Blog / February 26, 2020

2020 Winter Membership Meeting Recap – Friday, February 21


ELC Board Chair Tonie Leatherberry started the day and opened the business meeting by acknowledging Interim President and CEO Crystal E. Ashby, and introducing Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie Felder and West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James who welcomed The ELC to the Palm Beach community. As black mayors of cities in wealthy Palm Beach County, each expressed great pride in having The ELC hold its meeting in their community and they invited ELC members to return often.

During the Business Meeting, Board Chair Tonie Leatherberry introduced new officers and members of The ELC Board, including Vice Chairs Thomas R. Harvey and Valerie I. Rainford, and new Board Directors Kimberly A. Blackwell, Lloyd W. Brown II, Ed Dandridge and Sena Kwawu. The Board acknowledged Geri Thomas and thanked for her past service to the board as her term ended.

Reports from the Audit Committee, Governance Committee, Finance Committee and Membership Committee were delivered by Thomas Harvey, Leilani Brown, Greg Deavens and Gale King, respectively. Interim President and CEO Crystal E. Ashby reflected on her experiences with The ELC, her new role and the steps the organization is taking to implement the Strategic Vision 2021.

Ashby introduced guest speaker Julia Taylor Kennedy, Executive Vice President of the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), who presented an overview of a research report titled “Being Black in Corporate America: An Intersectional Exploration.” The report measures the challenges faced by black professionals in their encounters with prejudice and microaggressions. The ELC is the official research partner on the report.

ELC Member Tyronne Stoudemire, Global Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, spoke about the impact of The ELC at last year’s Summer Meeting in Chicago on his company’s implementation of diversity and inclusion awareness. Stoudemire’s presentation spoke to the power of The ELC’s voice and his company’s rapid and sincere efforts.

The Senior Leadership Team brought members up to date about The ELC’s strategies and plans for the coming year. Vice President and Chief Member Officer Teresa Payne-Nunn covered membership and upcoming work on the member value proposition, and the introduction of Cvent and more effective communications methods. Dr. Christopher Butts, Vice President and Chief Learning Officer, reviewed the programs of the Institute for Leadership Development and Research, and introduced the first edition of The ELC’s Research Journal for Black Professionals.

Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer Satonya Fair reviewed last year’s CEO GameChanger Conference, plans for 2020 and the shift in responsibility for the scholarship programs to her department. Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Libi Rice spoke about the expanded focus on marketing and branding of The ELC, increased opportunity for The ELC to leverage its voice, and the growth of the Corporate Board Initiative (CBI). As a result of this growth, CBI will become a formal program of The Institute starting in March 2020. Libi also updated members on Government Affairs, the International Presence and the 2020 Black Economic Forum in Martha’s Vineyard in August.

Camilla McGhee discussed plans for the 2020 Recognition Gala that is scheduled for October 15, 2020 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. She encouraged members to reserve tables now to avoid last year’s situation when tables sold out over the summer.

During a closing luncheon, Chief Philanthropy Officer Satonya Fair was joined by Board Chair Tonie Leatherberry and Interim President and CEO Crystal E. Ashby to present two grants to local organizations, the Urban League of Palm Beach County and the OIC (Opportunities Industrialization Center) of South Florida. Satonya also briefed members on The ELC’s Philanthropic Strategy under The ELC Chair’s Initiative and addressed questions about the new Black Male Achievement initiative and the HBCUs that are the first beneficiaries of the Chair’s Initiative.

At the conclusion of the Winter Meeting, committees met in advance of the board meeting held on Saturday. The Summer Membership Meeting is scheduled for June 3 – 5 at The Ritz-Carlton in Denver, CO. Details and registration will be available soon. Please visit our website or information about all ELC events.