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Dorothy Terrell

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Information about Dorothy Terrell

Profile image of Dorothy Terrell

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Pasta
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Italy
Favorite Quote:
While We Can.

Birthplace

Born:
6/12/1945
Birth Location:
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Pasta
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Italy
Favorite Quote:
While We Can.

Birthplace

Born:
6/12/1945
Birth Location:
Fort Lauderdale
See how Dorothy Terrell is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Corporate executive Dorothy Ann Terrell was born June 12, 1945 in Hallandale, Florida. Her parents, Pearlie Weeks Terrell and Charles Walter Terrell, sent her to Lanier Elementary School, Lanier Junior High School, and Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale. Aspiring to be a journalist, Terrell graduated from high school in 1963 and enrolled at Florida A&M University. Terrell graduated cum laude from Florida A&M University in 1966 with her B.A. degree in English.

After accepting a counseling position with Job Corps, Terrell moved to Poland Springs, Maine. In 1967, Terrell moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she worked as a counselor for Reverend Leon Sullivan’s Opportunities Industrial Corporation (OIC), and eventually rose to the position of assistant director. In 1973, Terrell joined the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office for Children, where she became the associate director in 1975. Serving on the advisory board of OIC brought Terrell into contact with representatives of the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), who offered her a job as a training manager in 1976. From 1978 to 1980, Terrell was plant human relations manager in Westminster, Massachusetts. She later became group human relations manager of systems manufacturing from 1980 to 1983 and, from 1983 to 1984, served as group manager for engineering and manufacturing. In 1984, Terrell was promoted to plant manager of the DEC plant in Roxbury, Massachusetts. She was the first African American woman to hold this position. Primarily manufacturing keyboards, Terrell reduced the new product cycle from ninety days to seventy-five days and reduced manufacturing costs by more than 30%. Terrell also served as DEC’s group manager of interconnect/packaging from 1987 to 1991. Terrell joined Sun Microsystems, Inc. in 1991 as president of Sun-Express, and as a corporate officer through 1997. At Sun Microsystems, she led the company in asset management performance and grew revenues to over $300 million per year. After 1997, Terrell was served simultaneously as senior vice president of worldwide sales for NMS Communications and president of Platform Services Group. Terrell temporarily left First Light Capital as a partner and became president and CEO of Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a national nonprofit organization that promotes economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector engagement with local residents. Terrell later returned to work for First Light Capital.

Terrell has been the recipient of many awards, including being named one of the Top 50 line managers in America by Executive Female magazine, a Top Ten Business Marketer by Business Marketing magazine, and one of 20 Women of Power and Influence by Black Enterprise magazine. She also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Florida A&M University. Terrell was a subject in The Wizards and Their Wonders: Portraits in Computing, an exhibit and book by Christopher Morgan, as well as The Enterprising Woman by Mari Florence.

Terrell lives in Miami Beach, Florida.

Dorothy Terrell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2007 and March 9, 2017.

See how Dorothy Terrell is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Terrell's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell describes her mother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell describes her father's personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell describes her siblings and adopted siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell describes her parents' marriage and economic status
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell describes her family's involvement in the A.M.E. Church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell describes Lanier Elementary School in Hallandale, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell describes Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell describes her teachers and aspirations at Dillard High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dorothy Terrell remembers her childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell describes her older brother's life
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell describes her decision to attend Florida A&M University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell describes her experiences at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell describes her civil rights activity in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell recalls her teachers at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell talks about the Marching 100 and Bob Hayes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dorothy Terrell recalls her graduation from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell recalls working at a Job Corps center in Poland, Maine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell describes her early career in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell remembers being hired at Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell describes her career at the Digital Equipment Corporation, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell describes her career at the Digital Equipment Corporation, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell recalls becoming a plant manager at the Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell recalls running Digital Equipment Corporation's Roxbury plant
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell describes her team based production strategy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell describes her family's move to Cupertino, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell reflects upon her career at Digital Equipment Corporation in Cupertino, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell recalls making major layoffs at Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell describes how she came to work for Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell describes the mission of SunExpress
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Terrell's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell remembers her childhood games
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell describes her relationship with her father
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell remembers Greater Ward Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Hallandale Beach, Florida
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell recalls her early religious inquires
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell describes her early household and extended family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dorothy Terrell talks about her reasons for attending Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dorothy Terrell remembers the social environment at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell describes her high school personality
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell talks about her decision to attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell remembers her social life at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell recalls her decision to join the Job Corps in Poland Spring, Maine in 1963
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell describes her experiences at the Poland Spring Job Corps Center for Women in Poland Springs, Maine
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell remembers her move to Boston, Massachusetts in 1967
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell describes her work with the Opportunities Industrialization Centers
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dorothy Terrell talks about her time with the Office for Children
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dorothy Terrell remembers Paul Newman's invitation to join Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Dorothy Terrell describes the work environment at Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell describes affirmative action practices at the Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell remembers challenges and support groups in her start at the Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell compares work environments at the Digital Equipment Corporation and Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell remembers becoming plant manager at the Digital Equipment Corporation's Boston plant
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell talks about the impact of core groups at the Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell talks about racial diversity within the Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell remembers improving production times at the Digital Equipment Corporation's Boston plant
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dorothy Terrell recalls lessons and challenges from managing the Digital Equipment Corporation's Boston plant
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dorothy Terrell remembers colleague Barbara Walker's advice at a difficult time
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Dorothy Terrell describes the support she received from colleagues Richard Farrahar and Kevin Melia
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell remembers implementing just-in-time manufacturing at the Digital Equipment Corporation's Boston plant
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell talks about competition in the computing industry in the 1980s
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell remembers her promotion to lead the Digital Equipment Corporation's plant in Cupertino, California
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell talks about her family's move to Saratoga, California
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell describes the development of the VAX 9000 supercomputer
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell remembers laying off workers at the Digital Equipment Corporation's plant in Cupertino, California
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell recalls Scott McNealy's offer to become president of SunExpress
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Dorothy Terrell describes Scott McNealy's initial plans for SunExpress
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell remembers her family's reluctance to leave California
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell recalls hiring Genelle Trader to join SunExpress
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell describes sales innovations at SunExpress
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell talks about building SunExpress
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell describes her approach to hiring SunExpress' personnel
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell talks about her hiring process
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell remembers key executives at SunExpress
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Dorothy Terrell describes infighting within Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell remembers other women and people of color from her time in the technology industry
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell talks about the importance of support to care for a family while sustaining a corporate career
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell reflects upon her success as a business leader
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell remembers her decision to leave SunExpress
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell recalls her first board memberships
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell names corporate boards and committees where she has served
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell remembers her colleagues from corporate boards
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Dorothy Terrell reflects upon the significance of diversity on corporate boards
  • Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Dorothy Terrell talks about her experiences on corporate boards
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell talks about Corporate America's global position
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell remembers joining the NMS Communications Corporation in Framingham, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell recalls her experiences at the NMS Communications Corporation
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell describes the NMS Communications Corporation's operations
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell talks about joining the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Dorothy Terrell remembers projects of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Dorothy Terrell recalls buying an apartment in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Dorothy Terrell reflects upon her attraction to Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Dorothy Terrell describes the Perez Art Museum Miami in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 12 Story: 10 - Dorothy Terrell talks about her home in Newport, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Dorothy Terrell talks about her political involvements
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Dorothy Terrell reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Dorothy Terrell talks about her philanthropic interests in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Dorothy Terrell describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Dorothy Terrell describes how she would like to be remembered