BCN HBCU Corner: Six new Fortune 500 corporate executives join United Negro College Fund board to assist HBCUs

BCN HBCU Corner: Six new Fortune 500 corporate executives join United Negro College Fund board to assist HBCUs

Little Rock’s Philander Smith College among UNCF’s 37 HBCU member institutions

BCN Staff – May 1, 2022 – The United Negro College Fund, known widely as UNCF, recently announced the appointment of six leading Fortune 500 executives to join its board of directors to help expand its diversity and build up its corporate bench to assist Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in reaching their full potential.

Today, 37 HBCUs belong to the UNCF network of member institutions that provides these colleges and universities with a range of support that enables them to keep their academic programs strong and their tuitions affordable. As a result of this support, member institutions educate more than 60,000 students each year and have produced more than 500,000 graduates with the help of UNCF, officials said.

Currently, Philander Smith College in Little Rock is only UNCF member in Arkansas. The University of Arkansas of Pine Bluff, and Shorter College and Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock are the state’s other HBCUs.

According to UNCF officials, leaders from the following companies—Alaska Air Group, Citigroup, Chevron, ExxonMobil, General Motors and Intel Corp.—will join top executives from companies including Wal-Mart, Goldman Sachs, KKR and Procter & Gamble to empower UNCF to support its member historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and their students to achieve ever-higher levels of success.

“UNCF and HBCUs have experienced unprecedented donations and recognition of our important mission during the past two years. Today we take a major step forward to continue that momentum in aggressively growing a Board that will deliver increased leadership, funding and resources for all our UNCF-member institutions,” said UNCF Board Chairman Milton Jones, Jr. “We are thrilled to welcome this impressive group of diverse, experienced and talented corporate leaders to join in our progress as we support our member institutions and the students they serve.”

“We have a great deal at stake as we move forward to generate the resources HBCUs and UNCF-member institutions will need to remain viable and effective amid an uncertain economy,” added UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax.

Other corporate and institutional members of the UNCF board are from Booz Allen Hamilton, NetApp, U.S. Bancorp, Peachtree Providence Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, WPP, Wells Fargo & Co., The Dominion Asset Group, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and ArrowMark Partners.

Newly Appointed UNCF Board of Directors

Vladimir Jean-Fritzner Galiothe, Managing Director, Equity Solutions Trading, Citigroup

Vladimir Jean-Fritzner Galiothe heads Citigroup’s Americas Strategic Equity Solutions (SES) trading desk. In this role, he manages a team of talented individuals that focus on pricing, modeling, trading and risk management of bespoke derivatives.

Galiothe leads the team as they manage a portfolio of complex non-linear payoffs providing services to the full spectrum of Citigroup’s clients from corporations, private equity funds, institutional investors and private bank clients. SES specializes in equity accumulation, hedging, monetization and merger-and-acquisition-related strategies tailored to the client’s specific objectives (economic, legal, speed of execution, etc.).

Galiothe joined Citigroup in 2001 after graduating from The University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree, from the Wharton School. Galiothe has spent his entire 20 years trading derivative products in equities and for a short time in fixed income as well.

In addition to his role as a senior trader, Galiothe is a founding member of the Underrepresented Minority Senior Advisory Council in Markets. The primary objective of this committee is to build a long-term framework to help Citigroup be a leader in the recruitment and retention of diverse talent.

Galiothe is also a founding member of the ICG’s Black Leaders for Tomorrow (BL4T) initiative. BL4T is an ICG wide initiative sponsored by Paco Ybarra, Ray McGuire and Diane Arber to enhance our attraction initiatives, raise visibility of Black talent, expand development programs to support the unique needs of our Black colleagues and improve the culture of inclusion to increase engagement and retention.

Gerald Johnson, Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, General Motors

Gerald Johnson leads GM’s Global Manufacturing, Manufacturing Engineering, Labor Relations and Sustainability organizations. He is responsible for approximately 94,800 employees representing more than 118 sites on four continents in 13 countries. 

He is a member of Chairman and CEO Mary Barra’s Senior Leadership Team, and in January 2020, he was appointed to the GM PAC Board and Steering Committee. He is also a founding member of GM’s Inclusion Advisory Board. The goal of the board is to improve diversity, equity and inclusion within GM through words, deeds and culture; and ultimately help GM become the most inclusive company in the world. 

Previously Johnson served as vice president of GMNA Manufacturing and Labor Relations, a position he held since August 2017. Before that, he served as vice president of Operational Excellence, where he worked to develop and execute an enterprise-wide cultural transformation with a focus on process discipline, continuous improvement and waste elimination.

Johnson started at General Motors in 1980, at the Fisher Body Plant in Euclid, Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial administration from Kettering University and a master’s degree in manufacturing operations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is on the Kettering University Board of Trustees. He has served as a mentor to many young professionals, as well as played an active role in community organizations. In March 2022, he was elected to UNCF’s Board of Directors.  

He was named BEYA’s 2021 Black Engineer of the Year, the organization’s top honor. In addition, the Manufacturing Leadership Council named him 2020 Manufacturing Leader of the Year for his work on GM’s COVID-19 emergency response building ventilators, manufacturing masks and implementing return to the workplace safety protocols used at GM and shared with suppliers and businesses globally. Johnson was also Automotive News’ All Stars 2021 sustainability executive of the year.

In March 2021, Johnson was elected to Caterpillar Inc.’s Board of Directors and serves on the company’s Public Policy and Governance Committee.

Ben Minicucci, Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Air Group

Ben Minicucci serves as CEO of Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. The combined airlines carry more than 45 million guests a year on 1,300 daily flights to 115 destinations throughout the United States and to Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Under the leadership of Minicucci and his team, Alaska is focused on low fares, profitable growth of the route network and creating an airline people love. During Minicucci’s 17-year career with Alaska, he has contributed via various roles of increasing responsibility, becoming CEO on March 31, 2021.

In 2016, he was promoted to president of Alaska Airlines, and was also named CEO of Virgin America upon Alaska’s acquisition of the airline in December 2016 until the airlines merged under a single operating certificate in January 2018. He oversaw the integration of Alaska and Virgin America’s operations, processes and work groups. As president of Alaska, Minicucci was responsible for both operations and commercial functions. He led the execution of the company’s strategic plan including a focus on Alaska’s network, flight schedule, sales, revenue management, safety and operations, marketing and real estate.

Rhonda Morris, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chevron

Rhonda Morris is the chief human resources officer (CHRO) of Chevron, a leading, integrated energy company. Morris’s focus is on creating an environment where employees have access to opportunities and resources to achieve their full potential, while helping to achieve the company’s aspirations.

A key member of Chevron’s Executive Leadership Team, Morris reports directly to the chairman and CEO and has responsibility for shaping and driving Chevron’s people and culture strategy, including workforce planning, leadership succession, learning and talent, diversity and inclusion and total rewards.

Morris’ distinguished career in human resources is enhanced by years of business acumen developed through various positions in global marketing and international products, including a key operational role as the profit and loss leader for Chevron Products in Europe, where she made strong contributions to Chevron’s international downstream business.

Morris serves on the board of Techbridge Girls, a non-profit organization that excites, educates and equips girls from low-income communities to achieve economic mobility and better life opportunities. Morris is also a member of the HR Policy Association Board of Directors, the Bishop O’Dowd High School Board of Regents and the BetterUp Advisory Growth Council, a group of leading business, academic and human resources experts shaping the future of work.

Tara Parker, Global Talent Management and Diversity Manager, ExxonMobil

Tara Parker is talent management and diversity manager for ExxonMobil Corp., a position she assumed in 2020.  She has responsibility for the design and implementation of a wide range of talent solutions and enterprise-wide talent initiatives, including building organizational capabilities and skills through training and development as well as growing workforce diversity through recruiting, internship and mentoring programs. 

Parker joined Exxon U.S.A. in 1986 as a facilities engineer in Houston, Texas. With over a 35-year career with ExxonMobil, she has extensive experience in facilities and reservoir engineering, operations management, large project development and execution, and talent management.   

Prior to her current role, Parker was vice president for unconventional and heavy oil project delivery in ExxonMobil Global Projects Company. Parker has extensive project management experience, joining ExxonMobil Development Company in 2003, leading projects around the globe and holding positions of increasing responsibility including technical manager for Nigerian Deepwater projects, construction execution manager, production projects manager and senior project manager roles on Scarborough LNG and Iraq West Qurna 1.

In 2016, Parker was named Upstream Facilities engineering manager, overseeing engineering for ExxonMobil’s global upstream interests and projects. In 2017, Parker joined ExxonMobil Environmental and Property Solutions where she was responsible for delivering world-class environmental solutions to remediate former industrial sites, generating shareholder and community value.

Parker earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1985. 

Safroadu Yeboah-Amankwah “Saf,” senior vice president and chief strategy officer, Intel Corp

Yeboah-Amankwah leads Intel’s global strategy office, which includes Intel Capital, a division responsible for venture capital, investment, and mergers and acquisitions.

“A profound evolution in computing is opening a much larger opportunity with implications for every aspect of our business,” said CEO Bob Swan. “Saf has strong experience in strategy and international markets, a deep technical background, and he knows Intel well.”

Yeboah-Amankwah joined Intel from McKinsey & Co., where he was a senior partner and global head of the Transformation Practice for the Telecom, Media and Technology (TMT) practice, based in Washington, DC. He was also the global lead of Client Capabilities for the TMT practice. Previously he served as managing partner for South Africa and head of McKinsey’s TMT and Digital practice for Africa, among other roles.

Recent focal points for Yeboah-Amankwah have included the expansion of technology into Africa, noting a $300 billion potential as Africa’s digital economy expands, as well as supporting technology transformations of telecoms, financial instructions, agricultural operations, as well as mergers and acquisitions. His former profile at McKinsey listed his expertise mostly across finance, operations, mergers and acquisitions, with a focus on technology.

Yeboah-Amankwah received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a former UNCF board member.

For more information about UNCF’s board, click here.

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