The ELC Concludes the 2017 London Convening Marking the First-Ever ELC Membership Meeting in the UK


June 20th, 2017


More than 200 ELC members and invited guests gathered in London last week for The ELC’s 2017 London Convening. ELC leadership, current members and new members convened for our first-ever general membership meeting hosted in the UK. The agenda featured lively panel discussions with dynamic speakers, enriching cultural experiences and opportunities to network with some of the world’s most influential global black business leaders from North America, Europe and Africa. The following is a brief recap of the event:

Wednesday, June 14:

The 2017 Summer General Membership Meeting started with our New Member Orientation and Induction Ceremony. Nearly 20 of the 59 new members from the 2017 Class attended the ceremony and received their ELC pins. The new members were welcomed by ELC Board Chair Orlando Ashford and ELC President and CEO Ronald C. Parker. Board member Crystal Ashby and ELC member Lloyd Brown, co-chairs of the Membership Committee, also delivered remarks offering words of encouragement and advice for the incoming class.

The Business Session then got underway where members heard from Orlando Ashford, who provided welcome remarks, and Ron Parker who recognized our ELC members from the Summer Meeting and Global Expansion committees, including Nancy Armand and Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, who have been leading The ELC’s global expansion efforts. Ron then invited Dr. Nat Irvin to the stage to share with members our goals of The London Convening.

The day continued with the Corporate Board Initiative Session. The session, titled “Women Winning the Race in Board Diversity,” focused on the diversity of women on corporate boards, both in the UK and US, and featured a panel discussion with women corporate directors from global organizations who shared their personal experiences and explored the different dynamics for women board directors in the UK, the US and across EMEA.

Members concluded the day by networking with fellow members and local business executives at the ELC Welcome Reception hosted by Coutts at their London office.

Thursday, June 15:

The programming continued on Thursday with three executive sessions, including “Taking Control in an Era of Disruption: A Global CEO’s Perspective” featuring global business CEOs who discussed the challenges, as well as the opportunities posed by today’s complex business environment. The next session, titled “Geo-Political Landscape Changes: Looking Back & Forward Planning,” explored the political impact of the changing global leadership landscape and the affects on the black/African diaspora community. The closing session, “The Power of Black Voices: A Global Marketer’s Perspective,” focused on the complexities and differences around what Black means to global consumers based on their geographic locations and cultural norms.

Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in one of two breakout sessions. The first session, “Elevating Preparedness: Managing Global Business Risk,” featured a unique group of ELC members with global insight into the burgeoning risks associated with money, product and people. The second session, “Elevating Preparedness: Revolutionary Trends in Global Money & Customer Payments,” also featured an expert panel of ELC members who tested participant’s knowledge of emerging trends in customer payments across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, and provided insights into how your business can prepare for the opportunities and challenges ahead. The ELC's EVP & Chief Operating Officer Brickson Diamond served as emcee throughout the day.

The London Convening ended with a special closing reception in celebration of global black leadership. The reception was held at the Gherkin, one of London’s most iconic venues offering panoramic 360-degree views of the city. Attendees were treated to a special performance by Vox Fortura from the UK television series Britain’s Got Talent followed by music and dancing until the late evening hours.

Friday, June 16:

On the final day of the Summer Meeting, attendees were able to experience some of London’s premiere attractions and historical sites. Members could choose to participate in one of three cultural excursions, including a Black History Walking Tour in St. Paul’s, a tour of the African Heritage Gallery at the Victoria and Albert’s Museum, Afternoon Tea at the Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, and a special art and fashion shopping event at the Gallery of African Art which featured dynamic artwork and fashion from some of London’s leading Black designers for both men and women.

For more details about the meeting, events and panelists, you can download our 2017 London Convening program book here .

The ELC congratulates our New Members from the 2017 Class who were inducted during the Summer Meeting in London.

ELC member Hilda Pinnix-Ragland, Corporate Board Director and Former Corporate Officer & Vice President of Public Affairs, Duke Energy (far right) moderates the Corporate Board Initiative Session panel discussion titled, "Women Winning the Race in Board Diversity," with (l-r) Tamara Box, Managing Partner, Europe & Middle East, Reed Smith LLP; Jerri DeVard, Principal, DeVard Marketing Group; Oonagh Harpur, Senior Advisor to Boards, Women Corporate Directors.

(l-r) Ronald C. Parker; President & CEO, The Executive Leadership Council; Peter Flavel, CEO, Private Banking, Coutts; Heather Melville, Director of Strategic Partnerships, RBS (a Coutts parent company); and Orlando Ashford, ELC Board Chair and President, Holland America Line attend the ELC Welcome Reception.

The panelists from "Taking Control in an Era of Disruption: A Global CEO’s Perspective", including (l-r) Debra Lee, Chairman & CEO, Black Entertainment Television, ELC member Arnold W. Donald, President & CEO, Carnival Corporation & plc, Bridgette Radebe, Executive Chairperson, Mmakau Mining and moderator Ann M. Fudge, ELC member and Former Chairman & CEO, Young & Rubicam Brands.


(l-r) ELC leadership with panelists from "The Power of Black Voices: A Global Marketer’s Perspective," including The ELC's Ron Parker who served as 2017 Summer Meeting Co-Chair; Michael D. Armstrong; EVP & General Manager, Revenue and Emerging Brands, Viacom International Media Networks; Esi Eggelston Bracey, Former President, Coty Consumer Beauty and Retired EVP & General Manager, Procter & Gamble Global Color Cosmetics; Brickson Diamond, COO, The Executive Leadership Council; Bridgette Heller, EVP, Early Life Nutrition, Danone Nutricia; moderator Michael Eboda, CEO, Powerful Media Ltd; ELC Board Member Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, President, Moody's Corporation; Nancy Armand, EVP & Interim Head of Marketing, Retail Bank & Wealth Management, HSBC and 2017 Summer Meeting Co-Chair; and Orlando Ashford.

ELC members attend "An Afternoon of Style - Where Art Meets Fashion" event at the Gallery of African Art

Vox Fortura performs at The London Convening Closing Reception held at the iconic Gherkin building



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