Monday, October 28, 2013

Black Executives in Corporate America Celebrate Next Generation of African American Business Leaders

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Edward Lewis, co-founder of Essence magazine; Roger Ferguson, gala honoree and President & CEO, TIAA-CREF;
and Maurice Cox, retired Pepsico executive

Executive Leadership Council hosts 2013 Recognition Gala, “Igniting Innovation: Leadership for the Future”

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – African American CEOs, board directors and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies celebrated diversity and inclusion in corporate America at the Executive Leadership Council’s 2013 Recognition Gala on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at the Gaylord National Hotel outside of Washington, DC.

This year’s theme, “Igniting Innovation: Leadership for the Future,” showcased the work of the Council’s Executive Leadership Foundation (ELF), which invests in education, leadership training and executive development programs, by announcing a grant of $350,000 to North Carolina Central University to support the next generation of black business leaders.  The grant was provided under ELF’s Community Impact Initiative, a national program aimed at closing the achievement gap among black middle and high school students.

“Through our Community Impact Initiative, we are making a strategic investment in the next generation of business leaders, providing more than $1 million in just three years to deserving grantees,” said Ronald C. Parker, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council and Foundation.  “We are pleased to expand our impact and reach by providing this grant to North Carolina Central University’s Summer Youth Business & Entrepreneurship Academy.”  Dr. Debra Saunders-White, NCCU chancellor, accepted the award that will support the academy, a two-week, non-residential business and entrepreneurship immersion program.

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During the evening the annual gala bestowed several awards, including the Honorable Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon and member of U.S. House of Representatives with the Alvaro L. Martins Heritage Award; Roger W. Ferguson, President & CEO, TIAA-CREF with the Achievement Award; and Marriott International receiving the Corporate Award.  The ELC also announced new plans to rebrand the organization and expand its membership to reflect the Fortune 1000 and global enterprises.  The gala was presented by Prudential Financial, Inc. and AARP.

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Kevin Frazier, host, OMG! Insider; actress Gabrielle Union; and journalist Ed Gordon

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Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Gayle King

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The 2013 Ann Fudge Scholars were recognized at the gala.  The scholarship is named after
the first woman chair of the ELC and supports black college women majoring in business.

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ELC scholarship recipients, with Fonzworth Bentley, (center) all received a copy of his book, "Advance Your Swagger."

About The Executive Leadership Council
The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(6) corporation founded in 1986, comprised of current and former black CEOs, board directors and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies. For more than 25 years, the ELC has worked to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline. They empower black corporate leaders to make significant and impactful contributions in the global marketplace and their communities.

The ELC’s related charitable organization, The Executive Leadership Foundation (ELF), focuses on improving local communities and helping disadvantaged groups within the broader society. The 501(c)(3) affiliate supports education programs and provides scholarships to deserving students interested in business and corporate careers. ELF programs develop future business leaders, filling the pipeline from the classroom to the boardroom. For more information about The Executive Leadership Council and Foundation, please visit

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African American Women Executives Celebrate 10 Years of Leadership and Progress

Photos courtesy of ELC

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