The Marriott Marquis was the venue for the 13th Annual 25 Influential Black Women in Business Award on March 24.
Award-winning reporter Allison Keyes of National Public Radio smoothly transitioned the Network Journal luncheon through the different phases; honorees introduction, greetings and opening remarks, welcoming remarks by Executive Editor Rosalind McLymont and Publisher Aziz Gueye Adetimirim, a film clip of the first annual 40 Under Forty Achievement Awards 2010 at the beautiful La Palm Royale Hotel in Accra, Ghana last November, the awards presentation and of course, a delectable menu.
As Caribbean Life mingled with the excited honorees it was clear that many had struck up friendships almost instantaneously. Quite a few were of Caribbean heritage and were eager to share their stories. The common thread in their conversations were; pursue your dreams, educate yourself, stay informed and never turn down an opportunity even if it does not pay well; it could lead you to the success you are striving to achieve.
The honorees were: Donna M. Boles, senior vice president, Human Resources – Becton Dickinson & Co.; Leilani M. Brown, senior vice president, chief marketing officer – CQ-Roll Call/The Economist Group; Paulette Brown, Esq., partner, chief diversity officer – Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP; Teresa H. Clarke, chairman, CEO – Africa.com LLC; Jannette L. Dates, Ph.D., Dean – Howard University, School of Communications; Roslyn Neal Dickerson, senior vice president, Corporate and Public Affairs – InterContinental Hotels Group; Linda M. Gadsby, Esq., vice president, deputy general counsel – Scholastic Inc.; Michelle C. Ifill, Esq., vice president, deputy general counsel – Verizon Business; Heather A. James, senior vice president, chief marketing officer – Advertising Research Foundation; Jacqueline M. Jenkins, COO – Milligan & Co., LLC; C. Annette Kelton, managing director, associate general counsel – Goldman Sachs & Co.; Melanie Littlejohn, regional executive director – National Grid; Julianne Malveaux, Ph.D., president – Bennett College for Women; Veronica McLymont, Ph.D., R.D., CDN, Director of Food and Nutrition – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Subriana McFadden Pierce, senior vice president, Sales & Merchandising – Supervalu, Inc.; Laurel J. Richie, senior vice president, chief marketing officer – Girl Scouts of the USA; Sherry D. Snipes, director, Diversity & Inclusion – The American Institute of Architects; Dail St. Claire, president – Williams Capital Management; Mary E. Stutts, president – MES Concepts; Sheila G. Talton, Vice President, Globalization – Cisco Systems, Inc.; Deborah Scott Thomas, president and CEO – Data Solutions & Technology, Inc.; Michelle A. Thornhill, senior vice president, Diverse Segment – Wells Fargo; Tiffany R. Warren, senior vice president, chief diversity officer – Omnicom Group; Frederica M. Williams, president and CEO – Whittier Street Health Center and Sheena Wright, Esq., president and CEO – Abyssinian Development Corporation
Ms. Wright was absent from the luncheon due to previous travel commitments. When reached by email, she conveyed her pleasure at receiving the award and proclaimed her Caribbean heritage. “I am extremely proud to say that my grandmother is from Jamaica, a fantastic nation I visit frequently with my family. She is the daughter of Debra Fraser-Howze, founder of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.
Heather A. James, snr. VP, CMO for Advertising Research Foundation in New York City who is from the University of Virgin Islands, St. Thomas said, “For me, The 25 Influential Black Women in Business Award means that I have accomplished my goal of being a credit to my race, succeeded in paying homage to my Guyanese heritage and being forever joined in a global sisterhood that not only leans forward…it is one that also leans back to guide the next generation.”
TNJ Executive Editor Rosalind McLymont (a Guyanese national) summed it all up, “I am simply amazed at the crowd and the honorees and pleasantly surprised at what we have accomplished inspite of the odds. We are proud that TNJ gives back. We say this is what we are capable of and this is what we want to expose to the world. Show positive things that we do … visibility of our women.”