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Dr. Patrick S. Anderson

Dr. Patrick Anderson was born in Jamaica in a small town known as White Horses. Although his parents were always involved with his upbringing, much credit is given to his two grandmothers who were vital to his present mission in life.  His maternal grandmother, fondly know as Mamma Jenny, shaped his early educational experience. A devoutly religious, but also intuitive woman, she saw Patrick’s academic potential, and moved him, his 3 siblings and 3 cousins who she was also caring for,  to another location on the island where he would receive the best education.  His father, a staunch disciplinarian, who settled for nothing less than the highest academic performance, took over from there and with the assistance of grandmother number 2, Miss May, Patrick continued his academic progress.  The team of Miss May and his father were tantamount to the perfect good cop bad cop.  Patrick’s paternal grandmother, Miss May would help to soften the blows but in her own wise way held her grandson to the highest standards as well.   Many of you who know Dr. Anderson know that besides his family and his profession, he is passionate about cars, soccer and music.  He has his father to thank for this.  These were the carrots that were used as rewards for his achievements and taken away when he faltered.

Like many Jamaican families at the time, his mother immigrated to the states to give her children a chance of a better life.  Patrick came to the United States in the 1980’s.  He settled in Teaneck NJ with his mother and siblings. Coming from Jamaica where the educational system was British and not a 1 to 1 corollary to the US structure, he was forced to repeat what is equivalent to freshmen year in college.  Patrick worked nights and went to school during the day to pay for tuition and to help his family.  He also supplemented his education by helping his oldest brother, Denver, rebuild and sell cars.  Patrick completed 2 years at Bergen Community College.  He transferred to Rutgers Newark and completed his undergraduate career there.  He received a Bachelors in Science and graduated at the top of his class.

Although accepted to several medical schools, Dr. Anderson attended the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark. He completed his residency training in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx.

Dr. Anderson has received numerous awards and honors from national and state organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the American Institute of Chemistry.  He is an active researcher and teacher on a variety of medical subjects. In May 2014, he was honored by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders with the “Health Care Professionals Recognition” Award and in 2015 was awarded the Healthcare Hero Physician of the Year honor by NJBIZ.  He recently co-authored a poster presented at the International Gynecological Cancer Regional Meeting  in Santiago, Chile in 2015.

Dr. Anderson is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a full member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists. He has co-authored articles that have appeared in prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals such as Gynecological Oncology, Journal of Radiation Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Journal of Women’s Health.

Dr. Anderson heads a private practice in South Orange NJ and is also  the Chair of the Department of Gynecology at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center where her works with many skilled and knowledgeable professionals serving  Newark and  surrounding communities.

In addition to his academic and professional accomplishments, every year for the past 4 years, Dr. Anderson joins other healthcare professionals  in Guyana, where he provides free surgical care to patients in need.  He continues to teach residents, fellows and medical students while also engaging in local community outreach.

……So when he says he is just a small country doctor doing the Lord’s work, it’s actually true.

Johnny Graves, JD

John C. Graves (“Johnny”), is a financial professional with AXA Advisors, LLC.  Prior to joining the company, he was affiliated with the worldwide AXA Group as a member of the board of directors of AXA Financial, Inc. and AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company.

From 1993 through 2005, Johnny worked for Black Enterprise Magazine, his family’s closely held corporation.  Most recently he served as the president and chief operating officer of Graves Ventures, LLC, the business development arm of the corporation, as well as general counsel of the parent company, Earl G. Graves, Ltd.

In his dual capacities, Johnny oversaw the launch of national marketing events including the B.E. Golf & Tennis Challenge, the B.E. Entrepreneurs Conference, and the B.E. Women of Power Summit.  He expanded the company’s wealth building initiatives through the B.E. Financial Empowerment Series, and diversified the company’s media holdings with Black Enterprise Magazine’s Keys to a Better Life, a cooperative radio series with Clear Channel.

Prior to joining Black Enterprise, Johnny was an associate with the New York City law firm, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, from 1989 to 1993.  He received his juris doctorate from Yale Law School in 1989 and his bachelor’s degree in history from Brown University in 1986.  In addition to being a member of the New York State Bar, he currently holds NASD Series 7 and 66 registrations, as well as his Life and Health Insurance licenses.

Johnny continues to serve on the Board of Advisors of Black Enterprise Magazine and its affiliates.  He is a lifetime member of both the National Bar Association and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.  He previously served as a trustee of the Meharry Medical College.  Currently he is a member of the President’s Leadership Council at his alma mater, Brown University, and of the Advisory Board of Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers.

Johnny lives in New York with his wife, Caroline and children, Veronica and Carter.

Dr. Randal D. Pinkett

Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author and scholar, and as a leading voice for his generation in business and technology.  He is the founder, chairman and CEO of his fifth venture, BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar management consulting and information technology solutions firm headquartered in Newark, NJ.

Dr. Pinkett has received numerous awards for business and technology excellence including the Information Technology Senior Management Forum’s Beacon Award, the National Society of Black Engineers’ Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the National Urban League’s Business Excellence Award.  He has been featured on nationally televised programs such as The Today Show, Live with Kelly and Michael, Nightline and CNN, and he has been recognized by USA TODAY newspaper as one of the top 20 scholars in the country.  In 2009, he was named to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s official shortlist as a potential running mate for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey.

Dr. Pinkett has served as a brand ambassador for AMTRAK, Verizon Communications, and Outback Steakhouse, and as a national spokesperson for Autism Speaks, the National Black MBA Association, the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series, New Jersey Reads, Junior Achievement of New York, and the Minority Information Technology Consortium.  Most notably, Dr. Pinkett was the first and only African-American to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship at Rutgers University.  He was also the winner of NBC’s hit reality television show, The Apprentice, with Donald Trump.  He was selected as one of 18 candidates chosen from among 1 million applicants to compete for the opportunity to run one of Donald Trump’s companies.

Dr. Pinkett is a highly sought-after speaker for various corporations, colleges and universities, government agencies and community organizations.  He is the author of Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business and No-Money Down CEO: How to Start Your Dream Business with Little or No Cash.  His latest book, Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, presents the strategies African Americans and other emerging majorities use to successfully navigate today’s rapidly changing professional landscape.  Black Faces in White Places was named one of the “10 Best Books of 2010.” Based on the book’s “10 Game-Changing Strategies,” Dr. Pinkett has launched the “Campaign to Redefine the Game,” which represents a call to action for Americans to level the playing field in the 21st century workplace.

Dr. Pinkett is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA), the Black Data Processing Associates  (BDPA), and the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), as well as a member of the board of directors for the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute (NJPPRI), the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (NTEN) and the National Visionary Leadership Project (NVLP). He is also a proud graduate of Leadership New Jersey and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership program.

Shelley Stewart, Jr.

Shelley Stewart, Jr. is Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at DuPont, where he leads global procurement and logistics. His role is to improve efficiency and deliver cost savings across the enterprise. Before joining DuPont, Shelley was Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer at Tyco, where he led Procurement, Information Technology, Lean Six Sigma and Real Estate, and where he delivered $1B in cost savings in his first three years. Prior positions include SVP of Supply Chain at Invensys, VP of Supply Chain at Raytheon, and 18 years at United Technologies, where he led various senior level operations and supply chain roles.

Currently, Shelley is on the board of directors of Cleco Corporation, a Louisiana regulated utility, where he serves on the audit committee and is chair of the nominating and governance committee. Shelley is chair of the Board of Visitors at Howard University’s School of Business and is a member of Northeastern University’s Corporation. He is also Vice Chair of the Board for the National Minority Supplier Development Council.

A former chair of the Institute for Supply Management, he has been consistently recognized as a leader within and external to the supply chain profession. He has been identified as one of the 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America by Black Enterprise, and recognized by Savoy. In 2013 he was named a Bartels Fellow by the University of New Haven. In 2011 Shelley was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to serve on the U.S. Department of Commerce National Advisory Council on Minority Business.

Shelley holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Haven and both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree of Science in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University. He is co-author of Straight To The Bottom Line™: An Executive’s Roadmap to World Class Supply Management, (J.Ross Publishing).

Michele Thornton

Michele Thornton is the Senior Vice President of Television Sales for BET’s sister network – Centric TV, which is part of the Viacom family. She joined Centric, the First network Designed for Black Women, in July of 2012. She and her team are charged with growing the revenue base for the network.

Prior to joining Centric, Michele was the SR. Director of Emerging Partnerships and led the CNN Advantage business group with sales across CNN, HLN, CNN Airport networks and

CNN Advantage was formed in 2008 as an internal sales force that strives to connect advertisers who want to reach emerging communities with relevant CNN content. Led by Thornton, the group generated significant revenue across CNN’s portfolio of brands across all platforms, which included linear and the CNN Digital network.

An ad sales veteran, Michele came to CNN in 2006 as an account executive.  Prior to joining CNN, Michele was an account executive with A&E, The History Channel and The Weather Channel.  She began her career at SBC Communications where she honed her sales and negotiation skills, and learned the importance and benefits of superior customer service and positive energy.

Thornton was honored in 2011 with the American Advertising Federation Mosaic Role Model of the Year Award and also served as the Chair of the Mosaic Executive Council from 2011-2013. In 2009, she was the ADCOLOR Change Agent. She plays an active role in the media and advertising community and continues to be an advocate for diversity in the communications industry. She has created strategic alliances on behalf of organizations such as The Ghetto Film School, NAMIC and AAF’s Most Promising Students. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Boys Hope Girls Hope, Ghetto Film School and ADCOLOR. She is the past Chair of the American Advertising Federation Mosaic Council. She is also on the board of advisors for Keen University located in New Jersey.

Michele received her Bachelor of Arts from Golden Gate University.  She also completed the Executive Leadership Development Program at the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in 2012 and the Women’s Leadership Forum at Harvard Business School in 2014. She is the proud mother of two young children, Taylor and Jordan, and resides in New Jersey.

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