black-owned brands; Racial Bias in Retail Study–Sephora offered initial findings from its first-of-kind national Racial Bias in Retail Study; and Beauty Insider Points Donations–Sephora refreshed its Beauty Insider loyalty program, enabling members to turn their points into cash donations to the National Black Justice Coalition, NAACP, and other organizations supporting social causes. This effort has raised more than $1 million to date.

10. Ulmer & Berne LLP: “Stop the Hate” Program Series Introduced: 2020

In brief: Ulmer’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee launched its “Stop the Hate” series of programming to examine the rise of hate and bigotry in our society, and respond with meaningful discussions on how to fight acts of injustice, racism, and discrimination. The firm goal in creating the Stop the Hate series was to create dynamic programs that would inspire important conversations to help move this country forward. Attendees have benefited from learning about family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border, the recent Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, barriers to voting that have a disproportionate impact on racial minorities, social protest and First Amendment rights, and personal stories of overcoming and fighting racism and discrimination. Stop the Hate webinars have had firm-wide participation and been well-attended by clients and friends, and follow-up surveys validate the series. Membership on Ulmer’s DEI team has also increased.

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Innovations in Diversity Awards of Excellence (in alphabetical order)

11. BBC: 50:50 The Equality Project Introduced: 2017

In brief: 50:50 The Equality Project inspires and supports organizations around the globe to consistently create media content that fairly represents our world. This grassroots initiative is distinct from other diversity programs because it is voluntary and self-monitoring, and uses data to effect cultural change. Teams track and share their own performance. In turn, this helps drive motivation and keeps fair representation front of content-makers’ minds. 50:50 is the BBC’s biggest collective action on increasing women’s representation—involving 600 BBC teams across 35 countries. The team is now expanding the successful model to other diversities, starting with representation of race/ethnicity and disability.

12. HCA Healthcare: Virtually Flipping the Switch: Creating a Consciously Inclusive Environment through COVID-19 Introduced: 2020

In brief: A key element of HCA Healthcare’s 2020 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy was to educate its leaders and equip them with the practical knowledge, skills, and resources to intentionally create an environment where all colleagues feel an authentic sense of belonging. To do so, the company developed an interactive conscious inclusion (CI) training experience that explores different types of unconscious bias and strategies to promote inclusion. When in-person training paused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company pivoted to a new delivery model and reworked the CI training. The new virtual experience includes breakout rooms and other techniques for engagement, as well as post-course resources to engage participants in continued learning. As of October 20, 1,503 colleagues across the enterprise have participated in CI training.

13. Ingersoll Rand: Unity through Diversity: Purpose & Values Brought to Life Introduced: 2016

In brief: After the merger of Gardner Denver and Ingersoll Rand’s Industrial Segment in March 2020, the new company needed to integrate two cultures and unite 16,000 global employees. Purpose & Values Activation Sessions, small-group workshops, were created to forge connections between employees and the new company’s purpose and values, including fostering inspired teams and cultivating a sense of inclusion, belonging and respect. Internal leaders delivered the workshops (primarily virtually) and gained employee trust as a result. From the factory worker in Shanghai to the Illinois salesperson, employees were able to share their values, dig into the meaning behind the company’s purpose and values, and identify a personal activation plan. The stronger team culture that resulted helped spur innovation and ensure that Ingersoll Rand businesses achieved or surpassed quarterly goals despite the pandemic.

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The 2020

Innovations in Diversity Awards

14. Latham & Watkins LLP: Allies@Latham Introduced: 2020

In brief: The Allies@Latham initiative seeks to strengthen Latham’s culture of inclusion by leveraging allyship to support those from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in the legal industry at every stage in their careers. Latham launched the initiative, as the logical follow-on to a highly successful yearlong Inclusion Initiative, during which nearly 2,500 lawyers and staff—in every country in which Latham operates—took monthly actions to increase inclusion on their teams, in their offices, and at the firm as a whole. As part of the firm’s focus on allyship, in April, Latham stood as a staunch ally to Asian and Pacific Islander communities and signed the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Stand Against Hate statement denouncing anti-Asian attacks, xenophobia, and racism related to COVID-19; in June, Latham kicked off its More Than Words donation-matching campaign that raised $2 million for organizations committed to social justice; also in June, the firm launched two new speaker series to educate and equip colleagues to act as allies.

15. Liberty Mutual Insurance: Inclusion in Action Introduced: 2020

In brief: Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Diversity and Inclusion Team created Inclusion in Action, an eLearning video series that uses real-life scenarios to move employees from inclusion awareness to action and help them communicate effectively across differences. Based on nine skills for employee communication and collaboration, the interactive, self-paced video series features relatable workplace scenarios to teach employees inclusive communication skills that can cultivate better work relationships and produce positive outcomes between employees and with customers. The video series received a Telly Award and has been viewed by more than 35,000 Liberty Mutual employees, who rated the series 4.6 out of 5 stars. Two-thirds report that their managers use the video teachings. Now, the tools are becoming a part of the company’s organizational environment, including being integrated into its onboarding process.

16. New American Funding: New American Dream Introduced: 2016

In brief: New American Dream aims to help families realize that owning a home is an achievable goal. The committee that heads the initiative helps identify and remove roadblocks that can prevent homeownership, and New American Funding frequently hosts seminars to educate consumers about the mortgage process. As part of the initiative, the company continues to invest heavily in mortgage professionals who are equipped to work with Black borrowers. By working carefully and thoughtfully with Black borrowers, New American Funding is enabling the Black community to build wealth, stabilize communities, and create generational opportunities. While other lenders may overlook this important demographic, New American Funding is laser-focused on helping those in the Black community buy a home. With its focus on market outreach, New American Funding’s lending to Black customers is 45% above the industry average.

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The 2020

Innovations in Diversity Awards

17. Tata Consultancy Services: Million Women Mentors Introduced: 2015

In brief: In 2015, STEMconnector and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) joined hands with like-minded partners to create Million Women Mentors (MWM), a global movement to address gender inequalities through the unique vision of women supporting women in education, the workplace, and beyond. The goal was to connect 1 million girls and young women with mentors from the industry, both men and women, and to spark the interest and confidence in women and girls to pursue STEM careers and leadership opportunities in business, the public sector, or wherever their diverse opinions and experiences can provide value and enrichment. Since its inception, MWM has resulted in 2.3 million pledges and more than 1.7 million completed mentorships—far exceeding the movement’s initial goal of 1 million pledges by 2020. Each completed mentorship represents at least 20 hours, meaning MWM has enabled over 34 million hours of mentorship and provided $5.1 billion in societal value to address gender, ethnic, social, and economic inequality.

18. Tenshey, Inc.: Tenshey’s Women Sponsorship Programs Introduced: 2019

In brief: In late 2019, Tenshey launched its first formal Women Sponsorship Program in which senior executive sponsors were paired with diverse female leaders to create opportunities for advancement, promotions, and visibility across the organization. The program is unique because it uses a formal, programmatic approach to cultivate a culture of sponsorship; a co-creation model to connect with company values; and a scalable tech platform to track data-driven insights and results. The program helps advance women past middle management through increased visibility, advocacy, and networking. As of late 2020, the promotion rate of women across all of the company’s Sponsorship Programs is 40%—significantly higher than the single digit figures typically seen in the technology industry. As a certified minority- and women-owned business (M/WBE), Tenshey has also made strides in focusing on women of color.

19. United Rentals Inc.: “Building a Better Future” Roundtable Series Introduced: 2020

In brief: The Building a Better Future roundtable series was developed to create a safe space for employees to share their thoughts and perspectives in response to the social justice movement that followed George Floyd’s tragic death on May 25, 2020. The company asked employees who were interested in a focused conversation around this topic to reach out. About 100 responses were received and the Building a Better Future roundtable series was created in July. Due to the pandemic, the 11 one-hour roundtable discussions were held via WebEx video. The series shed light on inconsistencies in U.S. culture that need to be improved upon, and created a louder, stronger, empathic, and compassionate voice for the team. Because of the positive feedback received, United Rentals has now invested in bringing a similar conversation to all 18,000+ employees throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

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CONGRATULATIONS to our 2020 Innovations in Diversity Awards Winners!

THE EQUALIT Y PROJEC T

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Where are they now... Over the past 19 years, PDJ has recognized more than 2,000 Women Worth Watching in the pages of our magazine. In this issue, we catch up with 12 more past Award recipients, who have since been promoted, started their own companies, taken on new roles, or moved into entirely new fields of endeavor. Like all of our Women Worth Watching Award winners, they are dynamic leaders, who welcome challenges, embrace change, and share their knowledge and wisdom with the next generation of women. Read on, and discover where their professional journeys have taken them.

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DeAnna Allen Partner, Cooley LLP

Where are they now...

DeAnna Allen, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2009, is now a partner at Cooley LLP, where her practice involves intellectual property, including patent litigation, trademark litigation, and computer technology. Previously, Allen was a partner with the firm of Dickstein Shapiro. She began her law career as an associate with the firm of Mayer Brown. Allen earned her law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law, where she graduated cum laude. She also received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. Allen is an executive board member and vice president of the National Association of Women Lawyers.

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2009

Lori Beer

Global Chief Information Officer, JPMorgan Chase

Where are they now...

Named a Woman Worth Watching in 2009, when she served as executive vice president and CIO for WellPoint, Lori Beer is now global chief Information officer at JPMorgan Chase. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase six years ago, Beer was a director on the Vantiv board of directors. Earlier in her career, she held the positions of executive vice president of specialty businesses and information technology, as well as executive vice president of enterprise business services at WellPoint. Beer holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Dayton.

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2009

Stacy Brown-Philpot Chief Executive Officer, TaskRabbit

Where are they now...

Stacy Brown-Philpot, a 2009 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, joined TaskRabbit in 2013 as the company’s chief Operating officer before being named chief executive officer in 2016. Previously, Brown-Philpot held several leadership positions at Google and served as business development manager at Wily Technology. Earlier in her career, she was a senior analyst with Goldman Sachs and a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Brown-Philpot earned her MBA at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and her BSE in economics, with a concentration in accounting and finance, from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Kimberley Crews Goode

Vice President, External Affairs, Blue Shield of California

Where are they now...

Honored as a Woman Worth Watching in 2009, today Kimberley Crews Goode serves as vice president of external affairs for Blue Shield of California. Prior to joining Blue Shield of California, Goode served as vice president of communications and corporate affairs for Northwestern Mutual and vice president of corporate communications for Visteon Corporation. Previously, she held leadership positions with Kellogg Company, Prudential Financial, and American Express. Goode earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

2009

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Tammy Young

Senior Advisor, Prescryptive Health, Inc.

Where are they now...

Tammy Young, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2010, is now a senior advisor at Prescryptive Health, Inc., a position she has held since 2017. Before joining Prescryptive Health, Young served as vice president of human resources for Alaska Airlines. Previously, she held leadership positions at Moss Adams, KPMG, and Arthur Anderson. Allen earned her BBA in accounting and finance at Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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2010

Kim Stratton

Chief Executive Officer, Orphazyme A/S

Where are they now...

Named a Woman Worth Watching in 2010, Kim Stratton is now chief executive officer at Orphazyme. Previously, Stratton served as head of international commercial at Shire and head of respiratory business at AstraZeneca. She also held several leadership positions at Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Stratton studied nursing in her native Australia.

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2010

Kelly Watson

Where are they now...

Senior Advisor, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Kelly Watson, a 2010 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, recently joined the NJEDA after retiring from KPMG, where she worked for 32 years and was a partner for nearly 15 years. In her current role, Watson advises the NJEDA’s CEO regarding strategy, tactics, and initiatives related to business transformation, relationship management, market trends, and policies; leads policy initiatives; and shapes and leads the Authority’s efforts to accelerate the growth of Life Sciences employers. Watson, a CPA, earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance at Fordham University.

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Sanita Pinchback

Human Resources Director, Kimberly-Clark

Where are they now...

Honored as a Woman Worth Watching in 2010, Sanita Pinchback recently joined Kimberly-Clark, where she currently serves as the company’s human resources director. Prior to joining Kimberly-Clark, Pinchback served as a director for Unilever and held leadership positions in human resources at Waste Management, Sysco, US West, and Continental Airlines. Pinchback earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting at Furman University and her master’s degree in human resources at the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business.

2010 www.diversityjournal.com

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Junqi Hang

Intellectual Property Counsel, Anova Law Group

Where are they now...

Recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2011, Junqi Hang recently joined Anova Law Group, where she serves as intellectual property counsel. Previously, Hang served as intellectual property counsel at Pergament & Cepeda LLP and Dragon Intellectual Property Law Firm; and was an associate with Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., Hahn & Voight PLLC, and Brooks Kushman P.C. Early in her career, Hang was a scientist and senior scientist at Pfizer/Parke Davis Pharmaceuticals. Hang holds a JD from Wayne State University Law School, as well as a PhD in physiology and biochemistry from Wayne State University. Hang earned her bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

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2011

Where are they now... Joyce Aiko McCulloch Chief Executive Officer/Consultant, Ai Inclusion

(Joyce Ibardolasa)

Joyce Aiko McCulloch, a 2011 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, recently joined Ai Inclusion as the organization’s CEO. Previously, McCulloch served as the director of performance and inclusion for Pacific Gas and Electric. Earlier in her career, she held leadership positions in human resources at Catellus, Deloitte, PageNet, and Hilton Hotels. McCulloch holds a bachelor’s degree (with honors) with a double major in psychology and economics from the University of California–Santa Cruz.

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2011

Rita Johnson-Mills

Chief Executive Officer, Nightingale Partners LLC

Where are they now...

Honored as a Woman Worth Watching in 2011, Rita Johnson-Mills recently joined Nightingale Partners, where she serves as the company’s CEO. Before joining Nightingale, Johnson-Mills founded and was CEO of RJ Mills Enterprises. Earlier in her career, she held leadership positions with UnitedHealth Group and Centene Corporation. Johnson-Mills earned master’s degrees in public policy and management from The Ohio State University and in labor/human resources management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/police science from Lincoln University in Missouri.

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Where are Chief Executive Officer, FoodScience Corporation they now... Sharon Rossi

Sharon Rossi, named a Woman Worth Watching in 2011, joined FoodScience Corporation in 2017 and serves as the company’s CEO. Previously, Rossi served as chief customer officer for COTY Inc. and general manager of Philips Consumer Lifestyle NA. She also held leadership positions with Unilever and Helene Curtis Industries, Inc. Rossi holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign and a bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts– Amherst. She also earned a certificate in general management from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a certificate in strategy from Harvard Business School online.

2011 www.diversityjournal.com

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CORPORATE INDEX

BOLD DENOTES ADVERTISER BLUE PAGE NUMBER OF AD

Ai Inclusion.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 89 AMD........................................................................................................................................................................................... 4, 17, 18, 70 Anova Law Group................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 88 BBC............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 74 Blue Shield of California..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 83 BrandEQ.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Charter School Financial Management........................................................................................................................................................................ 20 Clark | Weitz | Clarkson........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 71 Cooley LLP.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 80 Corteva Agriscience.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 21 CVS Health......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 16, 71 Dechert LLP...................................................................................................................................................... 22, 71, inside back cover Dickinson Wright PLLC............................................................................................................................................................................................... 23, 24 Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate......................................................................................................................................................................... 71 Fannie Mae.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 25 Ferring Pharmaceuticals U.S............................................................................................................................................................................................ 26 Fiserv, Inc................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 27 Fish & Richardson................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 28 FoodScience Corporation.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 91 FordHarrison........................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 29 FOREsight Financial Services for Good...................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Fullscreen (a WarnerMedia company)......................................................................................................................................................................... 30 GABA Inc................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 31 Gibbons P.C............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 32 Greenberg Traurig LLP................................................................................................................................................................................................ 33, 34 HARMAN International....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 35 HCA Healthcare..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 74 Idaho National Laboratory................................................................................................................................................................ 7, 72 Ingersoll Rand................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 72, 74 Ivy Planning Group................................................................................................................................................................................................. 13, 36, 37 JND Legal Administration................................................................................................................................................................................................. 38 JPMorgan Chase.................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 81 Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP............................................................................................................................................................................................ 39 Kimberly-Clark....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 87 Kindred Healthcare.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 40 Latham & Watkins................................................................................................................................................................................................... 41, 42, 75 Liberty Mutual Insurance............................................................................................................................................................................................ 43, 75 Lincoln Financial Group.................................................................................................................................................................... 6, 44 Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP....................................................................................................................................................................................... 45 Mayer Brown LLP........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 46, 47 MetLife (MetLife Legal Plans).......................................................................................................................................................................................... 48 Moss Adams............................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 49 Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.............................................................................................................................................................. 50, 72 New American Funding........................................................................................................................................................................................ 51, 52, 75 New Jersey Economic Development Authority........................................................................................................................................................ 86 New York Life............................................................................................................................................................... 53, 73, back cover Nightingale Partners LLC.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 90 OneAmerica®......................................................................................................................................................... inside front cover, 54 OPTrust..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 55 Orange County Community Foundation..................................................................................................................................................................... 56 Orphazyme A/S.................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 85 Prescryptive Health, Inc..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 84 Proctor & Gamble Company............................................................................................................................................................................................. 57 S&P Global........................................................................................................................................................................ 3, 58, 59, 60, 61 Sanford Heisler Sharp.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 62, 63 Sephora..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 73 Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox...................................................................................................................................................................................... 64 TaskRabbit............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 82 Tata Consultancy Services................................................................................................................................................................................................. 76 Tenshey, Inc............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 76 Ulmer & Berne LLP........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 65, 73 United Rentals Inc................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 76 University of Chicago Medicine....................................................................................................................................................................................... 66 Vortex Companies................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 67 Walmart, Inc.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 8 Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP............................................................................................................................................................... 68

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The singular power of diversity Dechert is a global law firm that achieves dynamic results by embracing diversity and innovation. We are proud of our recent achievements – and eager for the continuing growth and progress the future will bring. n

Perfect score in the corporate equity index (CEI) and named one of the best places to work for LGBTQ equality. Human Rights Campaign, 2020

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Diversity Leader Award and Diversity Team Award. Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2020

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Top Companies for Executive Women. National Association for Female Executives, 2020

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One of the Best Law Firms for Women and Top 100 Companies for Women. Working Mother, 2020

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Certified as a “Great Place to Work.” 2020

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Most Outstanding Firm for Diversity and Inclusion. Chambers Europe, 2019

Diversity and Inclusion

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Profile for Diversity Journal

Diversity Journal Fall 2020