The International Connection…the New Black America

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2014 Summer General Membership Meeting

More than 170 members of The Executive Leadership Council, including nearly 20 new members, gathered in Atlanta for the 2014 Summer General Membership Meeting. Following board and committee meetings, members of calibr, guests and Atlanta luminaries joined ELC members for an evening conversation with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at the World of Coca-Cola. ELC Member Jerri DeVard, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for The ADT Corporation, interviewed the Mayor in an auditorium filled with more than 200 attendees.

ELC Member Rick Frazier, chief product supply officer for Coca-Cola Refreshments and a former board member of The Executive Leadership Foundation, welcomed members and guests and introduced ELC President and CEO Ron Parker and COO Brickson Diamond. During the “Executive Conversation with the ELC,” Mayor Reed spoke about the development of Atlanta as a global hub for business and culture, and plans to expand engagement in Africa and South America. He complimented the ELC on its work to increase global black executives in C-Suites and on corporate boards and recounted his experiences in international business meetings such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and a recent delegation of area companies to Brazil.

After the conversation, ELC Board Chair Carla Harris recognized ELC Member and former Chair of The Coca-Cola Company Foundation Ingrid Saunders Jones for her decades of support for the ELC and Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the National Essay Contest. Through her efforts, The Coca-Cola Company was the sole lead sponsor of three Executive Leadership Foundation Annual Recognition Galas and a recipient of the Corporate Award and Ms. Saunders Jones received the Achievement Award.

During Friday’s business meeting, members in attendance nearly unanimously approved changes to the Bylaws to expand membership to a select entrepreneurs, academic leaders and global black executives. The ELC’s new website and branding was presented to members, generating great excitement. “Rising to the C-Suite” and “The Global Assignment and Global Board Participation” breakout sessions delivered valuable information to members for professional development.

Members also benefited from engaging in a confidential conversation among themselves facilitated by Dr. Marilyn Parker. An evening reception, dinner, and Club ELC closed out the meeting to allow members to maximize their networking opportunities with new and existing members.

On Saturday, June 7, ELC President and CEO Ron Parker was interviewed by Fredricka Whitfield about the state of corporate diversity on CNN. You may review a transcript of the interview in the context of the noon news segment here.


Geri Thomas (c) with new members at the 2014 Summer General Membership Meeting.

New Members

Orlando Ashford and Arlene Isaacs Lowe

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Jerri DeVard

Brickson Diamond Ronald C. Parker Mayor Kasim Reed and Rick Frazier

Cedric Coco and Chris Simmons

Winding down at the World of Coca-Cola.

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