The National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable joins more than 300+ CEOs in Unprecedented Commitment to Advance Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

HBCU Business Deans represent 83 campuses in 22 states & Virgin Islands. With more than 250,000 students enrolled.

The National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable joins the growing coalition pledging to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 
The National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable joins more than 300+ CEOs and presidents that have taken the pledge, committing themselves and the organizations they lead to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
This extraordinary show of force builds on the energy from the launch and grows the potential impact of the pledge. By signing on to this commitment, The National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable is pledging to take action to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected and where employees feel encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion. The collective of more than 300 signatories have already shared more than 300 actions, exchanging tangible learning opportunities and creating collaborative conversations via the Initiatives unified hub Continuing this momentum, the signatories will convene at a closed-door discussion in November to discuss longer- term growth strategies that will advance the agenda.
HBCU Business Deans Roundtable, President and Chair, Division of Business of Xavier University of Louisiana, Dr. Joe Ricks comments, “As leaders of HBCU business programs this work is very important to us as both pipeline providers of diverse talent as well as thought leaders for creating diverse environments in our schools and the organizations where our students work.”
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is cultivating a new type of ecosystem centered around collaboration and sharing. The actions, available via

Showcase real-life examples of the open and transparent conversations to cultivate more diverse and inclusive workplace environments.

To learn more visit and connect with us on Facebook: CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and Twitter: @CEOAction
Press Contacts:
Fields Jackson
Executive Director
HBCU Business Deans Roundtable



Chicago United Announces 2017 Business Leaders of Color Honorees

Corporate Membership and Advocacy Organization Honors Local Executives    

CHICAGO – October 16, 2017  Chicago United is pleased to announce the selection of 50 remarkable business professionals who drive transformational change and make an impact in the business community in the 2017 Business Leaders of Color publication. Released every two years since 2003, the Business Leaders of Color publication serves as a resource to increase inclusion of diverse candidates in Fortune 1,000 corporations’ boards of directors.

 The publication features individuals ready for boards of directors’ positions, with a broad range of professional experience and proven track records of success. Through their identification, Chicago United helps to accelerate inclusion of professionals of color in board governance. 

The 2017 Business Leaders of Color were selected from a nomination pool of 195 qualified candidates representing a wide variety of product and service industries.

 “When we created the Business Leaders of Color publication in 2003, our goal was to highlight and recognize exceptional corporate and civic diverse leaders who were ready to contribute as board directors for Fortune 1,000 companies,” said Gloria Castillo, president and CEO of Chicago United. “It’s been remarkable to see the individuals who have been honored over the years as Business Leaders of Color evolves into a network of the most influential diverse leaders in Chicago. Since the beginning, we have identified and featured nearly 370 board-ready candidates who have served in more than 230 corporate directorships.”

 Past Business Leaders of Color members include former First Lady Michelle ObamaValerie B. Jarrett, former senior advisor to former President Barack Obama; Adela Cepeda, managing director, PFM Financial Advisors LLC, and Board director, UBS Funds, Consulting Group Capital Markets Mutual Funds, Mercer Mutual Funds, and BMO Financial Corporation; Michelle L. Collins, president, Cambium LLC, and Board member of The PrivateBank, ULTA Beauty, and Health Care Service Corporation; Sonny Garg, solutions lead, Energy, Uptake; Aylwin B. Lewis, Board member, The Walt Disney Company and Marriott International Inc.; Lou Nieto, Board member of AutoZone, Ryder Systems Inc., and Fresh and Ready Foods; Luis Sierra, CEO - Global Aromatics, BP; and Don Thompson, founder, Cleveland Avenue, and former Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Corporation.

 2017 Business Leaders of Color

 Shradha Agarwal, Co-Founder and President, Outcome Health

Luis A. Avila, General Counsel, Hispanic National Bar Association

Nichole Barnes Marshall, Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, L Brands

Pat Auveek Basu, Senior Vice President, Optum/United Health Group

Cecelia Boden, Chief Delivery Officer, SDI Presence

Joseph Malik Bradley, Global Vice President IoT & Digital Services, Cisco Systems

George Burciaga, Managing Director of Global Municipal Development & Innovation, CIVIQ Smartscapes

Louis Carr, President Media Sales, BET Networks

Guoxing Chai, Global Head, Retail Banking Product Analytics, HSBC

Eduardo Conrado, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Innovation Office, Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Stephen Davis, President, The Will Group

Billy Dec, Chief Executive Officer, Rockit Ranch Productions

Peter M. Ellis, Partner, Chair of Complex Litigation Practice and Executive Committee Member, Reed Smith

Opella F. Ernest, Chief Clinical Officer, Health Care Service Corporation

Verónica Gómez, Senior Vice President, Regulatory & Energy Policy and General Counsel, ComEd, An Exelon Company

Craig A. Griffith, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

Pedro Antonio Guerrero, Chief Executive Officer, Guerrero Howe Custom Media

Steven V. Hunter, Attorney, Quarles & Brady LLP

Ted Jackson, Vice President Operations, Novolex

Rudy Juarez, Vice President and General Manager, Mexico, Latin America, Global Export, W.W. Grainger

Michael Leong, Senior Vice President, PNC Bank

Marco A. López, Co-Founder, elemento L2

Mike Maali, Midwest Regional Leader, Risk Assurance, PwC

Christopher C. Melvin, Jr., Managing Member, Melvin & Company

Carey Mendes, Regional Business Leader Global Oil Americas, BP America Inc.

Juan Gabriel Moreno, President, JGMA

Raj V. Nagarajan, Senior Vice President, Chief Audit Executive, Wintrust Financial Corporation

David C. Namkung, Managing Partner, Clarity Partners, LLC

Seema Pajula, Vice Chairman and U.S. Consumer & Industrial Products Leader, Deloitte & Touche LLP

José Paz Peña, Jr., Senior Vice President, Head of Retail Banking for Illinois and Indiana, Fifth Third Bank

Sergio Pereira, President, Quill Corporation

Jose Luis Prado, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Evans Food

Maria de J. Prado, Partner, Prado & Renteria CPAs, Prof. Corp.

Anjoo Rai-Marchant, Chief Customer and Technology Officer, HighGround

Terika Richardson, President, Advocate Trinity Hospital

Debbie Roberts, President, East Zone, McDonald’s USA, LLC

Dee M. Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Robinson Hill, Inc.

Levoyd E. Robinson, Managing Principal, CFI Partners

Robert Rodriguez, President, DRR Advisors

Emma L. Rodriguez-Ayala, Former General Counsel and Senior Managing Director, Mesirow Financial

Jacobo Schatz, Chief Operating Officer - Wealth Management, Northern Trust

Stacy Sharpe, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations, Allstate Insurance Company

Luther E. Siebert, Vice President, Global Head of Core Map, Regional Map & Content, HERE Technologies

Srinivas Veeramasuneni, Vice President, Corporate Innovation Center, USG Corporation

Lisa W. Wardell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Adtalem Global Education

Alex E. Washington, Managing Director, Wind Point Partners

Lynn Watkins-Asiyanbi, Associate General Counsel, John Bean Technologies Corporation

Paul S. Williams, Partner, Major, Lindsey and Africa/Allegis Partners

Melvin D. Williams, President, Nicor Gas

Ann Marie Wright, Chief Operating Officer, N.A. Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group

The 2017 Business Leaders of Color will be honored during the Chicago United Bridge Awards Dinner presentation onThursday, November 9, at the Hilton Chicago. To reserve tickets or request a copy of the 2017 Business Leaders of Color publication, please call (312) 977-3060 or visit the Chicago United website,      

About Chicago United

 Chicago United is a corporate membership and advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve parity in economic opportunity for people of color by advancing multiracial leadership in corporate governance, executive level management, and business diversity. Founded in 1968, the organization is focused on transforming the Chicago region into the most inclusive business ecosystem in the nation by engaging the top publicly and privately held corporations in leading talent management and inclusive diversity practices. Chicago United’s signature programs include its Business Leaders of Color publication which showcases a diverse pool of corporate director candidates and the Five Forward Initiative™, designed to invigorate job creation in communities of color by increasing the scale of large MBEs in the Chicago region.
Fields Jackson, JrFounder & CEORacing Toward Diversity magazine
(919) 656-9657


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Dads and Daughters | Reinvent Mindsets | HP

We may not realize it but we are all affected by unconscious bias. That’s why at HP Inc., we’re training all hiring managers to reduce these split-second impressions that impact how we view and respond to people