Here’s What You Missed From The ELC’s 2015 Women’s Leadership Forum

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Imagine what happened when a room full of senior-level Black women executives assembled for a one day celebration of learning and networking. They all left feeling excited, empowered, and inspired! The Executive Leadership Foundation’s (ELF) 2015 Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF), themed “Transformational Leadership: Mastering Disruptions,” brought nearly 300 women members of The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) and guests to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California to listen and partake in candid panel discussions that featured corporate executives and thought leaders.

Monday, July 20

ELF hosted a pre-event welcome reception for members that featured a fireside chat with Consultant, Pamela Carlton of Springboard-Partners. Ms. Carlton previewed her recent research findings based on the original ELC Black Women Executives Research Initiative conducted in 2008. The original year-long study included interviews with 76 Black women executives aspiring to the most senior positions in America’s top companies. Almost a decade later, Ms. Carlton is re-interviewing the same women to follow-up on their progress in corporate America.

Tuesday, July 21

WLF kicked-off the one day event for ELC members and guests with welcome remarks from ELC President & CEO Ronald C. Parker and ELF Board Chair Rhonda Mims. WLF Co-chairs Salaam Coleman Smith and Chloe Barzey-Donaldson introduced the Honorable Aja Brown, Mayor of Compton, to discuss her role as the youngest mayor of Compton and describe her new vision for the city.

The day session continued with several dynamic speakers and thought-provoking panels that focused on career advancement, personal development, digital innovation and technology, social activism and self-empowerment. Attendees were treated to advice and personal insights from some of the most influential and powerful black women and men in corporate America, who candidly shared their real-life experiences, both rewarding and challenging.

Speakers included: Ehrika Gladden, Cisco; Telisa Toliver, Chevron Pipeline Company; Kimberly Blackwell, PMM Agency; Karen Dahut, Booz Allen Hamilton; Jim Anderson, BAE Systems; Caralene Robinson, VH1; Shaunte Mears-Watkins, The Clorox Company; Charisse Lillie, Vice President, Comcast Corporation & Comcast Foundation; Yatisha Bothwell, NBC Universal/Telemundo Media; Ken Coleman, Saama Technologies; Caretha Coleman, Coleman Consulting & Board Chairman, Dignity Health; and ELC Board Chair Carla Harris, Morgan Stanley & Author, Strategize to Win. Each speaker spoke on subject areas relevant to their current professional journeys.

“Black Women On…Transformational Leadership”

The closing session of this year’s event was a major treat for the 2015 attendees. Entertainment industry insiders gave us a look into the challenges in reshaping the images of Black women on television. Panelists included Mara Brock Akil, Co-President of Akil Production & Executive Producer & Creator of Girlfriends, The Game and Being Mary Jane; Channing Dungey, Executive Vice President, Network Drama, Movies & Mini Series, ABC Entertainment Group; Nne Ebong, Senior Vice President, Drama Development, ABC Studios; Jamila Hunter, Vice President, Network Comedy Development, ABC Entertainment Group; and Moderator Shaun Robinson, TV host, Author & Producer. These leading executives discussed the business and creative process, opportunities and challenges in disrupting the TV landscape, and transforming the image of Black women on the small screen.

**Special thanks to the sponsors and the 2015 WLF Planning Committee and Co-chairs Chloe Barzey-Donaldson, Accenture;Salaam Coleman Smith, ABC Family/Disney ABC Television Group; and Laysha Ward, Target Corporation.

Mark your calendars now! WLF 2016 will take place in Philadelphia, PA on July 19-21. Don’t miss out.

Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsor

Bank of America

Capital One


Supporting Sponsor

Disney/ABC Television Group

Time Warner

Strategic Sponsor

Comcast NBC Universal

Duke Energy

Express Scripts

Gift Bag Sponsor


Gift Sponsor

Duke Energy

Fashion Fair

Mary Kay

Mondelēz International, Inc.

Black Women On Sponsors

Presented By

Booz Allen Hamilton

Supported By

Disney/ABC Television Group

ELC CEO Ronald C. Parker and COO Brickson Diamond with WLF Co-chairs Salaam Coleman Smith and Chloe Barzey-Donaldson

Honorable Aja Brown, Mayor of Compton discussing her vision for the city of Compton

Silicon Valley’s top power couple Ken and Caretha Coleman

WLF Co-chairs with the Black Women On Panelist: (Left to Right) Nne Ebong, Jamila Hunter, Channing Dungey, Mara Brock Akil and Moderator Shaun Robinson

Black Women On Panelist Mara Brock Akil and Moderator Shaun Robinson

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