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Clarence Otis, Jr.

Corporate executive Clarence Otis, Jr. was born on April 11, 1956 in Vicksburg, Mississippi to homemaker Calanthus Hall Otis and janitor Clarence Otis, Sr. Relocating to Los Angeles, California at four years old, he attended San Pedro Street Elementary School and, following a move to the city’s Watts neighborhood at age seven, Grape Street Elementary School. From there, he attended Edwin Marham Junior High School and David Starr Jordan High School, where he was the valedictorian of his graduating class in 1973. Otis was then awarded a scholarship to attend Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1977 with dual degrees in political science and economics. Otis then enrolled at Stanford University Law School, earning his J.D. degree in 1980.

Otis worked as a corporate law associate for two New York City-based firms, Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine and Gordon, Hurwitz, & Butowsky. In 1984, he entered the finance sector, joining the municipal securities group at Kidder, Peabody & Company. From 1987 to 1990, he served as the vice president of the public finance division at First Boston Corporation. Then, Otis became the founding partner of Siebert Municipal Securities, a division of Muriel Siebert & Company. In 1991, Otis was named the managing director of public finance and head of the unit at Chemical Securities. Four years later, he moved to Orlando, Florida to join Darden Restaurants as senior vice president and treasurer, operating restaurant chains including Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and Smokey Bones BBQ. Otis oversaw the financing activities of the company’s 1,200 restaurant locations nationwide. He was promoted to chief financial officer in 1998, and then president of Smokey Bones BBQ in 2002. During his two year tenure there, he increased the number of restaurants from thirty to eighty. In 2004, Otis was named chief executive officer of Darden Restaurants, and became chairman of its board of directors in 2005. In this role, Otis acquired popular chains like LongHorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille, before retiring as CEO of Darden Restaurants in 2014, after ten years in the position.

Otis served on several boards including Williams College board of trustees, The Travelers Companies, Verizon Communications and Boys & Girls Clubs of America board of governors.

Otis and his wife, Jacqueline Bradley Otis, reside in Florida, where they own one of the largest privately held African American art collections in the United States.

Clarence Otis, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 17, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.147

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/17/2018

Last Name

Otis

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Clarence

Birth City, State, Country

Vicksburg

HM ID

OTI01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Your Attitude Is Your Altitude.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

4/11/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Orlando

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Grilled Octopus

Short Description

Corporate executive Clarence Otis, Jr. (1956- ) served as president of Smokey Bones BBQ, and subsequently as CEO of Darden Restaurants from 2004 until 2014.

Favorite Color

Blue

Virgis Colbert

Corporate chief executive Virgis Colbert was born on October 13, 1939 in Jackson, Mississippi. Colbert earned his B.S. degree in industrial management from Central Michigan University in 1974.

Before joining Miller, Colbert was general superintendent of manufacturing for Chrysler Corporation in Toledo, Ohio. In 1979, Colbert became assistant to the plant manager at Miller’s Reidsville, North Carolina. In 1980, he was named production manager at the Fort Worth, Texas, container plant and in 1981, he was appointed production manager at Milwaukee Container. In 1981, he was named Milwaukee Container plant manager. In 1987, Colbert moved to the corporate offices as assistant director of can manufacturing. He was appointed director of can manufacturing in 1988 and director of container and support manufacturing in 1988. In 1989, he was named vice president - materials manufacturing. In 1990, he was named vice president - plant operations. In 1993, Colbert was named senior vice president - operations. In 1995, Colbert was named senior vice president - worldwide operations.

Virgis serves as a director of the NASDAQ Exchange, Single-Tenant Acquisition Group and the New Senior Investment Group. Other boards include: Merrill Lynch & Co.; Bank of America Corporation; Delphi Corporation; Sara Lee Corporation; Stanley Black & Decker; lead director at Lorillard, Inc.; Hillshire Brands; and Bradley Center Sports and Entertainment Center.

Virgis is a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks and director emeritus of the Green Bay Packers.

He is chairman emeritus and co-founder of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and former chairman of the Board of Trustees of Fisk University. He received honorary doctorate degrees from Fisk University and Kentucky State University.

In 1997, he was named a national honorary member of the 100 Black Men of America. In 1996, he received the Trumpet Award from Turner Broadcasting Systems. His other awards include Harlem YMCA Black Achiever, Milwaukee YMCA Black Achiever, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Black Achiever, and the National Urban League service award and the NAACP service award.
Colbert is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Boule'. He is a life member of the NAACP.

Fortune magazine named him as one of the “50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America.” Black Enterprise magazine named him as one of the “75 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America.” In 2001, Colbert was named “Beverage Executive of the Year” by Beverage Industry Magazine. Black Enterprise Magazine named him as one of the “50 Top Black Executives in Corporate America” and as one of “America’s 40 Most Powerful Black Executives.” Ebony Magazine named him as one of the “24 To Watch in ‘94,” one of the “50 Top Black Executives in Corporate America” and one of the “12 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America.” In 1998, he received the Executive Leadership Council Achievement Award. Colbert is listed in “Who’s Who in Finance/Industry,” “Who’s Who in the World,” and “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America.”

Colbert and his wife Angela, an attorney, have three children.

Virgis Colbert was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 23, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.027

Sex

Male

Interview Date

02/23/2017

Last Name

Colbert

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Central Michigan University

Scott High School

Sherman Elementary School

First Name

Virgis

Birth City, State, Country

Jackson

HM ID

COL27

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Dorothy Terrell

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

If it is to be, it is up to me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Wisconsin

Birth Date

10/13/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Milwaukee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Corporate chief executive (1939 - ) was senior vice president of worldwide operations of Miller Brewing Company and served as senior advisor to MillerCoors LLC.

Employment

Miller Brewing Company

Chrysler Corporation

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Angela Vallot

Lawyer and corporate executive Angela Vallot was born on November 8, 1956 in Abbeville, Louisiana, to Irene Porche, a homemaker, and Peter Vallot, a teacher and entrepreneur. Vallot attended Mills College in Oakland, California, earning her B.A. degree in government in 1977. She went on to study at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C., where she obtained her J.D. degree in 1980, after interning for E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, as well as for U.S. Representative Pete Stark, Jr.

In 1985, Vallot joined the law firm of Jones Day in Washington, D.C. as an associate attorney. She was hired as counsel to the law firm of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn in 1990, where she served until 1997. During that time, Vallot also served on President Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential transition team, as acting director of the Office of White House Liaison. After serving as director of stakeholder relations, Vallot was hired in 1997 by Texaco, Inc. to serve as the company’s first chief diversity officer, following the settlement of a $176 million racial discrimination lawsuit. During her tenure, she created and managed Texaco’s Office of Corporate Diversity Initiatives, chaired its Corporate Diversity Council, and managed the work of six regional Diversity Councils. Vallot also worked closely with the 7 member court-appointed Task Force on Equality and Fairness, and developed the company’s partnerships with civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and National Urban League. From 2001 to 2003, Vallot served in the position of chief diversity officer at Colgate-Palmolive, before leaving to found her own management consulting company, Vallot Consultants. The firm was renamed VallotKarp Consulting with the addition of her business partner, Mitchell Karp. Vallot has toured frequently as a public speaker and panelist on topics related to diversity and inclusion, women’s issues and career development.

In 2010, Vallot joined the steering board of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where she served as chair of the development committee and the annual National Equal Justice Award Dinner. She was a trustee of the Dance Theater of Harlem and served on the board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. She also served on the board of trustees of the Sentinel Group Mutual Funds.

Vallot and her husband, James Basker, have two daughters, Anne and Katherine.

Angela Vallot was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 15, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.096

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/15/2016

Last Name

Vallot

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Elizabeth

Schools

Our Lady of Lourdes School

Mount Carmel Elementary School

Vermilion Catholic High School

Abbeville High School

Mills College

Georgetown University Law Center

First Name

Angela

Birth City, State, Country

Abbeville

HM ID

VAL02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France; Barcelona, Spain

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/8/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish, Pasta, Gumbo, Boudin

Short Description

Lawyer and corporate executive Angela Vallot (1956 - ) served on President Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential transition team, as the first chief diversity officer at Texaco, Inc., and as chief diversity officer for Colgate-Palmolive. She founded VallotKarp Consulting in 2003.

Employment

Linowes and Blocher LLP

Jones Day

Arent Fox

D.C. Retirement Board

Sentil Group Funds

Texaco, Inc,

Colgate Palmolive Company

VallotKarp Consulting LLC

Favorite Color

Red

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Angela Vallot's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot remembers her mother's death

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot talks about her mother's accomplishments

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot talks about her Creole heritage, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot talks about her Creole heritage, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot describes her father's education and occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Angela Vallot talks about her early experiences of discrimination within the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot remembers integrating the Mount Carmel School in Abbeville, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot talks about her white stepmother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot remembers integrating the Mount Carmel School in Abbeville, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot describes segregation in Abbeville, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot talks about her father's entrepreneurship

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot recalls transferring to Abbeville High School in Abbeville, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Angela Vallot remembers the race riot at Abbeville High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Angela Vallot remembers Mills College in Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot recalls her decision to become a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot remembers her internship with U.S. Congressman Pete Stark

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot recalls helping her father lobby for minority businesses

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot remembers Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot recalls her classmates at the Georgetown University Law Center

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot talks about the African American community in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot recalls her internships during law school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot recalls her aspirations during law school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Angela Vallot remembers practicing real estate law

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Angela Vallot recalls her transition to government relations at Arent Fox LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Angela Vallot recalls the racial tensions in the real estate industry of Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot recalls the racial tensions in the real estate industry of Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot describes her governmental relations practice at Arent Fox LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot talks about her role in President Bill Clinton's campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot talks about her civic engagement in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot describes her position in President Bill Clinton's transition team

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot remembers the death of Ron Brown and Kathryn Hoffman

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot recalls the discrimination lawsuit against Texaco, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot recalls her transition to Texaco, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Angela Vallot recalls the discrimination lawsuit against Texaco, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Angela Vallot describes her role at Texaco, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot recalls her speaking engagements for Texaco, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot talks about her children

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot talks about her transition to the Colgate Palmolive Company

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot remembers her challenges at the Colgate Palmolive Company

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot describes her decision to leave the Colgate Palmolive Company

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot remembers founding VallotKarp Consulting LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot reflects upon the changes in corporate diversity practices

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot talks about her board work for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Angela Vallot talks about her daughter, Katherine Vallot-Basker

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Angela Vallot talks about her daughter's racial identity, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Angela Vallot talks about her daughter's racial identity, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Angela Vallot talks about her husband, James G. Basker

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Angela Vallot describes her husband's role in the Oxbridge Academic Programs

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Angela Vallot describes her husband's work at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Angela Vallot reflects upon her career

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Angela Vallot reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Angela Vallot shares her advice to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Angela Vallot shares her advice to mixed race families

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$9

DATitle
Angela Vallot recalls the racial tensions in the real estate industry of Washington, D.C., pt. 1
Angela Vallot recalls her transition to Texaco, Inc.
Transcript
So I'd like for you to, to talk about the dynamic between the big law firm with the big real estate company and the community and, and what those dynamics could sometimes look like, what, what you may have participated in?$$Yeah, so, you know, the agencies that we had to go before to get these approvals were predominantly black, but they were mixed so it was the redevelopment land agency [District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency], the zoning commission [District of Columbia Zoning Commission], the board of zoning approval [sic. District of Columbia Board of Zoning Adjustment] and, you know, again, there was people under white developers and unfortunately at the time, they were all white developers. There was one black developer who had, who had just started and had come into the business while I was still practicing. And actually we represented him, his name was Conrad Motts [ph.]. But, I was representing a white developer who was competing for a piece of city owned land that the city wanted to have redeveloped. And, there were four or five different developers all competing to get this. And you have to come in with your proposals, your architects, you know, the whole works of what you were gonna do. And, we were appearing before the redevelopment land agency, and it was a very, very contested, very heated case and it really got into some very ugly politics. And it was in the black community, so we had another--our law firm competitor was representing another developer. That's right, it was down to two developers my guy and then another guy who was represented by a competitor firm. But, it had gotten very, very ugly because it was an article that appeared in a Washington [D.C.] magazine and a Jewish developer was being interviewed and he was, he was a real estate developer and he made a very foolish statement. And the statement was they were talking to him about his attitudes or about developing these buildings and going into the black community. And he had this horrible, horrible quote that he said, "You can't put whipped cream on shit." This was published in a magazine. That was the quote.$$Who said this?$$A developer. He was a Jewish developer, I won't name names. He was the developer that was trying to--that was competing against my developer guy. So, my guy was Jewish, this guy was Jewish. It so happened that he was being interviewed for this Washington magazine and unfortunately, he made this unfortunate quote. So, I got ahold of that article and my--the, the black community that I was dealing with, you know, was in support of my guy. So, the night before the hearing I made copies of this article 'cause it was hot off the press. It had just come and I thought, oh, well, yeah, this is gonna seal my deal right here. I mean, how could you make a statement like that? So, the, the person who was head of the ANC, the advisory neighborhood council [sic. Advisory Neighborhood Commission], you know, they were sort of elected officials, black guy, he was also a, a, a minister, and he was my guy. He would help me with all my projects, so I told him about this article. So, they didn't have like copy machines and all that stuff so he said, "Angela [HistoryMaker Angela Vallot], copy it for me. Make copies and here's what I want you to say--," type up a flyer 'cause, again, he didn't have like a typewriter and all that stuff so I typed this up. It's late at night, I'm in my law firm [Jones Day] late and it's a flyer that says something like, we can't let this kind of stuff come into our community. And, you know, the quote was highlighted. "You can't put whipped cream on shit," referring to the black community. So, I walk into the hearing, he'd met me outside the building and I had the box and he passed out the flyers in the hearing. Oh, my god, this caused such chaos, and it became clear that I had made the copies. Well, they had to suspend the hearing because people were going crazy in the hearing once they saw what he said. So, you know, they, they--he guy's tapping the gavel. "Order! Order! Calm down," you know, and the other side is looking at me and they're glaring. So, things were suspended for a while and the other side ended up talking to my client about, you know, look at what's happening. They're pitting us, these two Jewish developers, against each other. And, they called the head of my law firm and he was furious that I had made copies and I said, I didn't write the story, I didn't make the statement. All I did was make copies because this guy didn't have a computer, I mean, a Xerox machine. He asked me to make copies. But, it, it, it, it caused a lot of tension. And the head of the real estate practice said to me, you should never, ever do something like this, I mean, that's like crossing the line. I'm like, "Look, I'm advocating for my client. This was a horrible statement, I didn't make the statement." But it got into this very ugly thing of sort of the Jewish community against the black community and it was just ugly. It was really ugly (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Even though he said it.$$You can't put whipped cream on shit.$$He was not--$What does that have to do with me? I was on the District of Columbia Retirement Board still at the time. So, Bijur [Peter Bijur] got invited to speak to the Council of Institutional Investors, it's the big umbrella industry organization to which all the pension funds belong--CalPERS [California Public Employees' Retirement System], CalSTRS [California State Teachers' Retirement System], NYSTRS [New York State Teachers' Retirement System], all of those--the big money. And they own, you know, millions and millions of dollars of Texaco [Texaco, Inc.] stock. So, he gets invited to come and be the keynote speaker and he's trying to calm his, you know, shareholders down to say--and literally he said, I'm the guy, I'm in charge, things are gonna change. By this time he had already settled the lawsuit and he was trying to convince people that he was gonna make radical change at Texaco. I was there and the woman who ran the Council of Institutional Investors by this time had sort of become a friend, and she invited me to a small dinner party that night for the CEO of Texaco and the CEO of--all the oil CEOs were there. And it was, you know, like maybe twelve people. And I sat next to him and I thought, okay, this is my big chance, I'm gonna get Texaco as a client, right? 'Cause I was always hustling, right. Everybody met, you know, it was like, you know, "I can help you." So, I said to him, you know, like, "Wow, I'm not surprised by any of this." I told him my, my dad's [Peter Vallot, Jr.] story of being in the oil industry and, you know, the nigger jokes at lunch and, we had a great conversation. I ended up flying back to New York [New York] with him that night on their company plane because by this time I had moved to New York. I had gotten married and my firm [Arent Fox LLP] transferred me to the New York office 'cause my husband [Vallot's second husband, James G. Basker] and I were commuting. So, we had agreed after the plane ride back, and he had some of his other staff people on the plane, that we would stay in touch and, you know, I'd come to see him about the possibility of doing some work for Texaco. So, he set up a meeting, I went in and met all of the top leadership of the company, and at a certain point he said to me, you know, "You have a really interesting background. Instead of representing us, you know, would you ever consider coming to work for us?" And, I said, "No, I, I wouldn't, I don't think I would." I said, "You know, Texaco's got a really bad reputation. Most of my friends have torn up their credit cards, like, you, you need serious help. But, I, I will represent you on the outside but I--no, I wouldn't wanna go to work for you." So, that was sort of the beginning of a conversation that, you know, took place over the next few months. Ultimately, I went to work for Texaco. And, Peter wanted me to head diversity and, you know, at first I said, "No, no way. Why? I'm the black woman, you're gonna hire me to run diversity because I'm a black woman," you know. I, I don't know anything about diversity. I had been my firm's co-chair of diversity and I said, you know, "Obviously, it's something I'm passionate about but I'm not an expert. Why don't you hire somebody who's an expert in the field?" And he said to me, "You know everything you need to know and you'll learn the rest. I want you to do this job." I remember being sort of startled by that and, and I, I took the job. So, I, I started and built the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and I had a team of I think four people. And we worked very closely with this court appointed taskforce, which at the time was headed by Deval Patrick [HistoryMaker Deval L. Patrick] and then later Deval was hired to become the general counsel of Texaco.$$So, was there a diversity department before you arrived?$$There was HR [human resources] and there was somebody--there was not an HR--a diversity department but there was a guy there who was focused on diversity. So, you know, to some extent Texaco felt very burned by what happened, because after--I think after the suit was filed I think they had started to really focus on--all right, we need to do something about this 'cause we do have this lawsuit pending. So, I think they felt very burned by this whole thing 'cause they felt like they were doing things. But they hadn't made it the priority that it became, obviously, after the settlement of the lawsuit. And it was, you know, it was unfortunate that these two idiotic people, you know, had that conversation and, you know, the fact that it was recorded.

Lloyd G. Trotter

Corporate executive Lloyd G. Trotter was born on April 9, 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio to Lillian Trotter and Reverend Lee Trotter, Sr. He graduated from John Adams High School in 1963, and entered an apprenticeship program with Cleveland Twist Drill. He studied at Cleveland State University while working at Cleveland Twist Drill, graduating in 1972 with his B.A. degree in business administration.

Trotter was promoted to a full-time product design and application engineer at Cleveland Twist Drill in 1967. He began working for General Electric (GE) as a field service engineer in 1970, where he was named vice president and general manager of manufacturing for the Electric, Distribution and Control division (ED&C) in 1990. That same year, he helped found the GE African American Forum, a mentor group for African American GE employees. While working in management at GE, he invented the Trotter Matrix, a tool for evaluating standards across various plants which was quickly adopted throughout the company. In 1991, Trotter became the president and CEO of the Electric, Distribution and Control division, and then to president and CEO of GE Industrial Solutions in 1998. In 2003, Trotter became senior vice president of GE Industrial, followed by executive vice president of operations at in 2005. In 2008, after almost forty years, Trotter left GE to become a managing partner at the private equity firm GenNx360 Capital Partners, which he founded with Ronald Blaylock, Arthur Harper and James Shepard.

Starting in 2008, Trotter served on the board of directors of PepsiCo as well as Textron, Inc., Meritor, Inc. and Daimler AG. Trotter also served on the boards of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association. He received the 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award from GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, and the GE Chairman’s Award for three consecutive years from 2003 to 2005. Trotter received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater, Cleveland State University, North Carolina A&T School of Business and Saint Augustine University. The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) honored Trotter with a schoarlship established in his name, and the Harlem YMCA presented him the Black Achievers in Industry Award.

Trotter and his wife, Teri, have three children.

Lloyd G. Trotter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 25, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.036

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2016

Last Name

Trotter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

George

Schools

Cleveland State University

Bolton Elementary School

Andrew J. Rickoff Elementary School

John Adams High School

First Name

Lloyd

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

TRO02

Favorite Season

Fall in US

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard - Sandy Lane

Favorite Quote

God Grant Me Patience, And I Want It Right Now.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/9/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Southern cuisine

Short Description

Corporate executive Lloyd G. Trotter (1945- ) worked for GE for nearly forty years, where he served as a president and vice chairman of GE Industrial. In 2008, he became the full-time managing partner of the private equity firm, GenNx360 Capital Partners.

Employment

GenNx360 Capital Partners

General Electric

General Electric Industrial

Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lloyd G. Trotter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his parents' move to Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls experiencing racial discrimination as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his immediate family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls the racial demographics of the neighborhoods in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers the election of Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about race relations at John Adams High School

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls accepting an apprenticeship at Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his apprenticeship at Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls his promotion at Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers being hired at General Electric

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his roles as field service engineer and project lead

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls working in Brazil

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the scope of his work at General Electric

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls interviewing at Honeywell International, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his brief career at Honeywell International, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls his first executive job at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about African American managers at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers Jack Welch's leadership style

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls working as a general manager at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his experiences as General Electric's first African American executive

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the Trotter Matrix

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers his relationship with Jack Welch

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls pushing for greater diversity at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the founding of the African American Forum

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his relationship with NBC executives

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the African American Forum

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the changes at General Electric during the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter explains General Electric's business strategy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his sources of support at General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers his challenges at General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his interactions with government officials

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his involvement on non-profit boards

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the leadership of Jack Welch and Jeffrey R. Immelt

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers the founding members of GenNX 360 Capital Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls working as director of Genpact Limited at General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his roles at GenNX360 Capital Partners and General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the success of GenNX360 Capital Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the effect of government on GenNX360 Capital Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his relationship with General Electric after retirement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his involvement in the National Association of Guardsmen, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his philosophy on mentorships

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lloyd G. Trotter reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lloyd G. Trotter shares his advice to young professionals

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Lloyd G. Trotter reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his plans for the future

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Lloyd G. Trotter remembers being hired at General Electric
Lloyd G. Trotter describes his sources of support at General Electric
Transcript
You start selling these tools that you have previously made and then designed and come across GE [General Electric]. Tell us about that (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right. Well, what happened there was and I say selling but we were the technical support behind the distributors who had sales guys and one of our distributors had sold some tools to GE that made specialty equipment for making light bulbs. We call them lamps because you can get more money in margin by changing the name of it. But they sold light bulbs and they built this piece of equipment that was going to cut aluminum and it wasn't working and they were blaming it all on the tool. I got a call from our distributor; I need some technical help here. I went out and looked at it and I said, "Yeah the tools are not right for your application and I'll fix that for you but this is got to be your first chip cutting application that you've ever done." They guy on the other end of the conversation was a GE employee and he said, "How would you know that?" And I said, "Well the tools aren't right that's for sure but your speeds and feeds the way you're holding the part, the coolant that you're using to cool down the part they are all wrong too," (laughter) you know, kind of thing. And he looked at me and he says, "You sound like you know what you're doing," and I said, "Well let me tell you about my background," and he said, "Well would you be willing to help us?" I said, "I live down the street why don't every Monday we do a debrief and I'd tell you what I would do if in fact I was doing this application." They probably accepted 90 percent of my ideas.$$And you volunteered to do this?$$Well it's part of the job, you know. I want to sell more tools, I want my distributor to sell more tools and that was a part of the technical support for what you do. So they then had a run off date, we had the new tools there and so on and it went really, really well and what I noticed is it was over a six month period at a time, you know. So I noticed that there were a lot of more white suits and ties around for this run off than there was for the first one that failed. The guy that I worked with for that six month period at a time, he says, "I want you to meet my bosses' boss," and I said, "I'm glad to meet you and I hope we didn't let you down, we really want more of your business. The distributor here who ultimately is supporting you, he says they have a really great relationship so help us." He says, "Well let me talk to you one on one." He said, "Would you feel offended if I offered you a job?" I said, "Yeah I would, I have a job. If you're talking about a career I'd be willing to listen but I'm not out looking at all." He said, "I meant a career," and I said, "Well, let me make sure you understand. I don't have a resume I can put something together and I don't have a college degree at this point and I'm not starting over." He said, "Are you committed to getting a college degree?" I said, "I am not for you or not for anybody else because that's what I know I need to do." He said, "Well we want to talk to you about a career," and it was like I don't know three months later I got an offer and I was a GE employee as a field service engineer for their lighting division at Nela Park in Cleveland [Ohio] and that started my career.$As you are growing in your position [at General Electric], because you--it's at a pretty fast clip.$$Yeah.$$I mean you are being promoted almost every year it looks like. Who are your mentors?$$Well a lot; once you become a senior executive ban really Fairfield [Connecticut] takes over on placement and what you're going to do next. So a lot of the mentors that would maybe make a difference are in Fairfield the Jack Welch's of the world, the Ben Heinemans [Benjamin W. Heineman] of the world, you know people like that. But then on the sideline there are individuals who are your peers that you're also taking coaching from and having to get advice. But more importantly by then--by the time I got to leading a bigger business there were other officers of the company--twelve of them in fact that were in similar positions where we could mentor each other. Just because I was maybe a step ahead or whatever doesn't mean that they can't give you great advice and you can capitalize on what they're seeing and mold it into what you ought to be thinking about. So it comes from people below you, from people who are peers and people above you. Some of the best help I ever got in my manufacturing career was from hourly employees who gave me advice about you better watch your back (laughter). Now I remember early on in my career where I was an industrial engineer at a manufacturing plant and literally I had this brilliant idea that now in retrospect it wasn't that brilliant, it was really pretty bad and the plant they were threatening a strike, they were doing this and all of a sudden magically it started working and I'm standing there at a machine where I had done this it was like reduce the workforce by a third. They didn't get laid off, they went to other areas of the plant but we were going to do three times as much work with a third of the people and I thought it was great. I thought I had really thought it through and this young lady, Sadie [ph.] I remember her. She was a twenty-five year employee, African American female and I'm standing there watching it work, smiling and she said, "You're pretty proud of yourself aren't you?" I said, "Yeah it's finally beginning to gel and it's working." And she said, "You are really proud of yourself aren't you?" I said, "Yeah, I am." She says, "Well the reason it's working has nothing to do about you." I said, "Yeah? Tell me about it." She said, "Look they were getting ready to go out on strike, I've been here for twenty-five years and we had a meeting in the ladies' room." 60, 70 percent of the employees in the lighting plant are female. I said, "What went on in the ladies' room?" She said, "I told them we have dumb ideas for white folks, we're going to do dumb ideas for this black kid so get out there, we ain't going on strike, go to work." And she was the turning point. She was the turning point. I said, "Why would you do that for me?" She said, "I have a grandson about your age and he's out there doing dumb ideas too and I hope somebody saves his butt" (laughter). But all my life I've had secretaries and people like that who I had gotten to know who from different ways helped me, saved me, if you will, in some cases. If you are so arrogant you're not listening, you won't see that you know, kind of thing. But I've had people again below that were huge supporters and they did it in their own way. People who were peers who have been huge, huge supporters and they did it in their own way and then people from the top pulling me up. So it was that triangulation that really was the difference I think.

Charles Phillips, Jr.

Corporate executive Charles E. Phillips, Jr. was born in June of 1959 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he received his B.S. degree in computer science in 1981. Phillips served first as a second lieutenant, and then as captain in the United States Marine Corps, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines from 1981 to 1986 at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He received his M.B.A degree from Hampton University in 1986 and his J.D. degree from the New York Law School in 1993.

In 1986, Phillips was named vice president of software for the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. He worked as senior vice president of SoundView Technology Group from 1990 to 1993, and senior vice president of Kidder Peabody from 1990 to 1994. Phillips then landed a job as a principal with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Institutional Securities Division in 1994, and was promoted to managing director in 1995. Then, in 2003, Phillips was hired by Oracle Corporation in Redwood Shores, California, as executive vice president of strategy, partnerships, and business development. He was appointed president and a member of the board of directors of Oracle in 2004, where he remained until 2010. In 2010, Phillips was named chief executive officer of Infor, an ERP software provider headquartered in New York City.

He serves on the boards of Infor, Viacom Corporation, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York Law School, the American Museum of Natural History, the United States Air Force Academy Endowment Fund, and Posse Foundation. Phillips is also a board member of his family foundation, Phillips Charitable Organizations, which provides financial aid for single parents, students interested in engineering, and wounded veterans. In February 2009, he was appointed as a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board in order to provide U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration with advice and counsel in addressing the late-2000s recession.

Phillips was recognized by Institutional Investor magazine as the Number One Enterprise Software Industry Analyst from 1994 to 2003. He was also named by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street in 2002.

Charles Phillips was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.099

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/11/2014

Last Name

Phillips

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Schools

United States Air Force Academy

Hampton University

New York Law School

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

PHI07

Favorite Season

Late Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Madrid, Spain

Favorite Quote

Semper Fi

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/10/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Paella

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Charles Phillips, Jr. (1959 - ) is the CEO of Infor. He also served as president of Oracle from 2004 to 2010, and is a founder and board member of Phillips Charitable Organizations.

Employment

United States Marine Corps

Bank of New York Mellon Corporation

SoundView Technology Group

Kidder Peabody

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

Oracle Corporation

Infor

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1532,16:10716,195:21163,353:21487,358:37700,573:45140,686:65210,946:66400,973:76407,1120:85385,1332:85854,1340:93680,1417:105818,1629:122042,1944:125354,1988:136434,2225:140154,2357:157674,2615:159599,2662:161293,2691:161986,2701:171250,2840:173410,2859:190434,3055:196428,3217:214910,3534:215900,3550:218144,3601:231315,3837:231840,3845:233415,3942:236040,4034:249902,4248:252289,4296:252674,4302:253213,4314:259730,4417:268480,4584:269810,4720:272610,4775:278280,4897:284970,4956:289180,5038:292348,5084:296452,5167:305020,5256:305670,5268:311520,5412:319350,5564$0,0:320,6:2156,21:28306,520:32414,596:37370,607:37766,612:38261,618:48827,809:64894,1076:70054,1132:73366,1195:73780,1203:83570,1333:83915,1339:86330,1395:90263,1508:90884,1546:93161,1606:128947,2255:167138,2808:173222,2921:178058,3045:185140,3113
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Phillips, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his childhood experience with the U.S. Air Force and enrolling at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his mother's family background and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory and his experience living in Madrid, Spain

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the American schools abroad and his father's interest in current events

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's opinion of the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the American school in Madrid, Spain and Lakeshore High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes Lakeshore High School in Atlanta, Georgia and playing basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his parents and brothers in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his decision to enroll at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his interest in computers and computer programming, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his interest in computers and computer programming, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. recalls his nomination by Nelson Rockefeller to attend the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes enrolling at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the student body population at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the challenges of increasing African American attendance at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the pressure of attending the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his decision to serve his commission in the United States Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about meeting his wife, Karen Phillips

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his experience in the United States Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes leaving the United States Marine Corps to attend an M.B.A. program at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes starting his career at the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation on Wall Street

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about working in investment banking with a background in technology rather than in finance

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the progression of his career on Wall Street

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his success as a software analyst on Wall Street

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes technology analysts on Wall Street during the late 1980s and 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about working with Mary Meeker and Frank Quattrone at Morgan Stanley

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about becoming a managing director in Morgan Stanley's technology group in 1995

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the leading people and companies in the software industry during his time as an analyst

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his investment strategy during the dot-com bubble

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the development of technology in the United States and abroad in the early 2000s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about Stanford's University's role in Silicon Valley

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about technological innovation

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about Morgan Stanley's merger with Dean Witter Reynolds in 1997

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about leaving Morgan Stanley to work at Oracle Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his acquisition strategy at Oracle Corporation, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his acquisition strategy at Oracle Corporation, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his goals at Oracle Corporation and the difference between enterprise software and personal software

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the history and security of cloud computing

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes becoming the CEO of Infor in 2010

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the importance of design and ease of use in Infor's software

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about moving Infor to New York City, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the development of Infor's internal creative agency, Hook & Loop, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the development of Infor's internal creative agency, Hook & Loop, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the growth of Infor since he became CEO

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes Infor's acquisition of Lawson Software in 2011

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the percentage of cloud business at Infor

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the use of open source databases and operating systems at Infor

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the future of big data and automation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. reflects on his career path

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the Phillips Charitable Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the legacy of the post-Civil Rights generation

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Charles Phillips, Jr. describes starting his career at the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation on Wall Street
Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's opinion of the U.S. Air Force
Transcript
So this is your late twenties too, though.$$Yeah.$$You're still young. How do you end up with the Bank of New York Mellon [Corporation]? I mean, is that your first--$$That was my first job. I didn't know anybody in New York [New York City, New York]. Then, my mother-in-law was living in New York. My wife's [Karen Phillips] family is from the New York area. She said you just need to start applying and see what you can do. So all I did was start writing a bunch of different financial institutions like "I just got out of the Marines, I'd like to come live in New York, I don't have any financial experience but I'm a quick learner. I've learned engineering" and, to my view, it's harder than finance. I think I sent out 200 letters. I got like 190 rejections 'cause people didn't value the military experience at that time and the whole engineering, it just-- especially in New York without any military bases here, they hadn't been around it. It has changed some now, we respect it now. But back then--remember this is--remember this is '80s [1980] when--. People would tell me "You seem like you're so smart, so why would you go to the military if you're that smart?" I said, "Well, you can be smart--it's not oxymoron, people do things for other than money sometimes because they have a commitment," so I had to explain that. And so, it was looking pretty bleak actually and then the Bank of New York, I wrote the guy and said, "Will you meet with me?" He said, "Yes, let me know the next time you're in town." I came to town and had trouble pinning him down, but I finally badgered him into a meeting. I realized as soon as I walked into his office, I waited all day to see him. He had a name plaque on his desk with an eagle, globe, and anchor-- had his last name with an eagle, globe, and anchor next to it, which was the Marine Corp emblem, so I knew his dad was a Marine and that's why he met with me. Once I saw that, I was, "Okay, I know why I'm here. I know I'm going to get this job now," so we start talking and within twenty minutes, we're laughing and talking about everything. He said, "All right, I'll give you a shot." And I said, "That's all I'm asking for a shot, and let me get started, and if I fail, fire me in six months. You'll never hear from me again. I'll work for whatever you think it is. I didn't know what it was worth. You tell me. I'll work for anything. I just want a shot." And he gave it to me. And--$$And you were hired to do what, Charles?$$So he hired me into--they had a mini training program, so I went around to different departments and that lasted about six months. I worked in the credit department, analyzing financial statements, and then he assigned me in the research department for analyzing stocks because I like analyzing things. So I said, "I can do that. I'll figure that out." So I got there. And they weren't sure what to do with me. So I said, "The thing I know about is computers, why don't you let me follow computer stocks and I can tell you a lot about that?" But I didn't know about the stock market. I go, "I don't, but I know the products work and I know why people buy them. I know if they're good or not." That, what seemed to be important because everybody else was an accountant or had some finance thing they were really good at. I said, "Yeah, I'll get to learning the stock market," but none of them could tell you what the products--if the products--that's what I know. And that was the unique thing I had, so they said, "Okay, do that." And the computer industry stock market was just starting. That's when Microsoft [Corporation] was just becoming public. Oracle [Corporation] had just became public, so it was a little side industry, especially the area I specialized in, which was the enterprise area, the more complex software. There were very few people even paying--they were scared of those stocks because they didn't understand them, and they were small companies. No one paid attention to them, so I said, "I'm just going to do that, and I will explain the reason these companies exist, how it's gonna change, I think it's going to be a big industry. Computers are going to be more prevalent. I already knew all that from the last seven years working with the stuff that it was growing in importance, but I didn't how long it would take. But I knew it was going to be big at some point. And a lot of the ways they used to do things on the old, giant computers with the cards and all that stuff--all these new computers because I've been building them, are going to be more powerful and more efficient way to do it, and this is going to get big. And here are the software companies that are going to help automate that, and I'll just do that, and explain to people why that's going to happen, and the shift from mainframes to PCs [personal computers] and all that." And they said, "We don't understand a thing you're saying, but it sounds like you know what you're talking about, so go ahead and do that." So I started basically visiting those companies, writing reports about them, and explaining to investors why they should invest, and then eventually made it to the investment banking firm and started doing the mergers and acquisitions, and seeing how the industry worked. I knew everybody in the industry because that is all I was doing (unclear).$$Now you were at what investment bank firm?$$So I ended up at Kidder, Peabody [& Co.]--(simultaneous)--$$Kidder, Peabody--(simultaneous)--$$--and then to Morgan Stanley.$What, what rank does your father [Charles Phillips, Sr.] have, you know, what rank is he--?$$(simultaneous) He retired a Senior master sergeant [in the U.S. Air Force], which is, for the enlisted, the second highest you can go, so he did pretty well, but he was enlisted though, yeah.$$And so is he--do you ever hear discussions about him being frustrated at all, or, you know, is he of the generation that the service really opened up, you know, a lot of opportunities?$$He is grateful for the opportunity to serve his country and it gave him tremendous opportunities. So, there-- He told me a story that four years into the service, you have to decide whether you want to re-up, or reenlist, and continue; and he came home in his uniform, had some time off for a week. And one of the guys he went to high school with tried to talk him out of reenlisting and said, "Come back here to Clinton, Oklahoma," which really it's only 5,000 people, "and we'll open up a liquor store." And he said, "I thought about it, and I almost did it," and then said, "You know what, there's just gotta be better something. I haven't seen in four years, but there's--but I've seen enough to say, there's other ways of thinking and I want to learn more, and I decided against. I went and re-uped and went back and left." So he goes back, 10 or 15 years later, the guy actually did open a liquor store and, of course, is destitute, barely surviving, like a shack about to fall over, and selling liquor. He said, "You see, that would have been me if I had made that decision and said, "No, I just don't want to make that decision, no I don't want to do that, even though he was one of my best friends, I would have been stuck there for the rest of my life, you know." And so he views that, the fact that he got out through the military as a huge--so do I. I was so glad did. It changed his life. Nonetheless, the fact that that was his only choice is a function of many other things that he obviously not happy about. So it was just this dual feeling. On the one hand, I 'm grateful for this opportunity, and I want to serve my country because they gave me this opportunity; on the other hand, I should have had more opportunity like everybody else did and didn't like the way he was being treated, so--$$So this-- some of this you're hearing around the dinner table and at home.$$Yeah, this conflict and anger, and yet the appreciation of being part of the country, and yet "My country should have treated me better," all those things, you know. All those things were discussed and, you know, I'd tried to understand in a way because we grew up in an environment that I had never seen before and I tried to place myself there and see if I would be as angry, you know.$$So you're hearing a lot about, you know, this person, you know, I didn't get treated right, you know. And then the Marines are--they were still --the Marines were a hard place--you know, we had--well the Montford Point Marines [Montford Point Marine Association]. I think Navy was worse. Navy was worse as a branch of service.$$(simultaneous) Yeah.

Leona Barr-Davenport

Corporate chief executive Leona Barr Davenport was born November 30, 1957 in Hemingway, South Carolina. Her parents, Mary Leona Barr and Luther Rufus Barr, were sharecroppers. They had ten children. After graduating from high school in Johnsonville, South Carolina, Davenport went on to earn her B.S. degree in business administration and economics from Benedict College in 1979, winning the honor of being one of Ebony magazine’s “Campus Queens of 1978-1979.” In 1999, Davenport received the first Dean’s Community Improvement Scholarship from Clark Atlanta University. She earned her M.B.A. degree with a concentration in marketing from Clark Atlanta in 2001.

After college, Davenport dove straight into the world of business, accepting a position as an accounting supervisor at Gencom, Inc. In 1984, she left Gencom and became a senior auditor at Broniec Associates, where she stayed until 1988. Davenport then became an assistant at the Atlanta Business League, an organization originally affiliated with Booker T. Washington that serves as an advocate for businesses owned by African Americans in the Atlanta area. Davenport worked her way to the top of the ABL, becoming president in 1998. She has held the position ever since. In 2009, Davenport accepted a Legacy Award from Spelman College on behalf of the Atlanta Business League.

Davenport has been active in community service throughout her career, starting with her decade-long affiliation with the Southwest Atlanta Youth Business Organization, or SWAYBO, which is sponsored by the Atlanta Business League. Davenport is also a member of Crossroads Community Ministries, which helps the homeless of Atlanta, and the Economic Development Corporation of Fulton County. In 2000, Davenport was honored for her community service by the Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta during their Salute to Black Mothers Banquet.

Davenport lives in Sharpsburg, Georgia with her husband Jewel L. Davenport.

Leona Barr Davenport was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 12, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.078

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/12/2010

Last Name

Barr-Davenport

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Johnsonville High School

Benedict College

Clark Atlanta University

Stuckey School

First Name

Leona

Birth City, State, Country

Hemingway

HM ID

DAV26

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

To Soar To The Height Of Eagles Is To Find A Place Where Few Go And Only The Very Best Can Reach. Therefore, You Should Reach For The Sky.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/30/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Breakfast Foods

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Leona Barr-Davenport (1957 - ) was the president and CEO of the Atlanta Business League, an organization that served as an advocate for African American businesses in Metro Atlanta.

Employment

GenCom, Inc.

Broniec Associates, Inc.

Atlanta Business League

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leona Barr-Davenport's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leona Barr-Davenport lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her father's tenure in the U.S. Army Air Forces

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leona Barr-Davenport remembers her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leona Barr-Davenport remembers her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes how she takes after her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her father's personality and her likeness to him

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her mother's position as a cook

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes the sights of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about her parents' experiences as sharecroppers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes the sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls the crops on her family's farm

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her friendship with her cousins

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes the process of cultivating tobacco

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her home in Johnsonville, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about her birth in Hemingway, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Leona Barr-Davenport lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her parents' emphasis on education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her experiences of school desegregation

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her early education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her role as co-president of her senior class

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leona Barr-Davenport remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls the role of religion in her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls the role of religion in her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leona Barr-Davenport remembers Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her extracurricular activities at Benedict College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her election as Miss Benedict at Benedict College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leona Barr-Davenport remembers being featured in Ebony magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls the color bias at Benedict College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her decision to major in economics

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her influences at Benedict College

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her prospects after college

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about sharecropping

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls the start of her career in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Leona Barr-Davenport remembers joining Broniec Associates, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her tenure at Broniec Associates, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about the discrimination at Broniec Associates, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls joining the Atlanta Business League

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her positions at the Atlanta Business League

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about the history of the Atlanta Business League

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her challenges as president of the Atlanta Business League

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about her achievements at the Atlanta Business League

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Leona Barr-Davenport reflects upon her accomplishments

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about her husband

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Leona Barr-Davenport recalls earning a master's degree from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Leona Barr-Davenport shares her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about the leadership programs in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Leona Barr-Davenport reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Leona Barr-Davenport reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Leona Barr-Davenport shares a message to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Leona Barr-Davenport talks about the multigenerational effects of discrimination

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Leona Barr-Davenport describes her organizational involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Leon Barr-Davenport talks about her involvement in the church

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Leon Barr-Davenport recalls her affirmative action advocacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Leona Barr-Davenport describes the process of cultivating tobacco
Leona Barr-Davenport recalls her election as Miss Benedict at Benedict College
Transcript
You talked about harvesting tobacco [in Johnsonville, South Carolina], I mean what was that like? I mean tell me, describe to me about that (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) It, it's, it's very interesting and I always tell people you had to be there, but the, the, the way it worked is that and I'll get you to, you planted the crop and then, of course, you had to keep the weeds out and all of that, but when it was time to harvest and typically it started around July, the men would go into, and the rows were perfect, they had to be perfect because the mule and the drag, and the drag is this rectangular kind of contraption that was built that sat about four feet off of the ground, and so as they cropped the leaves that were wiped, and you cropped from the bottom, you would, and the guys as they cropped, they would have to put them under their arm, the leaves under their arm and once they couldn't carry any more, then they would put them in the drag. And so, and they laid them, you didn't dump it because it was a process, so that the driver of the drag would bring the tobacco to the barn. At the barn there were these things that we called horses, but they really weren't horses. It was a contraption that was built where the stick would sit on top and you would string the stick and so you start the stick, you tie the knot at the beginning and you would string, you'd have people that were called handers and they were really handlers I guess. They would actually give you two to three leaves of tobacco. You would string it to the right, string it to the left, so you might have one or two people on each side and this one person that was a stringer and you would string it, and then when you got to the end of the stick, you'd tie it, you would take it into the barn. There were two people typically in the barn that would then take those sticks and hang them. And the barn was about, I guess one or two stories if you will, because there were different levels in the barn where you hang the sticks. Initially you would just hang them on the bottom and then the guys that were inside the barn would then climb up, straddle those, the length of the sticks and they would hang it all the way up to the top, and then once they hung all of the tobacco, the barn was full, then they would cure it and there was a process for curing it over a course of two to three days and so they would cure it until it was the dry tobacco that, that you, if you've ever seen that, you'd have to see it, but it was dry tobacco, and then you would unload the barn, you would take it to the pack house. The pack house was where you sat and then you would separate the leaves based upon the quality. There was a different quality that you put together and you would separate it, and so the better quality, that typically sold better because if it, if it was cured too much, you got very little money for it, but the tobacco company could use it in some form. But it was different levels so once you get all of that ready and then you took it to, to sell it. So it was a very intense process if you think all manual, with the horses, not horses, the mules. Let me be very clear, the mules and the drag process and just everything that went into it. Now one of the things about the tobacco that was really disgusting for, for me in particular, even though you would fertilize it and do what you needed to do to get rid of the insects, there were these big green worms that would grow on it, and it was just a disgusting, I cannot describe, but the thing that was funny about it, is that the boys knew how much the girls really didn't like it and they would try put, put a worm on you, or do, because they would grow larger than a thumb, and it was just, it was just, it's one of those things that you really can't describe, but that was one of the worst aspects of that entire process is the fact that no matter how much they did you could not control that. You know you could control it to some degree because they could actually destroy the crop if you didn't continue, because there's a process also where you would go into the tobacco field while it's still green and remove those worms from the product so that, it was just an interesting, overall an interesting process and it was, you know, very pointed. In fact one of the stories my sister just told me the other night, I think I'd heard but I'd forgotten. My father's youngest brother on the second side of the family, one of his siblings, he was wild, his name was Albert May [Albert Barr (ph.)] and they said Albert, if his father [Benjamin Barr, Sr.] told him go left, Albert went right. It just didn't matter. And his father would tell him don't, "Don't wear those mules out," and Albert May would literally get upon these, this drag, I don't know if he was looking at television or what, but he would straddle the drag and just start driving the mules like a wild man, so here he is in the farm area driving these mules as if he was in some kind of race, and they said that was just, he was just, he was a death, what do you call 'em, you call 'em death defying person, and so he was interesting. I never got to know him, never got to know him. Once he left home he never came back.$While I was there [Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina], I ran, I decided to run for Miss Benedict college, and I ran for totally a, a reason that had nothing to do with the role. I ran because I wanted to break the cycle of the queen looking a certain way and, and doing all these different things and as I remember, when I decided I wanted to run, no one expected that of me. They expected me to run for student government president because I had served as secretary one year, and, but I decided I wanted to do something out of the box, and so I decided to run for Miss Benedict and people were shocked but I had a soror who, Jocelia Roberts [ph.] was her name. Jocelia could sing the birds out of the trees and they had planned for Jocelia to be Miss Benedict and they thought she should be Miss Benedict because she could sing. Now Jocelia, as it relates to overall looks and all of that, I'm of the darker hue, and she was more in the middle, but people thought that the songbird should get it. Well, fate would have it that Jocelia would travel somewhere that day with, I think it was the Kappa--the Alphas [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority], and she did not make it back in enough time to qualify, so she did not get on the ballot, so they tried to run a write in campaign. Didn't work. I ended up winning Miss Benedict basically totally different from what people had seen over the years as queens, and I remembered over the holidays before the voting took place, I went home and I said to my mother [Mary Brown Barr], "Is it wrong to pray for something that's not important?" And my mother was always very matter of fact, and she said, "If it's important to you, then it's important," and she walked away. And that was, that was my confirmation, you know. It was something that I wanted to do for a cause. But in going back to the fact that everyone expected me to run for student government president, oh what's Darryl's last name? Darryl's father was the pastor of Bible Way Baptist Church [Bible Way Church of Atlas Road, Columbia, South Carolina], Darryl Gray [ph.], and Darryl Gray is actually a state senator in South Carolina right now, so he's always been aggressive. He was a day student. It was one of the first times that a day student had ever won the title of SGA [Student Government Association] president, but Darryl always dressed for what he wanted to be, and Darryl had heard from someone that I was going to run for SGA president or they thought that I was, so Darryl being the politician that he was, even in school, came to me and said, "Leona [HistoryMaker Leona Barr-Davenport], I don't know if you know, but I'm thinking about running for SGA president." And I said, "Yes I heard that." And he said, "Well I was just wondering if we could run together and you would run for vice president." And I thought to myself, how dare you. If I wanna run, you know, but I didn't tell him, I didn't tell him this. If I wanna run, I'm going to run for SGA president. Well, I said, "Darryl, I'll tell you what, I'm not going to run for SGA president and I'm not going to run for vice president. I'm going to run for Miss Benedict." Darryl said, "Oh great." He never said, you know, exactly why, but I knew he was strategizing what he, what he scheduled a meeting for us to sit down together, so he was glad to know that I was not going to be in his way at all. I ran for Miss Benedict, I won that, and so that was, that was an exciting time.

Louis Jones

Louis Jones is president of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors for the Black Contractors United. He was born on July 1, 1946 in Hunstville, Alabama to Arthur and Alberta Jones. His father was a farmer and construction worker in the South, but when his family moved to Chicago his father became a baker with the A&P grocery chain factories. Jones attended Tilden Technical High School before earning his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle in 1973. In 1969, Jones began working for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill architects. In 1973, Jones began working for McKee-Berger-Mansueto as a School Rehab Manager.

In 1975, Jones became a licensed architect and moved to San Francisco, where he worked for a private consulting firm. He moved back to Chicago three years later and began working for Schal Associates. Between 1978 and 1984, Schal Associates built the Avondale Center, Madison Plaza, the Chicago Tribune Printing Plant, and the Magnificent Mile. In 1984, Jones became president of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc., specializing in engineering, construction, management, consulting, and architecture. The following year, Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc. was part of the $1.7 billion renovation and expansion of O’Hare International Airport. The firm also was hired to work on Provident Hospital in 1990 and McCormick Place in 1997. In 2008, Jones' firm was hired to be part of the team to build the University of Illinois’, the James Stukel Towers student housing complex.

Since 1986, Jones sat on the Board of Directors for Black Contractors United and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1998. He was also selected to serve on the Mayor of Chicago’s Task Force for Minority & Women Business Development in 2005. Jones was a member of the Illinois Capital Development Board and has served as president pro tempore of the Illinois Department of Employment Security Advisory Board.

Louis Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 27, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.030

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/27/2010

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Bret Harte Math and Science Magnet Cluster School

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

University of Illinois at Chicago

First Name

Louis

Birth City, State, Country

Huntsville

HM ID

JON23

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Fishing

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

7/1/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Estero

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Architect and corporate chief executive Louis Jones (1946 - ) was president of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc. and served on the board of directors for the Black Contractors United.

Employment

Skidmore Owings & Merrill

McKee, Berger & Mansueto

Schal Associates

Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company

Regal Theater

Johnson and Jones Architects

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:967,166:6953,352:46400,865:46736,870:47660,888:48248,900:48668,906:51524,998:53624,1049:54380,1076:68748,1217:69312,1224:80506,1406:81437,1414:86141,1431:91562,1524:100638,1760:101048,1766:101540,1773:103918,1820:109640,1905:110315,1917:110765,1924:111590,1936:112040,1943:113165,1983:126720,2353:158060,2587:159028,2603:165892,2741:166332,2747:176140,2880:176750,2886:178214,2911:185388,2988:186868,3009:189930,3024:190504,3033:190832,3039:197682,3130:203990,3189:205115,3202:208865,3235:209395,3251:210735,3279:218514,3441:221550,3499:225372,3522:225660,3527:229620,3659:235596,3772:239340,3847:239988,3857:251484,3999:252023,4009:252947,4024:256566,4122:270344,4257:271124,4269:274088,4343:276428,4392:281810,4499:283916,4533:284306,4539:284618,4544:298128,4712:298602,4719:300182,4746:306423,4803:308635,4925:317120,4985$0,0:546,13:1183,22:11792,362:21115,492:21625,499:27973,565:28458,572:34220,744:34692,749:50595,963:52263,978:66368,1167:71510,1181:78588,1291:80350,1298:82520,1309:89133,1436:91134,1477:94266,1518:100704,1676:102096,1712:112743,1819:115250,2004:132855,2120:133380,2128:136605,2205:139605,2287:141555,2346:145980,2477:155944,2628:157010,2645:160448,2673:161032,2683:161470,2690:162638,2709:163514,2726:165266,2763:165631,2769:168040,2874:169865,2897:170157,2910:170741,2919:172274,2954:177718,2998:179632,3033:180241,3041:181938,3055:190254,3260:190639,3266:191178,3284:192102,3309:192487,3315:192949,3322:193642,3335:204611,3455:206090,3487:211874,3585:214490,3628
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Louis Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Louis Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Louis Jones describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Louis Jones describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Louis Jones remembers his paternal uncle, James Jones, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Louis Jones talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Louis Jones talks about his family's history of enslavement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Louis Jones describes his father's work at The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Louis Jones describes his family's community in Huntsville, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Louis Jones describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Louis Jones recalls his homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Louis Jones lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Louis Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Louis Jones describes his experiences at Bret Harte Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Louis Jones recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Louis Jones recalls his friends at Bret Harte Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Louis Jones remembers his near drowning at the Hyde Park YMCA in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Louis Jones describes his experiences at Tilden Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Louis Jones talks about his part time job at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Louis Jones remembers his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Louis Jones describes his decision to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Louis Jones remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Louis Jones recalls his peers and professors at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Louis Jones talks about the visiting professors at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Louis Jones describes his architectural thesis

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Louis Jones talks about his favorite architectural style

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Louis Jones describes his part time position at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Louis Jones recalls his graduation from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Louis Jones describes his organizational involvement at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Louis Jones describes his duties at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Louis Jones remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Louis Jones describes his transition to McKee Berger Mansueto, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Louis Jones describes the role of a construction manager

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Louis Jones talks about his construction projects in California and Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Louis Jones describes his building projects with Schal Associates, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Louis Jones describes the founding of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Louis Jones talks about his early projects at Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Louis Jones talks about the redevelopment of the Provident Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Louis Jones recalls his work on the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Louis Jones talks about the construction of the McCormick Place South Building in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Louis Jones talks about his involvement with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Black Contractors United

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Louis Jones talks about his children

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Louis Jones talks about the success of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Louis Jones remembers the contracts secured by Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Louis Jones describes his current projects at Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Louis Jones reflects upon the specialty of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Louis Jones describes his role in the construction of ACE Technical Charter High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Louis Jones talks about his work at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Louis Jones talks about his organizational involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Louis Jones describes the changes in building design after September 11, 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Louis Jones describes the process of building a hospital

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Louis Jones describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Louis Jones talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Louis Jones reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Louis Jones narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
Louis Jones describes the founding of Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.
Louis Jones recalls his work on the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
And from Schal [Schal Associates, Inc., Chicago, Illinois], where did you go? And what year was this?$$Well Schal, I came to work for Schal in, in June of 1978 from, from San Francisco [California], and worked on 200 South Wacker [200 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois], Tribune plant [Freedom Center, Chicago, Illinois]. Then Schal joint ventured with McHugh [James McHugh Construction Company, Chicago, Illinois] and I was the project director for the North Hall of McCormick Place [McCormick Place North Building, Chicago, Illinois]. And that went through a couple iterations where it went way over budget and they, they started trying to pull it back and work on it. And at that time, a friend of mine, Eric Johnson, who I went to school with [at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle; University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois], we had a side business that was Johnson and Jones Architects [ph.]. So in the evening I would leave Schal, go around the corner and I had the license, I had gotten my architect's license. So I would look at the drawings that were being done, seal them, sign them, go home. So Schal kind of got wind of it. And this was in the era when there was big affirmative action pushes and Harold Washington, you know, was, was, was getting, getting in--in line to be mayor, you know, it was like in eighty--'82 [1982], '83 [1983] or something like that. So we started talking and they became a mentor company and they wanted to ow- hold a third of the deal and we were going to create Louis Jones Enterprises [Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc., Chicago, Illinois]. So I said okay, I don't wanna be accused of fronting for a big white company, so I gotta get somebody to look at this. So Sam Hurley [Samuel Hurley] was first deputy director, he's African American engineer, he's first deputy director of public works for the City of Chicago [Illinois]. And he was also on the city's affirmative action committee. Now they call it affirmative action. So I had Sam look at it. And he said, "Well, I know you Lou [HistoryMaker Louis Jones], I know you from Schal and all that, you know what you're doing, you're for real and all that kind of stuff. So why don't you, you know, move forward with it and see what." So then I turned it over to [HistoryMaker] Earl Neal who gave it to Anne Fredd [Anne L. Fredd] in his office to evaluate.$$Earl Neal was a black attorney?$$Yeah. And then they kind of got Ja- [HistoryMaker] James Lowry involved. And so Lowry help promulgate it as a good mentor protege thing. So I went with it. And so--and the 29th of February it was incorporated as Louis Jones Enterprises. I was living in Oak Park, Illinois and so they had my home address for a while, and then I had a small office at 440 North Wells [Street]. And so that's how I started a company. And we had a five year buyout deal and all that. In about three years, I bought them out because we were, you know, just something we wanted to do. So we started out working on McCormick Place North to bring it back, because they had sort of mothballed the job because the legislature had not funded it. And then the O'Hare Development Program came about. And by the fall of that year, in 1984, when I opened the company, by the fall of that year I had ten employees and they were all working at O'Hare field [Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois]. And I had been spending quite a bit of time in the prior year as an employee of Schal and then later on as a consultant helping the team that was doing all the budgeting for the O'Hare Development Program. What is the United terminal [United Airlines Terminal 1] gonna cost. What's the inner outer taxi way relocation and widening gonna be, the second taxi way bridge. Did a lot of analysis and studies and stuff on that. And so Dick Unsulman [ph.] was the executive director of the O'Hare Development Program and he sent out a--like an ultimatum, "Either Lou Jones is full time working with me on the O'Hare program," because he was involved with McCormick Place somehow, "or he's working on McCormick Place, which is it." Well my business and my employees were all at O'Hare, so I moved to the O'Hare thing and let the McCormick Place thing go. And I became deputy director of construction management for the O'Hare Development Program. So all of the facilities stuff, they had a deputy director for facilities and a deputy director for infrastructure. So this guy, Dan Kaiser [ph.], was over all the civil stuff like runways and roads, and stuff like that. And I was over all the buildings, like the terminal buildings, the crash fire rescue stations, that kind of stuff. And within a couple years I had twenty-five or thirty employees out there and me spending full time there when I started to pick up other work was getting to be a strain, so I brought in Joe Doddy [ph.] who's still working out there for somebody else, who's a classmate of mine, to be the deputy director for facilities.$What was the next big project that your, your firm [Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc., Chicago, Illinois] had? You had Provident [Provident Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois], you had O'Hare [Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois]?$$The Harold Washington Library [Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago, Illinois] came up and McCormick Place South [McCormick Place South Building, Chicago, Illinois] in the '90s [1990s]. Both were, were done--they had international design competition design build--they wanted design build. And we teamed with a group that call themselves the SEBUS Group, it was Schal [Schal Associates, Inc., Chicago, Illinois], Epstein [A. Epstein and Sons International, Inc., Chicago, Illinois], U.S. Equities [U.S. Equities Realty LLC; CBRE Group, Inc.] and I forget what the B in there was [Hammond, Beeby and Babka, Inc.; Hammond, Beeby, Rupert, Ainge, Inc., Chicago, Illinois]. But we did something like 10, 15 percent of the deal. We had the union crew that--a construction manager operates sort a like general contractor, they have what they call temporary facilities and controls or general conditions. We had a crew of about fifteen laborers, carpenters and one operator, and Barb [Jones' wife, Barbara M. Jones] went through a lot of people because we insisted on hiring African Americans, and we had some issues with that, and we had to really go to--we actually had to do some stuff. 'Cause I wrote a very ugly letter that everybody asked me to burn or shred because if it got to the Sun-Times [Chicago Sun-Times] or something--'cause I was threatening them that they were mani- manipulating me into laying off black folks and hiring Mexicans and white people unfairly. Because I would put a black carpenter out there and--or a black laborer and, and the, the other firms that were involved wou- would complain that they were, they were too slow, they didn't know what they was doing or something. And I said, you know, you're trying to tell me that a journeyman carpenter doesn't know what he's doing, you know, give me a break, you know. So finally--when you start a construction job there's ebbs and flows. At the beginning there is some site work. They're, they're doing the foundations and stuff and you need some laborers around there to do cleanup. You might have a little bit of safety with a carpenter or whatnot, and maybe those guys will get three weeks work or a couple months work, then they get laid off because there's a lull. And then when that thing starts to come out of the ground and it's a project that's big as Harold Washington Library, then you need a full time cleanup crew and you need a couple of people there to do backup safety where the subcontractors don't do the barriers where people might fall, you know. And if you're the general or you're the construction manager you better see that they're done. And even if it's somebody else's duty and then you just back charge them for it. So we had those kind of people. And so that came to nearly fifteen people, and I think we had one white person and one Hispanic, everybody else was black. And there was always some issue. So finally I wrote a letter and I said, "Look, you know, you've manipulated me into laying off my whole crew and then you call and said you wanted these people back and you recommended its people that wasn't black." "We don't want--we don't want that written down, where are the rest of those letters." And so then the edict came down, leave Lou [HistoryMaker Louis Jones] alone, let him hire the people that, you know, he sees fit, as long as they're doing the job.

Amy S. Hilliard

Comfort Cake founder and CEO Amy Sharmane Hilliard was born Audrey Sharmane Amy Hilliard on August 16, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan. Hilliard received her B.S. degree (with honors) from Howard University in 1974 and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1978.

After school, Hilliard went to work for Bloomingdale’s as a member of their buying team in New York. In 1981, Hilliard joined the Gillette Company in the Personal Care Division working in Product Management. She led the team that successfully created and launched White Rain Shampoo in six months. In addition, Hilliard managed the development and execution of the multiple brand Miss America promotion during this period. By 1985, Hilliard was promoted to Senior Product Manager for Gillette at Division Headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. She was responsible for the general management of Gillette’s largest personal care business, the $100 million White Rain hair care products franchise. In 1987, Hilliard became the Director of Marketing for the Lustrasilk Corporation (a Gillette subsidiary) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In Minneapolis, Hilliard left Gillette in 1990 to work for The Pillsbury Company where, as the Director of Market Development, Baked Goods Division, she helped create some of the first Pillsbury Doughboy advertisements that were targeted to people of color. In 1992, Hilliard began working for the Burrell Communications Group in Chicago, Illinois as Senior Vice President and Director of Integrated Marketing Services. Burrell Communications Group specializes in developing advertising and marketing campaigns targeting African American consumers and the urban market. Hilliard then founded The Hilliard Group, Inc. in 1995 and served as its President and CEO. The Hilliard Group specialized in developing multi-cultural marketing and sales strategies for Fortune 500 corporations. In 1999, Hilliard became Senior Vice President of Marketing for Soft Sheen Products, a Division of L’Oreal U.S.A. While still working at L’Oreal, Hilliard made the decision to go into business for herself. Hilliard founded The Comfort Cake Company on February 15, 2001 and serves as its president and CEO. By 2002, The Comfort Cake Company had expanded into the Chicago Public School system cafeterias, and by 2003, Comfort Cakes were being sold on Amazon.com and in 7-Eleven stores.

Formerly an adjunct professor at DePaul University’s business school, Hilliard has lectured at leading universities including Harvard, The University of Chicago, Northwestern, Duke and UCLA. She has consulted internationally in London and in South Africa, where she presented business development opportunities to President Nelson Mandela’s cabinet. Her work has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Ad Age, Business Week, Working Woman, Entrepreneur Magazine, Essence, Black Enterprise, and Ebony among others. In 2005, Hilliard published a book entitled, Tap Into Your Juice: Find Your Gifts, Lose Your Fears, Build Your Dreams.

Hilliard is the proud mother of two active teenagers, Angelica and Nicholas.

Hilliard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 14, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.082

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/14/2008 |and| 11/20/2008

Last Name

Hilliard

Maker Category
Schools

Roosevelt Elementary School

Ludington Magnet Middle and Honors School

Cass Technical High School

Harvard Business School

Howard University

First Name

Amy

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

HIL11

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

SuperValu

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Seek Progress, Not Perfection.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/16/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Short Description

Corporate chief executive and marketing executive Amy S. Hilliard (1952 - ) was the founder and CEO of the Comfort Cake Company. She worked in multicultural marketing for the Pillsbury Company, The Gillette Company and L'Oreal, and founded a marketing firm called The Hilliard Group, Inc.

Employment

Joseph's

Polaroid Corporation

Bloomingdale's

The May Department Stores Company

Young & Rubicam

Gillette

Lustrasilk

Pillsbury Company

Burrell Communications Group

The Hilliard Group

L'Oreal

Comfort Cakes Co LLC

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Lime Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:31630,398:42067,466:42938,486:44345,523:47159,583:47695,594:50174,664:51514,758:54663,847:63086,950:63680,963:65594,1021:72194,1227:72656,1236:72986,1244:73448,1253:74438,1272:74702,1277:96300,1522:97350,1547:102600,1644:106310,1754:111250,1806:115150,1894:120175,1984:120925,1995:121225,2000:134204,2186:134796,2195:136350,2240:137978,2287:139088,2308:139902,2345:140642,2356:140938,2361:144690,2372$0,0:444,12:1850,64:2886,81:5476,122:11470,251:11840,257:12136,262:12432,273:20964,374:24017,448:25153,459:27354,530:27922,540:28206,545:29200,574:33389,671:36868,783:39424,849:46480,930:46760,935:50190,1035:50470,1040:50960,1049:61060,1218:61380,1226:61860,1233:62260,1239:63620,1263:65220,1310:66660,1334:67140,1341:67460,1346:77003,1461:77673,1473:82631,1562:82899,1567:83368,1575:85110,1594:85713,1606:89331,1679:89599,1684:89934,1690:90336,1698:92681,1758:94155,1785:94557,1792:95026,1801:95361,1807:95897,1818:96433,1828:104276,1918:104636,1924:107732,1987:109964,2031:110324,2037:111764,2064:112772,2085:119340,2142:119748,2147:121788,2175:124134,2203:124542,2208:124950,2213:129886,2280:132190,2309:134302,2347:135646,2374:135966,2380:136478,2391:137310,2405:138526,2429:139038,2440:141726,2530:144734,2616:154056,2728:155832,2772:160124,2854:160420,2859:161678,2883:167722,2910:168082,2916:168658,2926:171322,2985:172258,3005:173338,3041:174058,3053:174346,3058:176866,3127:177154,3132:177442,3137:182870,3166:183398,3177:183794,3194:185378,3234:185972,3244:190592,3351:190988,3362:191252,3367:191912,3380:192176,3385:193628,3420:195146,3467:195608,3477:195938,3486:198116,3555:198512,3572:198776,3577:199040,3582:201482,3662:208626,3706:209458,3722:211378,3773:212082,3787:212338,3792:212978,3805:213554,3818:214066,3829:214898,3848:215538,3860:215794,3865:216306,3874:216690,3884:223085,3971:223635,3983:224515,4010:224790,4016:226875,4036:227241,4047:227668,4055:228644,4081:229864,4122:236025,4303:237001,4332:237611,4344:238892,4380:243997,4417:244600,4429:245337,4441:247012,4464:248352,4479:248888,4487:254414,4570:255052,4594:255458,4604:256154,4630:256676,4642:256908,4647:257604,4664:260736,4773:267385,4837:267775,4845:271610,4906
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Amy S. Hilliard's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her mother's upbringing during the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her maternal great-grandmother and great-aunts

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her maternal aunts

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her great-aunts' catering business

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the death of her mother's oldest sister

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her likeness to her father

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her paternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her family's racial ancestry

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard lists her parents' siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her earliest memory of school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the origin of her name

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the black business district in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard lists her siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the holidays

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her father's occupation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the Grace Episcopal Church in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers integrating Eugenia Mettetal Junior High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her social life at Eugenia Mettetal Junior High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her experiences of integration busing

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her early interest in literature

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her graduation from Eugenia Mettetal Junior High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the riots of 1967 in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her early aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her college applications

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls joining the cheerleading squad at Cass Technical High School

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her transition to Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the civil rights activities at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her mentors at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers a friend who was murdered by her fiance

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her start as a fashion buyer

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her career as a fashion buyer

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the African American fashion buyers at Bloomingdale's

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her work at the May Merchandising Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her transition to the Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the start of her interest in advertising

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the start of her interest in advertising

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Amy S. Hilliard's interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her decision to study at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about H. Naylor Fitzhugh

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her mentors at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers becoming Bloomingdale's fashion buyer

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls joining The Gillette Company

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the Miss America pageant of 1984

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers The Gillette Company's interest in the black hair care market

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the black hair industry's resistance to majority corporations

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls The Gillette Company's acquisition of the Lustrasilk Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls joining the Pillsbury Company, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her multicultural education initiative at the Pillsbury Company, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the Pillsbury Company's first advertisement featuring people of color

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her first day at the Pillsbury Company, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls hiring African Americans to work at the Pillsbury Company, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her role at the Burrell Communications Group

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the advertising industry in South Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers founding the Hilliard Jones Marketing Group

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls managing Soft Sheen for L'Oreal S.A.

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the changes in the black hair care industry

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the founding of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the founding of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the support of her children

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the operations of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the first customer of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her search for a production bakery

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the bankruptcy of her production bakery

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her children's roles at the Comfort Cake Company, LLC

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the staff of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her book, 'Tap Into Your Juice'

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard reflects upon her life

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her plans for the future of Comfort Cake Co LLC

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the impact of the financial crisis of 2008

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her family

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the importance of community service

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATape

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DATitle
Amy S. Hilliard describes her early personality
Amy S. Hilliard recalls The Gillette Company's acquisition of the Lustrasilk Corporation
Transcript
So you were a good student. But what type of child were you?$$I think as a child, I was very inquisitive. I wanted to know how things worked. I wanted to know why. "Why is this this way?" And, "Why can't we do it that way?" I liked doing things my way, you know, finding ways to do it the way that I liked to do it. I liked to have things done right. I was, I liked my reports to be really, really well done. I liked to--when I would set the table at home I wanted it to be set just so. I liked cooking when I was very, at a very young age. In fact one of the things I did when I was growing up was, because my mother [Gwendolyn Russell Hilliard] was in school while I was in elementary school [Roosevelt Elementary School, Detroit, Michigan], she taught me how to cook. I guess she--since I learned how to cook, I used to have to cook dinner for my whole family, I think starting about the sixth grade. So, I learned how to cook for six people. And when I was out on my own, I only knew how to cook for six people. So (laughter) I had a lot of leftovers by the time I went out on my own. But I used to cook a lot. And I used to love to cook for my dad [Stratford Hilliard]. I used to love to make sandwiches, make his lunch. That was something that was very special for me. So, the napkin had to be folded very nicely. I would stick pickles on his sandwich on a toothpick, and I'd fold the napkin and I'd, you know, arrange his food. And he used to really love that. I remember making a pie for him when I was in elementary school. Because our neighbors next door to our home had fruit trees, and so I would go pick the cherries. And I made him--because cherry pie was his favorite. And I made him a cherry pie, and I forgot to take the pits out of the cherries. And the pie was delicious, and he broke into it and broke a tooth. But he was like, "Baby, this is the best pie anyone's ever made" (laughter). I broke his tooth. I was creative. I liked to experiment with food, and my mother always let me do it. One St. Patrick's Day I said, "I want to make green pancakes." And she said, she had food coloring, and she said, "Okay." And so I made green pancakes that looked horrible. Nobody would eat them because they looked bad. Green pancakes was a great idea, but they didn't look too good. So, I used to experiment with everything.$There was a company called Lustrasilk [Lustrasilk Corporation], which was owned, which was out in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which had the, a product called Luster Curl, and Right On Curl maintenance products. All these products were doing very well in black hair care. The company was never owned by black people, it was owned by a German guy. The company was started by a Mexican guy who was a chemist for 3M, and found out that he had a product that would straighten sheep's hair. So he figured there're a lot of wooly headed people in this world, and a lot of them are black. So, let's use this product to straighten some black hair. And that's how Lustrasilk got started.$$I can't see the image of a sheep with straightened hair.$$Yeah. So that's, you know, that's how that company got started. But they're out in Minnesota, this is a $50 million company. And Gillette [The Gillette Company] sent me out to have dinner with this guy. Sitting across the table just like I'm sitting across from you, and said, "You know, how much would it take for us to buy your company? We can buy it for at least--you're doing 50 million, we can buy it for 50 million." And he took me on a tour of his plant at midnight that so nobody would know he was thinking of selling. And that's the company that Gillette ultimately bought. And that's what brought me out to Minnesota in 1989, well, actually 1987. They bought the company and asked me to go out there as director of marketing for Lustrasilk. And so that's what moved me to Minneapolis, Minnesota. I had been married since 1982. I had just had my first child, Angelica [Angelica Jones]. She was born in 1986, and I was just going back to work when they asked me to go and move to Minnesota. So, I basically commuted for six months back and forth with a six month old daughter, who stayed in Boston [Massachusetts]. But I went ahead to Minneapolis to get a house ready for us, and commuted every two weeks. Sometimes my baby would come with me and stay with me for two weeks while I was learning a new company, getting the acquisition transitioned into Gillette. And then stayed with them, launched new products with Lustrasilk, and stayed with them through 1989, '90 [1990]. And that's when I left Gillette. And I left Gillette because at the time there were a lot of acquisitions starting, and Gillette was under fire to be acquired by a larger company. And so they had a plant in St. Paul [Minnesota], a big plant for Gillette in St. Paul, Lustrasilk had a big plant. They started consolidating, and they said "We're going to move the Lustrasilk operations back to Boston," and I didn't want to move back to Boston. I'd done, I'd moved my family across the country, I wasn't interested in moving them back. And that's when I said, "No, I'm going to resign and stay in Minnesota and stay here and find something else to do." And it was a tough decision, because, you know, Gillette wanted me to come back. But I stood my ground and said, "No, I'll take, you know, the package and stay here." But the saddest thing I ever had to do was when they--was to help them close the Lustrasilk plant. These were people who were, when we got there, they knew nothing of Corporate America, but yet they had built a $50 million business. The books were still kept by hand, and these were people who gave their all to this company. And when we got there, I just, I loved them all, you know. I had to go down many times to that plant floor when we were launching new products and say, "Look, guys, we need to make this happen. You know, who's got a new--I need a name for this new product, I don't have one." We'd have a contest. So, I had people who were workers in the plants submitting names for our new products, and they would get so excited. To have to go there and stand in line, shake each person's hand, and give them a mug that said, "Thank you for your work at Lustrasilk. We're sorry, we're closing the plant," was something I'll never forget. I'll never forget it, because that was their livelihood that they gave. And Gillette--you know, this is what big companies sometimes do, and they just closed the plant. And it taught me a very valuable lesson. I had tried actually to buy Lustrasilk from Gillette when I knew that they wanted to move the operations, because I didn't want to close that plant. I wanted to keep the company going as an independent company. I raised $75 million with a team of people who worked at Gillette. You know, the general manager for Lustrasilk was a black man. The head of sales was black. I was black. The three of us were together. And I went to a venture capitalist and we raised $75 million to buy it, and Gillette wouldn't sell it. And that's when I said, "I'm not going back to Boston." So they rolled it back to Boston and they did their thing, and I stayed in Minneapolis.

Clovis Prince

President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prince & Associates, Clovis Lionel Prince was born on July 22, 1950 in Guthrie, Oklahoma to Daisy Mae and A.C. Prince. Prince was raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where he attended North East High School. In 1968, Prince graduated and went on to attend the University of Oklahoma where he earned his B.A. degree in 1971.

After graduating from college, Prince was hired by General Motors as a manager and worked in that capacity until 1985. In 1986, he founded Prince & Associates and began providing real estate development services for residential and commercial properties. In addition, Prince’s services also included the provision of legal assistance to the public and private sector.

Upon entering the communications industry, Prince has helped to manage the likes of some of the world’s first cellular networks including Cellular One. Since its inception, Prince & Associates has managed properties in Oklahoma, Florida and Texas, and in 1991, the company expanded throughout the United States and overseas. In 1997, Prince was responsible for the first ever monopoly agreement between Omnipoint Communications and the Florida Department of Transportation, Turnpike District.

Then, in 2000, Prince & Associates helped Nextel Communications to handle traffic in downtown New Orleans during the CTIA Convention. Later in 2003, Prince became instrumental in the launching of several U.S. Cellular projects across various states including Oklahoma and Kansas. In 2005, Prince continued providing telecommunication services in the Midwest by assisting with the design, optimization and operations of the wireless telecommunications system in Iowa and other Midwestern cities. In 2007, Prince & Associates began its new venture: Prince & Associates Restaurants, which include Prince Bistro and Papa John’s Pizza franchises.

Prince was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on March 13, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.048

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/13/2008

Last Name

Prince

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Northeast High School

F. D. Moon Academy

Frederick A. Douglass High School

John F. Kennedy Junior High School

Culbertson Elementary School

George Washington Carver Elementary School

University of Oklahoma

University of Central Oklahoma

First Name

Clovis

Birth City, State, Country

Guthrie

HM ID

PRI08

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

George Fraser

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

You're Only As Good As The Last Job You've Done.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

7/22/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Clovis Prince (1950 - ) founded Prince & Associates, a telecommunications consulting firm that was instrumental in the construction of cellular network infrastructure in the United States and abroad. He negotiated the nation's largest independent monopole agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation.

Employment

Papa John's International Inc.

Papa John's International, Inc.

Prince and Associates

Cellular One

Prince Bistro

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Clovis Prince's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Clovis Prince lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Clovis Prince describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Clovis Prince describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Clovis Prince remembers his maternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Clovis Prince describes his mother's personality and his likeness to her

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Clovis Prince describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Clovis Prince describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Clovis Prince talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Clovis Prince describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Clovis Prince lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Clovis Prince remembers Carver Elementary School in Enid, Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Clovis Prince describes his neighbors in Enid, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Clovis Prince remembers the African American grocer in Enid, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Clovis Prince recalls his early interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Clovis Prince recalls his earliest memories of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Clovis Prince describes his maternal grandfather's church

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Clovis Prince describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Clovis Prince describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Clovis Prince recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Clovis Prince describes F.D. Moon Junior High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Clovis Prince recalls transferring to John F. Kennedy Junior High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Clovis Prince remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Clovis Prince recalls being bused to Northeast High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Clovis Prince remembers his early experiences of integrated education

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Clovis Prince recalls his activities at Northeast High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Clovis Prince remembers his high school prom

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Clovis Prince recalls his decision to study business administration

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Clovis Prince recalls his start as an entrepreneur

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Clovis Prince remembers entering the wireless communications industry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Clovis Prince recalls studying the wireless communications industry in Europe

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Clovis Prince remembers creating a wireless test network in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Clovis Prince remembers establishing cellular networks nationwide

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Clovis Prince recalls the founding of Prince and Associates

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Clovis Prince remembers building wireless networks overseas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Clovis Prince remembers negotiating a monopole agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Clovis Prince recalls developing an infrastructure for temporary cellular networks

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Clovis Prince describes the benefits of temporary wireless infrastructure

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Clovis Prince recalls becoming a consultant at Ericsson A.B.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Clovis Prince recalls his clients in the telecommunications industry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Clovis Prince describes his contract with Cingular Wireless LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Clovis Prince recalls renovating a hotel for Extended Stay America, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Clovis Prince talks about his real estate ventures in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Clovis Prince recalls becoming a franchisee of Papa John's International, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Clovis Prince talks about his business plan for Prince Bistro

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Clovis Prince describes his plans to expand the operations of Prince Bistro

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Clovis Prince describes the business model developed by The Cheesecake Factory, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Clovis Prince reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Clovis Prince describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Clovis Prince shares a message to aspiring entrepreneurs

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DATitle
Clovis Prince remembers the African American grocer in Enid, Oklahoma
Clovis Prince remembers negotiating a monopole agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation
Transcript
Tell me more about, about the town and the community. You talked about stopping at the candy store to buy candy on the way to school. Tell me about the other merchants and things that were going on in the town, where you shopped, and what games you might have played with your friends, and if you were involved in any extracurricular activities.$$Oh, absolutely. There was Booker T. Washington High School [Enid, Oklahoma], which was an all-black high school. And then there was Carver [George Washington Carver Elementary School, Enid, Oklahoma], which was the elementary school. And we had to go by Ms. Fields' [ph.] grocery store in Enid, Oklahoma, on our way to and from school. And Ms. Fields was a middle aged merchant that allowed us to have credit, allowed my parents [Daisy Reels Prince and A.C. Prince, Sr.] to have credit. She was able to, to fill the needs of the black community with, with groceries, because back then we couldn't go down to the local Tom's Market [Tom Thumb] or the local Walmart [Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.], so to speak, or Safeways [Safeway Inc.]. So, Ms. Fields would then order in what we needed, put it in a bag, and my mother would tell me sometimes on my way home from, from, from, from grade school, "Stop by Ms., Ms. Fields, and she'll have a bag for us," to bring it home, or my [maternal] grandmother [Lillian Prince] would say the same thing. But Ms. Fields would also allow us to come in there and--I guess it was the way to keep us from stealing, that she would say, "Get what you need. I'll run you a, a bill, and you kids go out and bring me some bottles, some cans." Back then, the, the little liter Cokes [Coca-Cola] was very, very prominent: "Bring me some bottles, some cans, and some, some aluminum, some tops," or, or, or maybe, "Cut my tree," or, "Cut my grass," or, "Pick, pick some peaches or things of the tree," if we didn't have the money to be able to pay for it. So Ms. Fields had a special place in all of the children's hearts in, in Enid, Oklahoma, because, to be totally honest with you, if she didn't give us some of that stuff, probably 50 percent of us were so poor that we'd probably be stealing. But she eliminated that burden, because we knew that we could go in and ask for what we wanted, and she wouldn't say no. And if she didn't have it, she'd get it for us. This was a little small black grocery store in the black community. But it catered to us, and it was able to meet all of our needs that, that the little black community needed. To where if we went over to the local white supermarket, we'd have to stand outside or wait in line or they wouldn't wait on us. So it, it eliminated the, the peer pressures of, of, of us being rejected, by driving all the way across town or walking all the way across town and still not be able to get what we needed. So, we used to say that Ms. Fields became rich. But I don't think Ms. Fields was rich, because I think she gave back to the community. I think she--with, with the little money that she made out of the grocery store, I believe that she also put it back into the community and gave the kids some things that, that kept us all grounded, so to speak. That's, that's, that's something that the kids need now. Instead of running to the Walmarts and things like that, I think if they had a local grocery store that, that catered to the needs and, and understood the, what we need as, as young, young children, I think it would be a better, better society today. I can remember the little caramel swirls and the, and, and the hot suckers and, and, and, and the little candy bars that, that she didn't jack the price up on us. I mean we could go in there and get those caramel swirls for three for a penny, and, and, and, or go in there and get a, a candy bar, two for ten cents, go over on the other side of town, it might be a white price of two for ten cents, but the black price was, was, was one for fifteen cents. So, we were able to see the value of Ms. Fields and understand her place in, in, in, in the community.$So what happens next in the business? You, you continue to run your business [Prince and Associates, Dallas, Texas]. You're consulting, and I need to understand, what is a monopole agreement?$$Well, I went to Florida, and we were doing some build out works for, for a carrier down there. And in Florida there's a big turnpike that takes you from one end of the state to the other end of the state. So the coverage was so stagnatic [stagnated] because they had the swamps and then and the Everglades and all of that. So the most righteous land in Florida was on the turnpike. So, they tapped me to go down and make a ne- and negotiate with the Florida Department of Transportation, turnpike division, to negotiate a deal with them that will allow us to put monopoles. Monopole is, is a free standing pole that you got antennas on it that, that's not so obtrusive, instead of having a, a, a self-support pole, which has three legs on it or a guide tower that has wires stringing from here to here. So they says, want to negotiate a monopole agreement because we know they won't allow us to put these obstructive poles on turnpike properties. So I went to Tallahassee [Florida] for about six or seven months frequently, negotiating a, a monopole agreement with Jesse Chandlis [ph.], more people at Florida Department of Transportation, turnpike division. First they didn't want no parts of it because it's not what they wanted to do. Then I was able to show them the revenue stream that they could generate, that they can get more money off these, off these ground and letting us put monopoles on it than get on tolls running through the, through the toll gate. So we finally convinced them to allow us to do a monopole agreement. So this monopole agreement that I became a project manager and, and, and working with the Florida Department of Transportation Turnpike District [Florida Department of Transportation Turnpike Enterprise] was probably one of the very first monopole agreements that was made in this country in regards to, to the turnpike districts and the department of transportation agreeing to allow an independent carrier, an independent source to be able to put structures on their right aways. So after we (cough)--so, excuse me--after we were able to negotiate that agreement with the monopoles and all of that in regards to, to now filling holes and gaps in the networks, but the agreement was that we would have all the carriers with collocate, we call collocate on those monopoles. So the Sprints [Sprint Corporation], and, and, and the AT&Ts [AT&T Inc.], and the Verizons [Verizon Communications, Inc.], and the, and, and the, and the T-Mobiles [T-Mobile US, Inc.], or VoiceStreams [VoiceStream Wireless Corporation] back in those days, would all have to agree to, to collate on these towers. And that was a no brainer, (cough) excuse me, because, because these were the best locations. I was able to, to negotiate the best location, build up four and three and four, and in some cases five carrier monopole which was not obstructive. Some think that the monopoles look like a light pole, so it blended it good with the, with the aesthetics of the, of, of the, of the turnpike. A lot of cases you wouldn't even know they were there. And this was the largest independent monopole agreement negotiated in the United States. I headed that program up for about a year and half or two in Florida building these monopoles. And, and a lot of those people that were working with me on those monopole agreements still work with me today as my employees. And the, the, the, the lightning rod was when the very first agreement came in, and we had all four carriers on this one monopole. And we were charging them something like four to five thousand dollars a month for them to be able to collate on this monopole. So the department of transportation came back and said, "Wow, this is a, this is a, this is a heck of a deal. This is a revenue generator. Because you got four people on this tower that's sitting in a small footprint of ours, and they're paying us four or five thousand dollars a month. And we get escalations on this here every year. And they're signing thirty and forty year agreements to where this is, this is revenue generating just off of our land. And then they have to maintain this, this hundred by hundred or two hundred by a hundred compound, with a, with a, with a tower sitting in the middle of it, with the equipment that generates the signal and captures the money in there. And then they made us put these fences around them with the, with the green slates in it so you couldn't see the, the, the equipment." So basically, all you saw was a, was a, was a pole going up with antennas on it that blended in with the lights. So I sold that deal, and I believe that that was probably the most prolific deal on, in my career, because now I believe that every major department of transportation across the United States are allowing the carriers now to go into their right aways and build these towers and generate revenue off of these towers, so (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) What type of budget did you have to work with, with it?$$The, the first year it was probably 1.7 million, and it grew to probably, it grew to probably 35, 40 million, so it was a pretty, pretty good sized budget.$$And this was in 1997?$$Yeah, about '97 [1997].

William A. Clement, Jr.

Entrepreneur and corporate chief executive William Alexander Clement, Jr. was born on January 22, 1943 in Atlanta, Georgia to politician Josephine Dobbs Clement and Executive Vice President for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company William Alexander Clement, Sr. Clement received his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in 1964, majoring in mathematics and business administration, and his M.B.A. degree in finance and insurance from Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967.

Clement worked as a credit analyst for NCNB Corporation (predecessor to Bank of America) in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a registered representative for Bache & Company as well as a representative for The Robinson-Humphrey Company prior to becoming vice president and senior loan officer of Citizens Trust Bank in 1973. In 1977, Clement was a political appointee in the Carter Administration and served as an associate administrator of the United States Small Business Administration. While in this position, he served as senior management officer for the federal government’s largest minority business development program. Clement also received a presidential appointment by President Jimmy Carter to join the board of directors of the National Consumer Cooperative Bank in Washington, D.C. In addition, he was founder and former chairman and chief executive officer of DOBBS, RAM & Company, a systems integration company. Founded in 1981, DOBBS, RAM & Company was engaged by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to maintain its E-Filing System.

Clement became an outside director of Atlanta Life Insurance Company in 1992, and in 2001, the board of directors named him chairman. In 2008, Clement was elected president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc., and worked in this position for three years. He also served on the boards of two publicly-traded companies, Radiant Systems, Inc. and TRX, Inc.

Clement has been active in numerous civic and community organizations. He was former chair of the board of Opportunity Funding Corporation, a trustee of the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, and a former trustee of the Woodruff Arts Center. He served on the board of directors of The Commerce Club and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Clement was also a charter member of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, a former co-chair of the Atlanta Action Forum and a former chair of the Atlanta Business League. He has served as a member of the trustee board ministry of Antioch Baptist Church, as co-grantor of the Brown-Clement Endowed Scholarship Fund at Morehouse College, and a member of the Society of International Business Fellows.

Clement is married to R. Ressie Guy-Clement and is the father of two daughters and the grandfather of two grandchildren.

William Alexander Clement, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.114

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/27/2007

Last Name

Clement

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Morehouse College

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

W. G. Pearson S.T.E.A.M. Elementary School

Whitted Elementary School

Hillside High School

First Name

Willliam

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

CLE05

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Don't give in, don't give up, and don't give out.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/22/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Potatoes, Cornbread

Short Description

Corporate chief executive and entrepreneur William A. Clement, Jr. (1943 - ) is the co-founder of DOBBS, RAM & Company and, as of 2008, serves as the President and CEO of the Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc.

Employment

Atlanta Life Insurance Company

DOBBS, RAM & Company

United States Small Business Administration

Citizens Trust Bank

Robinson-Humphey Company

Bache & Company

NCNB Corporation (predecessor to Bank of America)

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William A. Clement, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his maternal family history, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his maternal family history, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his father, William Clement, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his grandparents' farm on Edisto Island in South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his childhood neighborhood of Buttermilk Bottom in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls his childhood memories of Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his mother, Josephine Dobbs Clement

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his father, William Clement, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - William A. Clement, Jr. begins to talk about his elementary school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his grandfather's emphasis on education, and his mother's sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. continues to describe his elementary school years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his childhood neighborhood in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his five siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers attending majority white summer camps in Boston, Massachusetts as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls his activities during his junior high years

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his favorite teacher at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about sit-ins in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his experience with segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his senior prom at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his experience at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes Dr. Benjamin Mays and his professors at Morehouse College

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his jobs in college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about working for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company as a college student

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls the desegregation of Rich's Department Store and hearing Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes working for Connecticut General Life Insurance Company in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his experience at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his first job out of graduate school with the NCNB Corporation and the bank's history

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his first wife

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls working for Bache & Company, and for Robinson-Humphrey Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls working with Herman Russell and Jesse Hill during Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the history of Citizens Trust Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. details his tenure as vice president of Citizens Trust Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his work as an associate administrator of the Small Business Administration in the President Jimmy Carter Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the benefits of his experiences in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the beginning of The Dobbs Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his company, DOBBS, RAM & Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his second marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about how he became the chairman of Atlanta Life Insurance in 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his work on the board of Radiant Systems, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the national reach of Atlanta Life Financial Group

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his church, Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his participation in 100 Black Men and the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his work on the Opportunity Funding Corporation and Friends of Morehouse

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his parents' deaths and managing Maynard Jackson's estate

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about politicians in his family

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his grandchildren

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. shares his advice for future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. shares his business advice

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about what he would do differently

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

9$8

DATitle
William A. Clement, Jr. talks about sit-ins in Durham, North Carolina
William A. Clement, Jr. talks about Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign
Transcript
Now civil rights are heating up in Atlanta [Georgia], are your parents involved in civil rights?$$My father [William Clement, Sr.] was, my father was on the Durham Committee For [sic, On] The Affairs Of Black People which was a very, very strong activist organization in, in Durham [North Carolina]. And Durham was the second city in, in the 1960s for the sit-ins. Greensboro [North Carolina] was the first and Durham was the second. And we were in, involved in that, they took us down to Woolworth's or whatever the store, I can't even remember what it was and it, it, it, it just was--I hate to say this, but it was a thing to do. It was not dangerous at that time even though the kids in Greensboro--but it was nothing, you know, like what [HM] John Lewis faced or people in Selma [Alabama], and once again, Durham was a relatively small town and so it was a really a non-event just going down to, you know, sit in a, a luncheon counter at, at, at one of the five-and-ten stores there.$$Were things turned around easily there?$$No, no, eventually it became--but, it was not--even though it started in Greensboro then, an, you know, the images we have of the dogs and the hoses and all, and that was in places like Birmingham [Alabama] and maybe some cities in Mississippi. But that, for some reason just did not happen in North Carolina. I think one reason is that North Carolina's always been a fairly progressive state relative to the other southern states. We had a Governor, whose name was Luther Hodges, and he had a lot of industry there, a place called Research Triangle which had a lot of businesses there and so it was a, a different kind of place, it still is a, a more progressive place then some of the southern, you know, real southern states like Mississippi and Alabama.$During this time Maynard Jackson moves back to Atlanta [Georgia] and we grew up together, even though he was a little older--from the reunions and all, but when he gets back to Atlanta we kind of bound again and it was in the early '70s [1970] that he started talking about running for mayor. And so he called four of us together one Saturday--well, including him, four including him, David Franklin, who was married to Shirley Franklin at one time; gentleman by the name of Chuck Williams, who is dead now; and Maynard. And he talked about wanting to run for mayor, he had run now for the United States Senate against [Herman] Talmadge and then was the sitting vice chair, or vice chairman of the Aldermanic Board which is almost like President of the Atlanta City Council today. And he was still only his thirties, and people thought that he would wait until his, his turn, but he had noticed that the demographics in Atlanta changed and that the Atlan--the city of Atlanta registered voters become predominately black, and he thought that with the right campaign that he could win. And so I tell that because it was really a turning point of my life. I, I, I really got directly engaged in politics. David Franklin and I put up the first $40,000, I mean, back in the '70s [1970], that was a lot of money and we actually lent it to the campaign and he developed a staff and campaign staff and the election was next year and, you know, he won and the rest is, the rest is history.