Women of Color Foundation National Executive Women's Summit 2022

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It’s Our Time!


20 th A NNIV

National Executive Women’s Summit October 23-26, 2022 The Grand Resort Warren, Ohio


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20 th A NNIV

It’s Our Time! Honestly, it has always been our time. Because we have birthed and raised babies, run ancient kingdoms, journeyed into space, helped lead the most powerful nation in the world, create and run multi-million dollar businesses, (the list can go on)… Black women have always known our power. We were fighting for equity, diversity, and inclusion, long before the world embraced and acknowledged the need. It has taken awhile for the rest of humanity to recognize it, embrace it and support us as we continue to progress. This 20th Anniversary Celebration at the National Executive Women’s Summit represents significant milestones in a steady, (and sometimes exhausting), journey. I learned to reach out to my circle of multicultural friends to ensure that the experience continues to represent the vision I had 20 years ago: To create a “safe place” and “healthy space” for Black women to share, network, learn, teach, laugh, and cry. We have not wavered from our original mission. We are unapologetically women of color, all colors. When it came to the initial financial support, it was good, but my sisters (my “ride or die chicks”) are who mattered then and continue to matter now. Our longest standing sponsors are KeyBank/Key Foundation, Dominion Foundation followed closely by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. There are sooo many individuals, sponsors, staff, friends, funders, colleagues, advisors, mentors, mentees, “sisterfriends” and “brotherfriends,” that helped shape, advance, expand and empower our brand and the movement, that to name them all is impossible. (I wouldn’t want to try.) You know, some folks didn’t think we would survive. Some (including women) felt there was no need for the vision I was creating. I acknowledge and celebrate perceived competitors who later became ambassadors, collaborators and even champions. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6 I respectfully restate this verse: Train up a child in the way she should go, and when she is old, she will change the world! It is our time. Let the games end, and the real work towards achieving true equity begin!

Alexandria Johnson Boone Chairwoman & Founder Women of Color Foundation

Women Color Foundation of

Connecting people to careers for over 40 years

Hear from the medical community how Black women can manage their career and family stresses during multiple pandemics.

Featuring panelist:

Director of Advocacy & Policy, Towards Employment

Learn more on how we change lives, advance business, and strengthen community at TowardsEmployment.org

Danita Harris

Mike Brookbank

Courtney Gousman



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Fall / Winter 2022 Volume 8 • Issue 3





career + lifestyle magazine

CL Magazine Team Publisher and Chief Editorial Officer Alexandria Johnson Boone Creative Director Jennifer Coiley Dial Senior Copy Editor Michelle E. Urquhart Business Manager Paula T. Newman Assistant to the Publisher Bernadette K. Mayfield Senior Strategist, Subscriber & Community Development Simone E. Swanson Database and Information Coordinator Cheretta Moore For advertising information please contact us at: advertising@CL-Magazine.com Subscribe free online: www.CL-Magazine.com

CLMagazine_ CLMagazine_ CLMagazine



YEARS! Career & Lifestyle Magazine Contributors Since 2015 – Some of the people who helped the vision become reality. Thank you! Montrie Rucker Adams Richard T. Andrews Kristina Austin Maia Beatty Melissa Schiltz Boss Linda D. Bradley, MD Charmaine Brown Rodney L. Brown Frederick Burton Ellen Burts-Cooper, PhD LaRick Calhoun Jacklyn Chisholm, PhD David Christel Laura Cowan Monica Cowans Rhonda Crowder Jennifer Coiley Dial Shakyra Diaz Linda Johanek Dooley Moreen Bailey Frater Kareem George Phyllis Harris Laurie Henrichsen Cassandra Hill Heather M. Holmes Renita Jefferson

Tara Jefferson TiaMarshae Johnson Kamron Khan Jazmin Long Bernadette K. Mayfield Erica Merritt Cheretta Moore Major Morris Angela Neal-Barnett, PhD Paula T. Newman Betsie Norris Tracy Oliver DeLores Pressley Yolanda Ramos Michelle Rankins Veranda Rodgers Natalie Brown Rudd Antwan Steele Dorenda Swanson Simone E. Swanson Imani Denmark Tibbs Michelle E. Urquhart Eric Wells Sharon O. Williams Kelly Woodard

C L Magazine is published digitally on a quarterly basis by the Women of Color Foundation (WOCF), a 501 (c) (3), tax-exempt organization, for the benefit of women and girls of all colors. Our offices are located at 4200 Warrensville Center Road, Medical Building A, Suite 353, Cleveland, Ohio 44128. Toll Free Phone number: 866-962-3411 (866-WOCF-411). Copyright © 2014-2022. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be distributed electronically, reproduced or duplicated in whole or in part, without written permission of the publisher. Readers and advertisers may subscribe for free at: www.CL-Magazine.com Magazine Production: GAP Communications Group

C L Magazine Team circa WOCF’s 15th anniversary

LETTER from the

Publisher “I just looked up and we were here! And we are here to stay.” I wrote these words eight years ago in CL Magazine’s premiere issue published in Winter 2015. Those words proved to be prophetic. Career and Lifestyle Magazine, created for and about women and girls of color, has consistently delivered on its mission. We have had no difficulties finding and filling the pages with stories and tips from, and for, women (and men) who make it their purpose to improve their lives and their communities.

efforts paid off.


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In this Women of Color Foundation’s CL Magazine commemorative issue, we’ve compiled a few “best of ” CL Magazine articles for our new and veteran readers. Due to their interesting and inspiring messages, we consider them worth repeating.

To take a powerful word from Dr. Maya Angelou (because she said it best), it shows In eight years, we have published 27 issues that that we are phenomenal! tell the stories of exemplary human beings, amazing organizations and information from Your support of CL Magazine throughout experts and thought leaders across various the years, continues to confirm the need industries. Issue # 28 is included in our 2022 for our publication. It also reinforces the National Executive Women’s Summit Souvenir gifts of our talented team; the writers, Program Book. Some are popular, others are photographers, sales and marketing team, quiet giants. No matter their station or stance, editors and proofreaders. They are all valuable CL Magazine illuminated their commitments contributors, and we would not exist without and causes, enabling others to learn from, them. support and celebrate their achievements. That is why we exist, to promote and empower. After eight years I’m so privileged to say, “I looked up and we are still here!” It is important to note however, some significant changes we made as we evolved In the spirit of the greatness in us all, as a well-read and, “go to” publication. We changed our name, expanded our audiences, diversified our production team, moved from a subscription based, printed format, to a Alexandria Johnson Boone “free” magazine available on-line for anyone to Publisher/Chief Editorial Officer read and share. Lastly, we decided to redesign C L Magazine and our logo. And the feedback from our readers Chairwoman/Founder and advertisers acknowledged that all of our Women of Color Foundation

Positive Delusions by Cassandra Hill

Can Empower You to Achieve Your Goals

A positive delusion could be viewed as merely a very Use these tips to use positive delusions for your positive attitude. Now, you might think that’s just benefit: being inaccurate and lying to yourself. You might be 1. Positive delusions give hope. When you tell right, but the science is clear on this matter. yourself, “Things will improve if I just hang in there,” Studies have shown that people who overestimate you give yourself the hope you require to keep trytheir skills, abilities, and talents for a new endeavor ing and to persevere. It is always possible that things ultimately perform at a higher level than those that won’t improve, but if you believe they will, you give are more realistic or pessimistic about succeeding at yourself a much better chance of success. that endeavor. Think about what you would do instead if you were Those who overestimate their abilities learn skills very pessimistic. You’d be without hope. Do you better and are more successful. This isn’t too surpris- think that would make you more likely to succeed or ing. If you don’t think you’re good at something and less likely? that you can’t learn to do it well, you’re going to be less motivated and engaged in learning that activity. 2. Assuming the best can allow you to take action. When you have high expectations, you put Conversely, if you expect the best, you’re going to yourself in the position to take action. Whether you’re jump in and get busy mastering that new skill. With interested in learning to play the banjo or talking to high expectations - even unjustly high expectations – an attractive stranger, you can move forward if you you’re greatly enhancing your odds of success. believe that something positive will happen.

3. If you had low expectations, would you be willing to act? Keep in mind that most of your beliefs are at least partially delusional. Your knowledge and interpretations of your past experiences are far from perfect. There’s little that you believe to be true that’s actually true. We’re all operating under various delusions.

one of the best ways to use positive delusions to your advantage. 7. Believe that having positive delusions is in your best interest. Remind yourself that being practical and realistic can be very limiting. Being optimistic and overestimating your abilities can be remarkably effective in the long term.

4. Limit your negative self-talk. Negativity kills. It kills your spirit, motivation, and future. Put a damp- There is a time to be practical and realistic. But that er on negative self-talk before it has a chance to gain time might not be as often as you think. momentum. Once it begins, immediately turn your Overestimating your abilities and the likelihood of attention to something else. your success can be a powerful way to improve your 5. Think about the kind of person you want to results. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt on a become. Consider the goals you have in your life and regular basis and see how it affects your life. You can think about what type of person you need to be in always go back to more pessimistic ways if you want. order to attain those goals. What qualities and characteristics do you need to possess? See yourself as al- Choose what works rather than what makes sense. Perform an optimistic experiment on yourself and ready having those qualities. review the results. 6. Visualize success. One of the easiest ways to create a positive delusion is to visualize yourself suc- Cassandra Hill is a Christian Holistic Wellness Influencer ceeding. Imagine overcoming every obstacle. Imag- www.cassandrarhill.com ine yourself confidently achieving success. This is

WELD develops and advances women’s leadership to strengthen the economic prosperity of the communities it serves.

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Learn how WELD can benefit your career and business today! Visit us at


Terri Bradford Eason –

Establishing Purposeful Relationships by Montrie Rucker Adams, APR “Listening. Appreciating. Establishing relationships. Those are the most important things you can do to serve others and advance your professional practice. It’s the common thread that winds through all of my engagements.” –Terri Bradford Eason Terri Bradford Eason knows what she’s talking about. An award-winning professional and Senior Director, Advancement Equity Initiatives at the Cleveland Foundation, Eason has connected with hundreds of individuals in her over 30-year professional career. There are some people who demonstrate exceptional leadership by how they operate and “show up” personally and professionally. Eason moves through the world with intention and grace, ensuring that she is purposefully leading and serving her community. With Eason, each touch is felt, each message is heard and each person and organization are impacted.

is a culminating event that features national speakers and convenes to promote the benefits and features of strategic charitable giving. Speakers have included Michele Ghee (’22), Eddie & Sylvia Brown (‘20), Valeisha Butterfield Jones (’20), Wes Moore (’18), Donna Brazile (’16), and Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr. (’14). Eason earned the National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional designation and, as such, works closely with a variety of partners to identify, create, and provide charitable planning options tailored to achieve specific philanthropic goals of individuals, families and organizations in the BIPOC community. In her two-decade private and corporate banking career with National City Bank (now PNC), Eason has worked in positions that were community facing. She spent time as a wealth manager and relationship manager and was instrumental in developing new business.

“You must listen and respond to what your donors or clients need and want,” she said. “This approach enables you to identify viable options and solutions so that you can best serve them.”

Her corporate roles have allowed her to be a staunch community partner, supporting those organizations that make a difference. She was one of the first supporters of The Women of Color Foundation, an organization that fosters networking and provides Eason was named Senior Director, Advancement personal and professional development, education Equity Initiatives in October 2021. In this role, her and training to women and girls of all colors. “She was responsibilities involve developing and overseeing a valued supporter and ambassador for our work and the advancement equity initiatives aligned with the the Women of Color Foundation movement,” said Alex foundation’s strategic priorities. She also focuses on Boone, the Women of Color Foundation’s founder and developing and executing cultivation and fundraising chairwoman. This year the organization is celebrating activities that help individuals establish current its 20th anniversary. and deferred philanthropic funds, legacy gifts and charitable giving strategic plans. Additionally, Eason “As a trusted advisor, I have been blessed to work at leads and coordinates the efforts and activities of the organizations where I can walk in my purpose and be African American Philanthropy Committee (AAPC), true to my personal mission of ‘linking great causes the Friends of the AAPC and the nationally recognized with excellent resources.’ It is essential to me that my biennial African American Philanthropy Summit. work is aligned with my values,” Eason said. Founded by Steven Minter in 1993, the Cleveland Foundation’s AAPC’s purpose is to “promote awareness and education about the benefits of wealth and community preservation through philanthropy,” reads the website. Its biennial Philanthropy Summit

Committed to community service, Eason received the National City Corporation (NCC) Excel Award for extraordinary client and community service. She’s also the recipient of the YWCA Women of Professional Excellence Award, Top Ladies of Distinction (TLOD)

Status of Women Award, the National Council of Negro Women Phenomenal Women of Extraordinary Leadership and Service Award and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.’s Woman of Vision Award. “Servant Leadership is in my DNA! I’m inspired and energized by providing supreme customer and community service to organizations to advance their mission,” Eason said. As a silver and life member serving over 34 years in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated®, Eason has been pivotal in providing leadership, guidance, and mentorship to its members. Her chapter, Alpha Omega, of which she is a former President, is over 500 strong and continues to provide “service to all mankind” since it was chartered in 1917. Eason has also served as Chairman of the Alpha Omega Foundation, Incorporated and is the Former At-Large Director of the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation, Inc. Currently, she serves on the Board of Trustees at Notre Dame College (Board Chair), at Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center (Past-Board President), at Milestones Autism Resources, Inc. and at the Ohio North First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction (Former Board Chairman). A true role model, Eason’s record of community leadership, felt throughout the country, is fueled by her desire to serve as a true “influencer.” She sets examples, often paving the way for other women to run with the batons she once gracefully carried.

Terri Bradford Eason is Senior Director, Advancement Equity Initiatives at the Cleveland Foundation.

Celebrating 8 years! Reprinted from C L Magazine.




Celebrating 8 years! Reprinted from C L Magazine.

Celebrating 8 years! Reprinted from C L Magazine.

Celebrating 8 years! Reprinted from C L Magazine.

Celebrating 8 years! Reprinted from C L Magazine.

Celebrating 8 years! Reprinted from C L Magazine.

Celebrating 8 years! Reprinted from C L Magazine.




Spring/Summer 2022 • Volume 8 • Issue 2


We Are Women… Hear Us

ROAR! Alysha LaRae Ellis Author, Marketing Maven, Award-winning Business Leader

Cassandra Hill Christian Holistic Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author and Speaker


Stories of reflection, embracing your passion and self-discovery

Women Color Foundation of

Board of Directors

Yolanda Armstrong President & Chief Executive Officer Friendly Inn Settlement

Charmaine D. Brown Chief Executive Officer Connexions Consulting, Inc.

Dr. Jacklyn A. Chisholm President & Chief Executive Officer Step Forward (formerly CEOGC)

Tammy Moore Coney Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Women Color Foundation of

Board of Directors

Belva Denmark-Tibbs Founder Denmark-Tibbs Foundation

Kathryn M. Hall, MA, CDP Vice President Diversity and Inclusion JACK Entertainment

Nancella Wilson Harris Founding Member Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation (BPACF)

Phyllis Harris Executive Director LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Women Color Foundation of

Board of Directors

Pamela Marshall Holmes Retired Senior Executive Cleveland Clinic

Renita L. Jefferson Senior Human Resources Manager Global Leadership Development Avient Corporation

Ariane Kirkpatrick President/CEO The AKA Team Harvest of Ohio, LLC

Erica Merritt Founder & Principal Consultant Equius Group, LLC

Women Color Foundation of

Board of Directors

Margaret Mitchell President & Chief Executive Officer YWCA USA

Marsha Mockabee President & Chief Executive Officer Urban League of Greater Cleveland

Le Joyce K. Naylor Chief Diversity Officer Wellstar Health

Tracy Bean Oliver Director, Media & Local, External Affairs (retired) Dominion Energy Ohio

Women Color Foundation of

Board of Directors

Rachael D. Sampson Senior Vice President & Director of Key4Women KeyBank

Meltrice D. Sharp Managing Partner CLE Consulting Firm President BPACF

Dalithia C. Smith Chief Human Resources Officer Oatey Co.

Michelle Urquhart Vice Chairman Urquhart Memorial Foundation

Women Color Foundation of

Board of Directors

Lorna Wisham Vice President Corporate Affairs & Community Involvement FirstEnergy

Sheila M. Wright Executive Vice President The Good Community Foundation

President FirstEnergy Foundation

Remembering Dr. Charleyse S. Pratt 1948 - 2017

Women Color Foundation of

Current Programming

The Equity Project The Equity Project, a program of the Women of Color Foundation (WOCF), is designed to help participants enhance their critical thinking and soft skills. Geared particularly toward marginalized women of color. This program will service clients who may also be enrolled in other programming. The program recognizes there is strength in having participants engaged in different development opportunities. The Equity Project will provide education, economic and equity training to Black Women who have been marginalized by society and/or are living below the poverty level. Program participants will be equipped with knowledge and tools to elevate their careers and lifestyles, to evaluate their status and develop career and life goals and will be connected with community resources and partners to help them reach their goals. ​ s part of programming, participants will also be paired with a career mentor and a sponsor in A an organization or business to help advance their goals. Another important component of this work will be to help clients understand the importance of volunteerism and being civically engaged. We will help identify meaningful opportunities for volunteerism, fostering deeper community/business relationships. In year one, our vision is to recruit, train, and to positively impact the sense of self-worth, careers, and lifestyles of twenty-five (25) Black women (between the ages of 25 and 35), and their families, living in urban communities and Cleveland neighborhoods. Historically the Women of Color Foundation has served women in the mid to high level phases of their careers. However, this WOCF program seeks to elevate the quality of life for Black women in crisis. Our organization has a base of nonprofit, governmental, corporate, and entrepreneurial leaders who are ready to step up and provide the workforce development support and training, needed to advance the lives of the Black women selected for this amazing opportunity.

Women Color Foundation of

Current Programming

Black Women’s Leadership Project (BWLP): Developing Leaders, Building Communities

Women of Color Foundation Collaborative

This unique program will focus specifically on Black women professionals and entrepreneurs (in Northeast Ohio), to provide access, training and support to accelerate their rise to senior and executive level positions in their respective fields and organizations.

Why a Membership Program Now?

Because of systemic racism, Black women have long been denied access and opportunity to be included in mainstream career and leadership development programs that could significantly impact their readiness to lead and build organizations and their communities.

We want to help you grow those connections. Through networking and introducing a dynamic and engaging membership program designed for women looking to go to the next level in their lives and careers.

​ he BWLP is a program where applicants must T complete and submit an application, and will be selected thru a competitive process. Participants must commit to the eight-month program, that requires a time commitment of 3-hours per month. Two hours of education/training during the workday and one hour of coaching that may occur in the evening or over the weekend. ​ uition for this comprehensive “virtual” program T is $2,500. Therefore, all applicants will need the support of a senior-level executive within their corporation/non-profit organization/business to authorize their participation and pay the tuition fees.

We realize the power of connection now more than ever. Our gatherings, workshops, and panel discussions serve as a significant way to bond, share ideas and lessons learned.

Please explore our website, womenofcolorfoundation.com, to learn more about the Black Women’s Leadership Project, the Women of Color Foundation Collaborative, and the M-Suite Network.

Women Color Foundation of

Current Programming The M-Suite Network The M-Suite Network will engage and integrate young, black, professional “millennial” women (ages 25-40), into the Women of Color Foundation (WOCF) programs. The women who comprise the network will help give voice to a broader cross section of young professional women who want to be included given the current environment. They will share their experiences, challenges, talents and perspectives in a safe space, where more experienced women respect and value the importance of them having a seat at the table. This program will also provide them with unique opportunities to grow and develop personally and professionally. M-Suite Network Steering Committee: Yentil Rawlinson Co-Founder, M-Suite Network Vice President, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity The Sherwin-Williams Company Yentil Rawlinson serves as the Vice President of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity for The Sherwin-Williams Company. Additionally, she serves as the co-chair of M-Suite, an initiative of the Women of Color Foundation designed to support the growth of millennial, Black women in the city of Cleveland. For her professional endeavors, she has been recognized as a recipient of the Top 25 under 35 Movers & Shakers Award by the Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club, Rising Buckeye Award by The Ohio State University Alumni Association, a Her-

Story Honoree by Radio One Cleveland, and the Overall Excellence in HR Award by Crain’s Cleveland Business. Chinenye (“ChiChi”) Nkemere Co-Founder / Non-Profit Executive Enlightened Solutions Chinenye Nkemere is a strategic thinker focused on creating large-scale systems change predicated on radically inclusive racial and gender equity. She is the Co-Founder of Enlightened Solutions, a social advocacy and research think tank and alumnae of The Ohio State University and Teach for America Houston. ChiChi is the current VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for The Junior League of Cleveland, proudly sits on the Board of Di-

Women Color Foundation of

Current Programming

rectors for Preterm Cleveland and The Assembly for the Arts and was a member of Mayor Justin Bibb’s Transition Team (Equity in Action). April Walker, MSW Founder & CEO Philanthropy for the People April Walker (she/her) is a non-profit and foundation consultant, equity champion, and writer. Her decade-long career in philanthropy spans fundraising, consulting, and grant making positions at the American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, CCS Fundraising, VNA Foundation, and a Chicago-based philanthropic advisory firm. In 2021, April founded an equity-centered consulting firm, Philanthropy for the People, to partner with nonprofits, donors, and foundations looking to challenge racial biases, confront power imbalances, and advance philanthropy that centers racial equity. Born and raised in Baltimore, April’s background in social service administration informs her commitment to advancing philanthropy rooted in equity and social justice. April earned a Master of Arts in Social Service Administration from the University of Chica-

go and a BA in Sociology from George Washington University. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cleveland Chapter and also serves on the board of Arts Impact, Curve Foundation, and Enlightened Solutions. Gelise Thomas, JD, MS Assistant Director, Strategic DEI & Health Disparities Case Western Reserve University, Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative ​ elise Thomas is an attorney by G trade who uses her legal knowledge and passion for advancing health equity to cultivate diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) environments in the biomedical research industry. As the Assistant Director, Strategic DEI and Health Disparities at Case Western Reserve University in the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative, she helps researchers develop research programs and studies that reflect DEI principles and values. Gelise is a patient advocacy consultant for the National Institute for African American Health and NIH Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Health Equity, Patient-Reported Outcomes, and Community Engagement Committee member.

Women Color Foundation of

Current Programming

Naomi Johnson, CPA Sr. Manager, Corporate Financial Accounting Rite Aid Corp Owner Right Track Financial Services, LLC Naomi Johnson is the Sr. Manager, Corporate Financial Accounting at Rite Aid Corp, where she oversees the Corporate Financial Accounting & SEC reporting functions. Ms. Johnson is a strategic leader with broad experience providing audit, financial accounting and consulting services to both domestic and international corporations across various industries. In 2020, Ms. Johnson founded Right Track Financial Services, LLC with the goal of providing financial accounting services to Black small businesses, as well as financial literacy resources and education designed for our youth. Simone Swanson Co-Founder, M-Suite Network Communications Consultant Communicate with Soul Simone Swanson, Communications Consultant and native Clevelander, is an experienced professional with advanced skills in public speaking, strategic planning, partnership development, branding,

outreach and program development. She has represented nonprofits such as the American Cancer Society-Hope Lodge, American Diabetes Association and The Gathering Place. In her previous role, Simone served as the Director of Community Outreach for a cancer support center where she designed, managed and implemented an outreach plan to increase awareness and partnerships in vulnerable populations. Simone has served as keynote speaker, panelist and moderator for retreats, conferences, health fairs and numerous community events. She strives to live a purpose-driven life and is passionate about helping women discover, connect and thrive in their purpose. Courtney Lynn Ottrix Founder and Curator Courtney Covers Cleveland Courtney Lynn Ottrix is the founder and curator of Courtney Covers Cleveland, a digital platform that shines a spotlight on hidden gems, exciting events, and noteworthy people in her hometown. That brand has quickly expanded beyond its original Cleveland focus, cementing Courtney’s status as a go-to source for lifestyle tips,

Women Color Foundation of

Current Programming

beauty, family, and event planning as well. She has been selected as one of Cleveland’s top parenting bloggers by multiple sites, and earned a nod from Cleveland Magazine as one of the city’s top Black women to follow.

Veranda Rodgers, MBA Executive Director Pregnant with Possibilities

When she’s not working, you can find her sipping red wine on her back patio, going for a morning run, and trying to find time to slip away for a spa visit.

Nonprofit Executive with 10+ years’ experience specializing in strategic planning, marketing, education publications, public outreach and budget management. Professional, creative executive with proven analytical skills. Adept at researching and crafting award winning campaigns/ strategies for a wide variety nonprofit clients.

Jazmin Long, MSSA, MNO Chief Executive Officer Birthing Beautiful Communities

Rohnesha Horne Chief Executive Officer RH Event Planning and Consulting, L.L.C

Jazmin Long is CEO of Birthing Beautiful Communities, a nonprofit community- based doula program which extends intensive peer to peer support to families throughout pregnancy, during labor and birth, and up to babies’ first year.

Rohnesha M. Horne is the CEO and Founder of RH Event Planning and Consulting, L.L.C, A multi-media company that offers a variety of services including media buying, marketing consultations, sales & sponsorship strategy, event planning/ concert production and public relations services. Rohnesha is the former Director of Marketing for Radio One Cleveland, Ohio. Her career began with Radio One in 2008, as the Assistant Marketing Director for WENZ-FM Z107.9. Shortly thereafter in 2009, Rohnesha

Women Color Foundation of

Current Programming

was promoted to Promotions Director for all station brands, which included WENZ-FM Z107.9, WZAK-FM 93.1, WJMO Praise 94.5 FM and WERE-AM Newstalk 1490 AM. Lastly, in May of 2017, Rohnesha was promoted to her former position; and exited the role in 2020. Rohnesha has produced events for The National Urban League, The Collective PAC, Project 68, N.A.A.C.P, Vestige Strategies, Radio One, Rap Star Energy drink and produced shows for legendary artists such as NAS, and Common. Rohnesha is a proud member of the N.A.A.C.P. Cleveland Chapter, serving as the Chair of Communications. She sits on the board for the F.C.A (Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is also a member of Mt. Hebron church. Her future goals are to open a Christian bookstore & coffee shop, release several books and produce her own tour.

Siobhan J. Middleton (Sudberry) Founder BeFreeProject LLC Siobhan Middleton is the founder of BeFree Project LLC. She’s a clarity cultivator teaching women how to get unstuck, gain clarity and be free. She provides online and offline coaching, host events called the BeFree Life Class, a she’s a motivational speaker, she blogs about personal growth and self-improvement and the author of the Free Your Mind Journal. Siobhan has a BA in business administration from Cleveland State University and an MBA in marketing communications from Ursuline College.


20 th A NNIV

National Executive Women’s Summit Sunday, October 23 Wednesday, October 26, 2022 The Grand Resort 9519 East Market Street Warren, Ohio 44484

Women of Color Foundation 2022 National Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Ms. Johnnie Brooks Booker

About the Award: This unique and prestigious award was originally established on the occasion of our 10th Anniversary in Cleveland, Ohio in 2012. This year will be an inaugural induction into our National Hall of Fame. It was only fitting that our first national ceremony that we would select a woman who has had a global impact on the lives of Black women across various industries. Because of her exemplary work as a pioneer and advocate for women of color, she has led (sometimes unknowingly) a movement to enhance the quality of life for Black women and girls. In the past at our regional induction ceremonies we have selected ten women from the regional community to receive this award. This year, in celebration of our national conference, we have decided to honor one special person to be inducted, Ms. Johnnie Brooks Booker. Please join us as we honor and celebrate the woman and her work. She has served so many, for so long!

About Ms. Johnnie Brooks Booker For more than fifty years, Ms. Johnnie Brooks Booker has been on the forefront of developing, implementing and managing unprecedented diversity programs in the areas of workforce and supplier diversity, fair housing, fair lending, community reinvestment and crisis management.

nesses from 18 percent to over 48 percent and from 3 to 26 percent for minority and women owned law firms. In addition, her efforts resulted in expanded opportunities for minorities to purchase 32 branches of failed financial institutions and assured the inclusion of approximately $700 million in deposits.

Ms. Booker retired from The Coca-Cola Company in 2012 as Global Director of Supplier Diversity. In this capacity, Ms. Booker was responsible for developing and implementing the Company’s supplier diversity program and initiatives to assure equal contracting opportunities for minority and women owned businesses. During her first year with the Company, contracts with minority and women owned businesses increased over the prior year by 50 percent, and exceeded the company’s goal by 27 percent. Under Ms. Booker’s leadership, the Company consistently exceeded its goals for subsequent years and its supplier diversity profile grew substantially in actual dollars expended and global recognition.

Prior to her tenure at the RTC, Ms. Booker was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity with the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In this role, she established a new office of affirmative action and equal opportunity, and successfully revamped the Department’s fragmented approach to discrimination complaint processing and affirmative employment programs. Ms. Booker also served in executive capacities with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and the National Urban League.

Before joining The Coca-Cola Company in April 2001, Ms. Booker was a consultant to a number of national agencies and corporations developing supplier and workforce diversity initiatives and programs. In this capacity, she wrote the Empowerment Zone contracting guidelines, which was used as a model to develop the HUB Zone regulations.

A native of Fort Valley, Georgia, Ms. Booker received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Hampton University and a Masters of Social Work Degree from the Atlanta University School of Social Work. Ms. Booker has appeared in a myriad of national publications and has received numerous honors and awards which include two Congressional Resolutions and a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives, for her exceptional professional contributions and accomplishments. In 2009 she was honored by Hampton University with the Outstanding Alumnus-at-Large Award. She has also served on numerous non-profit and university boards. Her current affiliations include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (Member of the Foundation Board), Dogwood Chapter of The Links, Inc., Atlanta Chapter of Circle-Lets, The Utopian Literary Club, Hampton University Alumni Association, NAACP, Urban League and Big Bethel AME Church.

Ms. Booker also served in the federal government at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, and Vice President of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC). While at the RTC, Ms. Booker was the first woman and minority to serve as a member of the Executive Committee. She also created unprecedented contracting and investment opportunities for minority and women Ms. Booker’s son, S. Courtney Booker, III, her owned businesses and law firms. She commissioned the daughter-in-law Nissa and two wonderful grandfirst disparity study by a federal agency, and increased children, Dalyn and Aiden, bring her special joy. contracting fees for minority and women owned busi-

National Executive Women’s Summit Honorary Co-Chairs



Planning Committee Alexandria Johnson Boone Jennifer Coiley Dial Michelle Fairfax Roger Fairfax Shellee Fisher Deborah Harris TiaMarshae Johnson Kamron Khan Bernadette Mayfield Paula Newman Tanisha Rush Carolyn Sanford


Exhibitor Showcase Key4Women Kelli Kreams Simply Silver Hospice of the Western Reserve Maude’s Favorite Desserts A Blue Egg Corporation, Clean Design Home Brand Village of Healing Sequence Multivitamins for African Americans Max and Mark Holman Los Angeles-based fitness trainers for more than 25 years, Max and Mark Holman have worked primarily at a private gym, Fitness Factory, and created workout programs for both adults and children. They have had the pleasure of working with athletes, celebrities, doctors, lawyers, and people hailing from all walks of life. Their emphasis is resistance training, cardio programs, and nutritional advice.

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ALEXANDRIA JOHNSON BOONE Founder & Chairwoman Women of Color Foundation President & CEO GAP Communications Group Publisher & Chief Editorial Officer C L Magazine

DR. RANDAL PINKETT Chairman & CEO BCT Partners Author Speaker

ROBIN WILSON CEO & Founder A Blue Egg Corporation Clean Design Home brand Author Speaker

SHEILA A. MIXON Senior Vice President Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio Executive Director Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley (WBEC ORV)

Conference at-a-Glance SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 7:00-9:00 p.m. Welcome Reception & Keynote Conversation EXECUTIVE IN RESIDENCE:

Alexandria Johnson Boone, Chairwoman and Founder Women of Color Foundation Kim Jenkins, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging (former) PayPal MONDAY, OCTOBER 24 9:15-10:30 a.m. Finding Your Keys To Success Success is not automatic and does not come easily without drive, motivation and preparation. We will be privileged to hear from people who have made success a part of their everyday lives and they will share those strategies. MODERATOR:

Alan K. Nevel, Senior Vice President & Chief Equity Officer The MetroHealth System PANELISTS:

Vanessa L. Whiting Board Chair, The MetroHealth System President, A.E.S. Management Corp, dba Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Kelli Richardson Lawson, Founder & CEO JOY Collective Rosa Beltré, President & CEO Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence Jill Zimon, Executive Director Ohio Debate Commission

Conference at-a-Glance MONDAY, OCTOBER 24 (continued) 10:45 a.m. -12 noon The Importance of Women in Our Administrations While only one of our mayoral panelists is a woman, none would have succeeded in their political quests without the assistance of women. The same holds true in carrying out their vision for their cities. Hear how they have included women in prominent roles in their respective administrations. MODERATOR & EXECUTIVE IN RESIDENCE:

Dr. Randal Pinkett, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO BCT Partners PANELISTS:

The Honorable Justin Bibb, Mayor City of Cleveland The Honorable Benjamin Holbert, III, Mayor Village of Woodmere The Honorable Annette Blackwell, Mayor City of Maple Heights The Honorable Frank D. Whitfield, Mayor City of Elyria Invocation Sheryse Henderson, Lead Pastor Faith Fellowship Church 12:45-2:15 p.m. Luncheon Keynote Conversation MODERATOR:

Margaret Bernstein, Director of Advocacy & Community Initiatives WKYC-TV Helena Haynes-Carter, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer KeyBank Angela Bretz, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity & Talent Acquisition Officer Nationwide

Conference at-a-Glance MONDAY, OCTOBER 24 (continued) 2:30-3:45 p.m. The Value of Women on Executive Teams It has been said that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Women are now giving new meaning to that old proverb in the C-Suites and M-Suites across America! MODERATOR:

Diana C. Starks, Senior Vice President and Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland PANELISTS:

Lorraine Vega, Senior Vice President (retired), Corporate Philanthropy & Senior Leader KeyBank Foundation Sharon S. Speyer, President, Northwest Ohio Region Huntington Barbara J. Daniel, Publisher/Editor The Cleveland Women’s Journal 6:00-8:30 p.m. Reception, Evening Keynote Conversation Dinner Harry Boomer, Anchor/Reporter WUAB 43 EXECUTIVE IN RESIDENCE:

Sheila A. Mixon, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Entrepreneurship Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio Executive Director Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley (WBEC ORV) Barb Smoot, President & CEO Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD)

Conference at-a-Glance TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 9:15-10:30 a.m. Keynote Conversation Danita Harris, Anchorwoman WEWS-News 5 EXECUTIVE IN RESIDENCE:

Robin Wilson, Founder, CEO & Chairman A Blue Egg Corporation, Clean Design Home Brand 10:45 a.m.-12 noon Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion....The New Narrative! Is the current diversity, equity, and inclusion fever sincere or just an attempt to placate women and minorities?


Dr. Randal Pinkett, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO BCT Partners PANELISTS:

Charmaine Brown, Founder & President Connexions Consulting, Inc. Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, VP for Campus Engagement, DE&I Cleveland State University Nwaka Onwusa, Chief Curator and VP of Curatorial Affairs Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 12:45-2:15 p.m. Keynote Conversation Wayne Dawson, Morning News Anchor Fox 8 TV Julia “Rita” McNeil Danish, Esq., Partner, Taft Law (Columbus and Chicago offices) Founder and Principal, JD2Strategists LLC

Conference at-a-Glance TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 (continued) 2:30-3:45 p.m. Health & Wellness: Why Black Women Should Put Their Oxygen Masks On First! Hear from the medical community how Black women can manage their career and family stresses during multiple pandemics. MODERATOR:

Dr. Gregory L. Hall, Founder & Board Chair National Institute for African American Health Associate Professor, Internal Medicine and Integrative Medical Sciences Northeast Ohio Medical University PANELISTS:

Dr. LaShon N. Sawyer, Chief Clinical Therapist Sage Insight Communication & Therapeutic Services, LLC Director, Advocacy and Policy Towards Employment Dr. Linda D. Bradley, Professor Obstetrics/Gynecology and Reproductive Biology Cleveland Clinic Dr. Charles Modlin, Jr., Inaugural Medical Director, Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity The MetroHealth System 6:30-8:30 p.m. WOCF 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner & Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Ms. Johnnie B. Booker President & CEO The Johnnie Booker Group and Retired Executive from The Coca-Cola Company

Conference at-a-Glance WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26 8:30-9:45 a.m. Black CEOs and Entrepreneurs Excelling in Non-Traditional Industries One measure of our progress as women is that we are no longer restricted to traditional industries. Find out from our panelists of experts how they were able to break the mold and change the landscape. MODERATOR:

Glen Shumate, Executive VP Construction Employers Association PANELISTS:

Ariane Kirkpatrick President/CEO, Harvest of Ohio President/CEO, The AKA Team Traci Otey Blunt, Principal & Founder Blunt Group Strategies, LLC Mariko Lewis, CEO Self Shield USA & Pretty Defense LJ Jennings, Pastor Kingdom Builders Christian Fellowship Church 10:00-11:30 a.m. Special Closing Keynote Conversation EXECUTIVE IN RESIDENCE:

Alexandria Johnson Boone, Chairwoman & Founder Women of Color Foundation Sofia Chang, CEO Girl Scouts of the USA

Congratulations to the Women of Color Foundation and its founder Alexandria Johnson Boone on 20 years of bringing voice to the voiceless

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Connexions Consulting, Inc. is an organizational development firm dedicated to creating inclusive, culturally competent workplaces. We help organizations achieve their mission, goals, and objectives by optimizing talent, unleashing creative and inclusive environments and enhancing organization’s reputation in the marketplace. At Connexions Consulting, we focus our services on helping our clients to define the end goals. Along the way, we tap into some, or all, of our core services, including:

◉ Customized strategic plan consulting ◉ Inclusion and Diversity strategic plans, audits and assessments ◉ Development and implementation of diversity councils and employee resource groups ◉ Alignment of talent management with diversity ◉ Inclusion and Cultural Competence education and training ◉ Community capacity building facilitation ◉ Human resource compliance Together we can achieve your mission. Find out how: Charmaine Brown President / CEO Connexions Consulting, Inc. 216-970-6740 charmaine.brown@connexconsultinginc.com

2023 Women of Color Foundation 2nd Annual National Executive Women’s Summit Sunday, October 29 – Wednesday, November 1 The Grand Resort Warren, Ohio

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