2022 Winter Meeting Recap

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The Executive Leadership Council recently held a two-day virtual Winter Member Meeting, starting on Thursday evening, March 3rd with the ELC Family Chat and culminating with an afternoon of programming on Friday, March 4th. More than 300 members registered for the virtual event.

Friday’s Business Meeting covered the State of the Council, presented by members of The ELC Executive Committee:  Chair Lloyd W. Brown, II, Vice Chair Ed Dandridge, Secretary Valerie Irick Rainford, Treasurer Sena Kwawu, and CEO Mike Hyter. Lloyd thanked the ELC Board and Executive Committee for their tireless efforts to propel the organization forward, The ELC Staff for their continued commitment to the organization, and outgoing board members William Gipson, Ken Robinson, and Jeff Webster, for their enduring commitment to the organization and for their legacy of servant leadership.
He centered his conversation around four key areas:

  • The ELC’s continued investment in mission critical priorities, while simultaneously remaining cognizant that member service is the heartbeat of the organization.
  • Strategically managing The ELC’s growth to produce greater membership balance across function, industry and geography.
  • Work to further define and improve member value.
  • Leveraging The ELC’s voice to continue the fight for diversity, equity and inclusion at the highest levels of corporate America.

Ed briefed members on the efforts of the Advocacy team’s strategic priorities:  Voting Rights, Corporate Diversity, HBCUs and Workforce Development & Supplier Diversity. As Chair of the Audit Committee, he acknowledged the committee’s approval of the engagement of accounting firm Mitchell Titus to conduct the 2021 audit and preparation of The ELC’s tax returns. Valerie discussed the Governance Committee’s enhancement of the nominations and elections process, and comprehensive review of the bylaws. Sena informed members that The ELC had a strong financial performance in 2021 despite the pandemic and subsequent transition to a virtual environment. For 2022, the Finance Committee is focused on:

  • Enhancing the Member Experience.
  • Strengthening Internal Operations and Income Diversification.
  • Accelerating our Philanthropy and Community Impact.

He stated The ELC is well-positioned financially.


Mike recounts his first year as CEO of The ELC with an eye towards the future. He identified the roadblocks on the path to greatness boil down to three key themes: People, Processes and Technology. Having the right people with the right skills in place has helped to uncover and begin to address, as well as provide solutions to, process gaps across the organization. He also shared how upgrades in technology can lead to improved efficiencies, connectivity, and sustainable solutions for the membership. Mike asserted that enhancements and changes for the greater good of the membership were on the way. He assured members they will begin to see a revitalized ELC.


In addition to increasing member value, Mike shared his desire to elevate member engagement by traveling to “member hub” locations in the United States and the UK to meet with ELC members, their CEOs and leadership teams, and other Black business leaders to double down on their support of The ELC mission and the Black talent pipeline.


Mike announced the launch of his new CEO Signature Program, in partnership with The National Association of Corporate Directors and EY, which he stated was “a redefined, expanded and reimagined CBI program.” One of the north star goals of the program is to extend Board readiness and access to the full ELC membership. The program will feature 5 new programmatic components designed to meet members where they are on their Board journey. The proposed rollout date is in June 2022.


ELC Vice Chair Ed Dandridge moderated a discussion with the three new ELC Board Directors: Cynt Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, Shelley Stewart, Jr., Managing Partner of Bottom Line Advisory LLC, and Telisa Toliver, General Manager of Renewable Power for Chevron Pipeline and Power. Cynt shared an overview of her career and current portfolio. Shelley discussed his experiences as an ELC member, as well as his engagement in programs and initiatives. Telisa talked about what servant leadership meant to her and how she applies it as an ELC Director.


The Winter Member Meeting closed out with Executive Conversations on the topics of Digital Disruption and Digital Access. One of the world’s leading tech giants and futurist Brian Solis, Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, talked about how businesses are managing, adapting and innovating in today’s disruptive global environment. He also provided insight on how today’s companies, communities and business leaders can adapt to keep pace with the ever-changing technology landscape and disruptive global environment.

ELC Member and Alphabet Inc. Board Director Robin Washington led a conversation with Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet Inc. Pichai spoke about his leadership philosophy built around inclusive culture & empathy at scale, with a focus on trust. He also shared Google’s 2022 strategy overview and what the year ahead looks like, including top tech trends and where he sees consumer and advanced technologies going. Pichai talked about the importance of free and open internet, Google’s commitments on closing gaps in digital access, their work in education and digital training opportunities, and how they are designing for the “next billion users” in response to a question about ensuring equal access to technology for all.

Mike closed the meeting by thanking all speakers, guests and viewers for their participation. He reminded everyone that the 2022 Summer Membership Meeting will be held on June 8 – 11. The plan is to convene in person in Denver, CO, and the leadership will continue to monitor the situation around Covid-19 should we need to adjust our plans. We will keep members informed of our final decision.

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