Amazon

Saturday
Oct132018

Check out my radio interview on South Carolina State University radio station 90.3 WSSB with Tamari Perrineau-Palmer host and senior marketing major.

 

Tamari Perrineau-Palmer

Radio host and senior marketing major

South Carolina State University radio station 90.3 WSSB

 

Monday
Oct082018

Career and Internship Opportunities - Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles (Calabasas and Van Nuys, Calif.); New York City, Washington, D.C.

Bill ImadaChairman and Chief Connectivity Officer6300 Wilshire BoulevardSuite 2150Los Angeles, CA 90048 USA

 



  Hello Everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  Here are a few job openings that I wanted to share with you.  Please feel free to circulate them to your networks.  All the best, Bill 


 Padilla Account Supervisor – FoodMindsChicago, Washington, D.C. or New York City From Ms. Victoria Gibbs of Padilla. Manage breakthrough communication programs that advance clients and enhance the FoodMinds reputation. This position can reside in the Chicago, IL, Washington, DC or New York, NY office. Essential Functions and Qualifications: Client Business:                                                                                      

  • Work within and support multiple projects taking place simultaneously and delegate effectively
  • Build client relationships and gain trust and respect as strategic partner
  • Lead communications outreach and demonstrate solid media relationships
  • Create and manage effective health professional/influencer partnerships and activities
  • Possess expertise in traditional and social media outreach and influencer relationship building
  • Demonstrate advanced communication skills: effective storytelling, writing/editing, active listening
  • Serve as a client team leader

 FoodMinds Business:

  • Contribute to overall development and well-being of FoodMinds and identify and lead internal activities
  • Understand our business and financial goals: manage scope, budget and resources accordingly, including management of monthly invoices and budget trackers
  • Identify organic growth and/or new business opportunities and support pitch efforts
  • Be a constant FoodMinds ambassador
  • Show passion and involvement in relevant industry organizations
  • Proactively share successes and program cases to foster better integration and collaboration across accounts

 People:

  • Manage direct reports and attract, motivate, coach and retain staff
  • Champion success of direct reports and provide constructive feedback
  • Form solid relationships with media, food and nutrition influencers, thought leaders and external partners
  • Collaborate effectively across multiple levels while guiding with solution-oriented approach

 Success Metrics, Skills and Experience:

  • Measurable program results: consistently exceed expectations
  • Effective people and budget management as demonstrated by satisfactory annual appraisal
  • Solid client, health professional and media relationships as demonstrated by positive 360 feedback
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred in communications, business, nutrition and/or public health
  • 5-7 years’ experience within a fast-paced communications setting
  • Proven track record developing successful health/nutrition-focused communication projects
  • Some travel will be required

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities. 

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 

For more information and to apply, visit:http://bit.ly/2IyFmDa   

PadillaDirector, FoodMindsChicago or Washington, D.C.

 From Ms. Victoria Gibbs of Padilla. 

FoodMinds, a division of Padilla and an award-winning food and nutrition consulting and communications company, has an immediate opportunity at the Director level in its Chicago, IL or Washington, DC office. The position provides the opportunity to lead large-scale nutrition and sustainability communications programs for high-profile brands, trade associations and organizations. 

Qualified candidates will have a proven track record developing and leading successful strategic communications programs. Experience is preferable in the areas of food, nutrition and health communications, including experience in managing programs that balance the interests of multiple internal and external stakeholders. The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of the nutrition affairs environment, including health professional associations, nutrition policy and influencers throughout the landscape. They will also understand the emerging (and nuanced) intersection of nutrition and sustainability – the literature, leading authorities and policy implications. 

The right candidate will have experience leading client relationships. They ideally will have experience managing an agency team or teams of people from various disciplines to identify and anticipate client needs, provide high-quality strategic counsel, ensure flawless execution of details and deliver products on time and within budget. 

Candidates should have a minimum of six years of experience within a fast-paced food and nutrition communications setting. The candidate should have demonstrated a consistent strong ability to retain and grow client programs, success managing and mentoring internal client teams and consultants, and the capability to develop new business opportunities. Registered dietitian and/or advanced degrees in communications, business, public health, nutrition, policy or sustainability is preferred, but not required.  Travel up to 25%. 

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities. 

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 

To secure more information and to apply, please visit:http://bit.ly/2P27jFP   

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools

 Communications Manager

Calabasas, Calif. (in suburban Los Angeles) 

From Ms. Karen Denne of Harbor Freight Tools. 

About Harbor Freight Tools for Schools

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is a program of The Smidt Foundation, established by Harbor Freight Tools Founder Eric Smidt, to support the advancement of skilled trades education in America. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, this initiative was created to foster and shine a light on excellence in skilled trades education in American public high schools. Believing that access to quality skilled trades education gives high school students pathways to graduation, opportunity, good jobs and a workforce our country needs, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools (HFTFS) aims to stimulate greater understanding, support and investment by public entities and others in skilled trades education. To learn more about Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, please visit www.HarborFreightToolsforSchools.org

Position OverviewThe Communications Manager will be responsible for working collaboratively with a small entrepreneurial team to build and implement a communications plan to shine a positive light on skilled trades education in American high schools. The HFTFS team operates in a highly-collaborative fashion. Team members are expected to share meaningful input and accept insightful feedback in ways that enhance our organizational effectiveness and enrich our team culture. The Communications Manager will magnify the programs operated by HFTFS, including the Prize for Teaching Excellence, and creatively address the stigma that faces skilled trades education across the country. This is a unique role and opportunity to utilize effective communications to tell the stories of inspiring students and teachers, and play a pivotal role in shifting public opinion about skilled trades education and jobs. HFTFS believes our mission has the power to be transformative for our country’s public education system, the teachers we support, the students they serve, and the workforce we hope to strengthen. The Communications Manager must reflect this passionate belief through HFTFS communications. 

Essential Duties and ResponsibilitiesStrategic:

  • Collaborate with HFTFS team on program strategy, implementation and evaluation with an eye towards excellence and continuous improvement
  • Lead the development and implementation of a communications strategy for HFTFS that reinforces our mission and core principles
  • Develop strategies and messaging that communicates effectively with our key audiences, including teachers, school administrators, school board members, policymakers, newsmakers and the public at large
  • Collaborate with Harbor Freight Tools senior director of communications on major events, media outreach and overall communications strategy
  • Establish relationships with key media that cover education, and deepen media coverage of skilled trades education, HFTFS and its grantees

 Tactical:

  • Work with the HFTFS team to design and implement outreach materials on core programs and research collected on the state of skilled trades education across the U.S.
  • Develop and execute media outreach strategies; write press releases and media advisories
  • Write and oversee the production of all print and electronic collateral, including website copy, infographics, email newsletters, email updates and program reports
  • Edit and proof written materials developed by team members to ensure consistent messaging and style
  • Manage social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
  • Develop plans for special events, including concept, budget, vendor interaction, visual elements and printed materials
  • Oversee video production, working with outside vendors to produce video content for widespread dissemination
  • Stay up-to-date on content and trends related to career and technical education and the U.S. skilled trades workforce

 Impact: Make HFTFS a go-to, respected resource for high-quality skilled trades data, resources and stories Job Qualifications – Education and ExperienceMission-driven passion:

  • Dedication to HFTFS mission and core principles
  • Commitment to working in a fast-paced, dynamic, optimistic, results-oriented team environment
  • Entrepreneurial zeal and leadership drive
  • Self-starter, highly motivated, hands-on professional

 Strong communications skills:

  • Superb writing skills – ability to listen, reflect and create compelling written content
  • Strong verbal and presentation skills
  • Adept critical thinker, strategist, problem solver and team player

 Excellent performance in relevant work experience:

  • Project management experience – meets deadlines by producing high-quality deliverables
  • Experience managing communications functions such as messaging, development of collateral materials, social media, website development and market research
  • At least three years of experience in Communications, Public Relations or a related field

 Educational background:

  • Bachelors’ degree required, Master’s degree preferred

 For application instructions or questions, please email admin@hftforschools.org

 

 Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE)

Program Coordinator/Housing Counselor

Los Angeles From Ms. Hyepin Im of FACE. 

JOIN THE FACE TEAM!

Are you looking to make a difference in the world? Are you interested in being at the intersection of faith and community?Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE), a national award winning organization with a vision to serve as a bridge between the Asian American community and the greater community at large is seeking a highly motivated individual who is results-oriented and ready to jump in with both feet to join our team as a Program Coordinator/Housing Counselor. Established in 2001, FACE (formerly known as KCCD) is the largest premiere Asian American non-profit involved in church and community development connecting and creating private and public collaborations. To date, we have had over 500 partners from the White House to Fortune 500 companies. Our mission is to advance the Asian American community’s participation, contribution, and influence through faith and community partnerships.

FACE is looking for outstanding, motivated, and talented individuals who are passionate about community, advocacy, and partnerships and are looking for an opportunity to advance their skills and career. We offer excellent opportunities for receiving training in leadership and service, visibility, comprehensive experience in various aspects of nonprofit, and networking with leaders in government, business, the faith-based community, media and the community on a local and national level. 

PROGRAM & DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR/HOUSING COUNSELOR

Program Coordinator/Housing Counselor works under the supervision of the CEO, and is responsible for program coordination for various programs including our housing, job development, and leadership programs.  In housing, they will be providing a full range of client services for financial education, first-time home buying, and foreclosure prevention programs, including group education workshops, seminars, and individualized guidance. They will gather documentation needed to evaluate creditworthiness and eligibility of mortgage applicants for various homeownership programs, including mortgage loan products and down payment assistance. They will also be involved in delinquency counseling, assessing documentation to determine home retention workout options, which includes loan modifications. In addition, they will maintain positive and effective relationships with clients and program stakeholders. As a Program Coordinator, this position will also require working with our Workforce Development Partners where responsibilities include outreach, case management, coordinating referrals, and partnership collaboration amongst other duties. This job requires working on Saturdays/weekends. 

SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Coordinate/conduct case management, training and outreach and communication with various stakeholders for the various programs including housing, job development program and leadership development.
  • Conduct group education on a variety of topics relative to financial literacy, home buying and foreclosure prevention.
  • Conduct one-on-one sessions with prospective borrowers in order to: analyze financial and credit information, determine customer financing objectives, eligibility of down payment products and gather any additional required information to determine mortgage readiness.
  • Conduct one-on-one sessions with delinquent homeowners to assist clients in evaluating opportunities available through various foreclosure prevention programs.
  • Identify, develop, and maintain a quality network of business relationships that serves as a recurring source of referrals for new clients.
  • Maintain current knowledge of industry program requirements pertaining to financial literacy, homeownership, and foreclosure prevention.
  • Conduct workshops, training seminars, and classes in topics covering financial literacy and first-time homebuyer certification.

 REQUIRED SKILLS & EXPERIENCE

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent computer skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office suite products
  • Strong interpersonal skills necessary to work effectively with a variety of people and organizations
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, and follow through within deadlines and case management
  • Attention to detail and accurate data input of client data in client tracking database
  • Must be able to work with minimal supervision
  • Bilingual English/Korean helpful
  • Previous leadership experience
  • Passion for service and strong desire to grow
  • Perform other duties of similar nature or level as required
  • Case management and job development experience are helpful.
  • Ability to use Quickbooks, Paypal and have experience supporting the Accounting/Finance Dept.
  • Assist in submitting reports and grant writing

 PREFERRED SKILLS

  • Graphic design experience using Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator
  • Print/Publication experience using Adobe InDesign & video editing tools

 FLEXIBILITY OF HOURS

This position requires Saturday hours minimum once or twice a month. The individual is expected to fulfill his/her job responsibilities beyond scheduled work hours. This may include community meetings and events in the evenings or weekends. The individual is also expected to participate in FACE's events which may occur outside of the regular business hours. This includes travel related to FACE events and job training. 

BENEFITS

  • Vacation and Sick Time
  • Medical Insurance
  • Certification Training
  • Ten days of annual holiday observed

 COMPENSATIONCompetitive pay, depending on experience. TO APPLYPlease submit cover letter, resume including three professional references and salary history via email to: HR@facela.org

 

 Valley Presbyterian Hospital Foundation

Executive Director

Van Nuys, Calif. (located in the San Fernando Valley) 

From Ms. Carol Kim, VP – Community Investments and Public Affairs, Health Net, Inc. 

Valley Presbyterian Hospital opened its doors to the community in 1958 as a small, neighborhood provider of personalized medical care. Today, we are one of the largest and most prestigious full-service acute care facilities in the San Fernando Valley. Our 350-bed hospital serves thousands of families each year, with access to a wide range of medical expertise and leading-edge technology across all elements of care. Among the regions brightest and best, our nurses, therapists, technicians and more than 500 physicians represent virtually every specialty and most sub-specialties in the medical field, including cardiac care, orthopedics, maternal and child health, and oncology. 

As a certified STEMI receiving center, Valley Presbyterian Hospital is one of the facilities best equipped to care for heart attack patients within the critical 90 minutes following the onset of chest pain. We provide rapid response to such heart attacks, as well as cardiac intervention and full surgery coverage any time, day or night. 

Valley Presbyterian Hospital is a Certified Stroke Center providing immediate access to specialized neurologist via RP-Lite telemedicine technology. This system includes an on-camera interface that allows our physicians to perform real-time consultations with a neurologist located hours away. 

VPH is also an Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics (EDAP). We have specialized pediatric teams, including pediatric surgeons and anesthesiologists, who are ready at a moment's notice to assemble, triage, and fast-track children to the care they urgently need. While our range of acute-care services and expertise has continued to expand, we remain a community-based hospital at heart. As one of the Valley’s only independent, non-profit, and locally governed institutions, we provide an exceptional level of care that responds to the needs of our community. As a result, we are honored to have been voted "Best Hospital" by the readers of The Daily News for nine years in a row. 

Position Description:The Foundation Executive Director will be responsible to direct the functions of setting objectives, planning, organizing and leading the activities of the Valley Presbyterian Hospital Foundation. This position will also be responsible for the implementation and execution of an ongoing, comprehensive fundraising and development operations, in support of and in concert with the mission of the Foundation and supported organizations. 

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Develops and implements an annual strategic plan for areas of oversight. Provides strategic information and guidance to assist in developing goals, plans, and procedures.
  • Responsible for the effective leadership of the Foundation by integrating the Foundation into the Hospital’s primary functions, developing, monitoring and communicating the Foundations annual budget, developing and implementing policies and procedures that guide and support the provision of services.
  • Administers all aspects of the fund-raising programs of the Hospital, including annual giving, major gifts, grant writing, special events, planned giving, and capital campaigns.
  • Ensures all major donors receive appropriate, consistent recognition and an accounting of the impact that their gift has on community needs annually.
  • Responsible for generating and managing the philanthropic funds for Hospital Foundation. Plans, recommends, initiates, conducts, and directs all programs necessary to produce such funds.
  • Participates in Foundation, Hospital/Medical Staff committee meetings as required. Attends and serves on profession/civic service organizations as Hospital and Foundation representative, as directed. Meets with members of the community as required to promote good community relations.
  • Develops annual departmental and capital budgets, monitors and analyzes ongoing performance and productivity and implements necessary corrective action plans.

 Experience & Qualifications

  • Seven (7) to ten (10) years of active fundraising experience with growing responsibility and senior leadership experience, preferably in the healthcare field.
  • Leadership and communication skills, including the ability to communicate a compelling case for support to individual and Foundation donors.
  • Ability to work effectively with a variety of persons from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Ability to analyze and resolve complex issues, both logical and interpersonal.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills and effective presentation skills.

 Education and Certifications

  • Bachelor's degree in Health, Business Administration or a related field
  • A Master's degree in Health/Hospital Administration, Public Health, or Business Administration, or related field is highly desirable.
  • Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification preferred
  • Must successfully complete and maintain LA City Fire Card certification at the time of hire or within the first 30 days of employment

 For information, contact:Mr. William H. Moore, PresidentMoore & Associatesbillmoore@whmoore.comTel. 714.582.1200Fax. 714.582.1201

 

 General Motors Corporation

Student Intern – On Campus (Undergraduate)

Detroit From Mr. Fields Jackson of Racing Toward Diversity magazine. 

Description

At General Motors, we pride ourselves on designing, building and selling the world's best vehicles. We are seeking a new generation of visionaries to help launch bold engineering and business initiatives, and shape new directions for General Motors. As an intern or co-op student through our EXCEL (Exploring Careers through Experiential Learning) Program you will be provided hands-on career specific experiences to maximize your real world potential such as:

  • Collaborating on innovation challenges
  • Interacting with industry leaders
  • Attending cross-functional networking events
  • Volunteering for community service activities

 Opportunities are available in the following functions:

  • Cadillac
  • Communications
  • Customer Care & Aftersales
  • Finance
  • Global Connected Consumer Experience
  • Global Propulsion Systems
  • Global Purchasing & Supply Chain
  • Global Workplace Safety
  • Human Resources/Labor Relations
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Sales, Service & Marketing
  • Sustainable Workplaces
  • Vehicle Engineering

 We are looking for candidates who:

  • Have an insatiable drive for excellence
  • Challenge themselves and their peers
  • Enjoy working collaboratively in a cross-functional team
  • Demonstrate a strong work ethic
  • Have a strong ability and willingness to learn
  • Desire to deliver innovative solutions to complex problems
  • Must have the right to work in the United States now and in the future without sponsorship

 Assignment Duration:10-12 weeks. Locations:Will vary based on function and assignment. For more information, visit:http://bit.ly/2xSC9tR

 

      Bill ImadaChairman and Chief Connectivity Officer6300 Wilshire BoulevardSuite 2150Los Angeles, CA  90048 USATel. 213.262.4090Tel. 213.262.0911 directMobile 310.691.3462www.iwgroupinc.com Follow me on Twitter @bimada

Monday
Oct082018

Inclusive Visioning 

Submitted by: Sylvia Gail Kinard, Esq.

The future requires more than “thinking outside the box”. It requires a re-definition of what the box is, in order to let go of institutional structures that no longer serve us. Inclusive Visioning™ is a tool that organizations can use to “re-define the box” and harness the power of diversity in ways that can transform an institutions self-perception and revolutionize its vision.

American society is becoming more diverse in its viewpoints and values, and that’s a good thing. Researcher Katherine Phillips, believes that increased diversity will give us permission to be ourselves in new ways. Indeed, Phillips states that the mere presence of social diversity makes people with independent points of view more willing to voice those views and others more willing to listen.

Yet, even academic institutions seem resistant to intellectual integration. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (“NCES”) at most postsecondary institutions, the faculty and staff remain predominately white, at a time when white student enrollment has and is projected to decline. In a 2015 report, NCES notes that among 1.5 million full-time instructional faculty in degree granting postsecondary institutions that were surveyed: 79 percent were white, 6 percent were African American, 5 percent were Hispanic, 10 percent were Asian or Pacific Islander, and less than 1 percent other. NCES reported comparable statistics in a survey of the administrative ranks, noting that of 2.9 million staff members, 69 percent were white, 7 percent African American, 5 percent Hispanic, 6 percent Asian and 12% other.

Diversity is important because it fuels innovation, improves intercultural communication and produces a better organizational brand. Yet, despite, so many positives, institutional ambivalence to diversity remains.

One possible reason may have been discovered by Yale researcher Kenji Yoshino in his book, “Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights.” individuals “cover” to tone down a disfavored identity and fit into the mainstream culture.” According to Yoshino, the benefits of diversity will remain elusive if members of minority groups are only accepted when they conform to and reflect the values, cultural norms and aspirations of the majority.

Therefore, the mere presence of previously under-represented groups will not reflect a true integration of diverse ideas and viewpoints, if these individuals are “covering” their uniqueness in order to fit in. However, there is an approach, institutions can adopt to cultivate true diversity. Inclusive Visioning™ (“IV”) is an approach that helps institutions develop strategic plans that are an organic synthesis of equally valued ideas. The IV system flattens unnecessary hierarchy by pushing power down and out. It infuses diversity into the strategic planning process through a technique of team imagining.

Think of Silicon Valley during its infancy. These billion-dollar companies were founded by university whiz kids, who imported the Petri dish dynamics of their college experience to shape the environments of their start-up businesses. To allow spontaneous creativity to thrive, these cutting-edge businesses allowed pool tables and dogs; flexible working hours; organic cafeterias and crash pads. Similarly, the IV system helps institutions understand how and what they need to change in order to promote new dynamic growth – i.e. to re-think the box.

Many forward-leaning organizations, find their growth hindered by straight-jackets of tradition and hierarchical structures. Hierarchical systems are often resistant to diverse points of view and averse to innovation. These internal structures can rigidify the institutional ego in ways that consolidate all power at the top and ignore the fact that good ideas can bubble up from unexpected places. The best organizations are eliminating artificial walls that keep them from gaining a competitive advantage and finding ways to share decision making power across a broader spectrum of stakeholders.

Change leaders must identify historical impediments to inclusion and address systemic resistance to diversity. A key step towards removing historical barriers is to understand the organization’s “back story.” Back story is a film term that refers to information about a character that isn’t seen on the screen but is essential for the actor to understand in order to capture the nuances of the character he/she is portraying.

Similarly, institutions have back stories, which leaders must understand in order to clearly identify ingrained values that are resistant to inclusive decision making and need to be eliminated.

In today’s world, the speed at which knowledge advances belies the top-down manner in which power has traditionally been exercised. Creating an inclusive vision will, therefore, require that institutional objectives and goals be both identified and executed by teams or micro communities that collaborate as partnerships of equals.

If Yoshino is correct, many organizations err when they only reward individuals who most closely conform to the status quo while ignoring or minimizing the contributions of those who don’t. Diversity is not just about hiring people or recruiting students who are “different.” Diversity is a process of infusing the institution with non-traditional values and experiences which help to move the institution beyond the limitations of its past and re-shape its institutional “box” in new and exciting ways.

Through team imagining, institutions can promote the development of breakthrough ideas through a process of organic brainstorming. Team imagining helps to promote cultural diffusion, by suspending the false belief of what is best, what is acceptable and what “should” be done. It allows team members to “uncover” the strength of non-traditional ideas and creates a space where consensus can be reached. This power for dynamic change can only be released when people feel free to make contributions that reflect their uniqueness and their intellectual diversity is not, as Yoshino warns, “covered”.

Finally, once an institution has embraced diversity as a strategic goal, it will need to develop a MAP (Multicultural Action Plan). Institutions must be intentional about its diversity goals and have a specific strategy, a “MAP” for achieving them. A MAP provides the tools institutions needs to ask the tough, crucial questions that will ultimately lead to a more informed vision of its future.

Inclusive Visioning suggests that institutions benefit, when they allow room not just for diverse voices to be “heard” but allow these voices to shape the very fabric of its operating vision, mission and goals.

 

Monday
Sep172018

Gaps in Moving the Needle on Diversity

By Joe M. Ricks, Jr, PhD. 
Chair, Division of Business 
 
Xavier University of Louisiana 
 
New Orleans, LA 70125


Over the past few years in my role as Chair of the Division of Business at Xavier University of Louisiana and serving on the executive committee of the National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable I’ve been highly engaged in the conversation regarding Diversity and Inclusion.  During this time I have observed two significant gaps that need to be addressed if we are going to move the needle.  While I’m bringing awareness to these gaps from a diversity perspective these gaps are also relevant to the overall talent issues in Corporate America. The first issue is the need for meaningful dialog between business leaders and suppliers of talent, and the second is the focus on the best and the brightest.

During my career, with a few exceptions, the meetings I attend are with business leaders with few, if any academic faculty or frontline student touching administrators or academic meetings with no business leaders in attendance.  This gap leads to two of the major influencers of the diversity talent pipeline talking at each other through articles and other media rather than to each other in engaging two way conversations where we can get on the same page regarding the terms and metrics that are important to developing and onboarding talent from diverse populations.  There is a clear consensus that moving the needle in diversity and inclusion requires uncomfortable conversations; communications though media provides a lot of comfort.  These uncomfortable conversations need to be face to face, where business leaders and the academics that are directly involved in developing a diverse talent pipeline are able to have in depth discussions were each can understand the needs, possibilities, and limitations of each other to identify solutions to pipeline issues.

This gap is not difficult to close; it only requires the will to do so.  Academic and industry associations need to simply add these meeting to the agendas at their national and regional meetings. At the 2018 summit, the National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable partnered with the CEO Action Network and corporate sponsors to engage in panel discussions and breakout sessions with CEOs and diversity and inclusion leaders. Academic and industry associations, accreditation bodies, and corporate leadership groups could and should replicate this initiative.  Where I think the low hanging fruit for effective conversations is between academic leaders (deans, chairs, and faculty) and business leaders (diversity leaders and hiring managers) at national and regional meetings. 

The second gap is much more complex and will need some of the nation’s most talent minds to address. During my career I have had the privilege of being one of the few academics at meetings with business leaders and during these conversations it will inevitably lead to ways to bring the best and brightest students to their organizations.  The complete focus on the best and the brightest (usually determined by GPA) in itself will not have much of an effect on the need for talent in general or the need for diverse talent specifically; by definition the best and the brightest is a small number.  

Even in today’s “everyone gets a trophy” environment not everyone can be a top performer.  If we really want to make a significant effect on increasing the talent pool some of the great minds in Corporate America and the academy must give some thought leadership on how to develop the middle where the greater numbers are.  We in the academy need to identify ways to demonstrate our less than 3.0 students have the competencies necessary to be productive, and our corporate partners need to identify roles where students with potential that fall under the 3.0 threshold can have the opportunity to develop.  Grades measure a lot more than a student’s competency to perform in the work place, and by not providing more opportunities to the majority of students (unless there is significant grade inflation) we are leaving a lot of talent on the table.  I know there are a lot of factors in addressing the second gap that will require a lot of hard work, however if we pick the low hanging fruit in the first gap we will have a framework to address the second.