Blog / February 26, 2020

2020 Winter Membership Meeting Recap – Thursday, February 20

The town of Manalapan in Palm Beach, FL welcomed more than 250 members of The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) for the 2020 Winter Membership Meeting, February 19 – 22. Nearly 57 of the attendees were from the 78 members of the Class of 2020. In an elegant setting at the Eau Palm Beach Resort Hotel, new members received a thorough orientation to The ELC from the board, staff, Legacy Members including Founding Members Milt Irvin and James Kaiser, and Membership Committee Co-Chairs Gale V. King and Ramon Gregory. A special dinner for new and legacy members was followed by a social event for the entire membership.

The first full day of the 2020 Winter Membership Meeting featured four stimulating and thought-provoking presentations. ELC Member Paula Cholmondeley introduced Sarah Fortt of Vinson & Elkins LLP, who captivated members with her perspective on corporate culture and how corporate leaders can effectively influence and inspire corporate cultural wellness.

ELC Board Vice Chair Valerie I. Rainford introduced a panel on Emerging Trends in Technology. Kirk McDonald, chief business officer of AT&T’s Xandr, moderated the panel including Jim Anderson of Google Cloud, Aisha Bowe, CEO of STEMBoard, and Don Hobson of Visa. They highlighted the opportunities and the creation of jobs in a digital world, minimizing the replacement of jobs by technology.

New ELC board director Ed Dandridge, Global Head of Marketing & Communications, General Insurance with AIG, conducted a Fireside Chat on Politics in 2020 and Key Domestic and Global Trends with Ambassador Ron Kirk, Senior of Counsel, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and a former United States Trade Representative (USTR) and former Mayor of Dallas. Ambassador Kirk encouraged ELC members to continue their intentional efforts to break down barriers to black business leadership and success.

A panel curated by The ELC Legacy Committee was moderated by Ann Fudge, Retired Chairman & CEO, Young & Rubicam, with Boston Consulting Group Senior Advisor Jim Lowry, Author of Change Agent: A Life Dedicated to Creating Wealth for Minorities, and Carl Ware, Retired Group President, Africa, The Coca-Cola Company and Author of a Portrait of an American Businessman. They shared their views on corporate accountability, community wealth and public policy.

Members gathered in the evening for a reception sponsored by Google. Each new member was introduced by ELC Vice President and Chief Membership Officer Teresa Payne-Nunn, initiated and pinned. Interim President and CEO Crystal E. Ashby, Vice Chairs Thomas R. Harvey and Valerie I. Rainford and Board Director and Membership Co-Chair Gale V. King posed for photos with each new member. A champagne toast and member social followed in celebration of the new members.