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Orlando Ashford

Business executive Orlando Ashford was born on September 14, 1968 in Bangor, Maine to Grace Ashford and Obie Ashford. Ashford attended Franklin High School. He received his B.S. degree in 1991 and M.S. degree in 1993 in organizational leadership and industrial technology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

In 1999, he served as principal and partner at Delta Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), an international management consulting firm in New York City. In 2004, Ashford served as vice president of Human Resources Strategy and Organizational Development at Motorola, Inc. in Schaumburg, Illinois. He received the 2004 CEO Award for Outstanding Performance for his contributions to the Motorola Inc.’s global human resource strategy and his work on transitioning the human resource department to an innovative self-service model. In 2005, Ashford was named vice president of Corporate Center Human Resources and Cultural Transformation at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia, where he managed the human resources operations at the corporate center. In 2006, Ashford was named group director of human resources in Eurasia and Africa at The Coca-Cola Company in Istanbul, Turkey. In 2008, Ashford joined Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer, where he managed the areas of human resources operations, corporate communications, marketing and corporate social responsibility. In 2012, he transitioned to Mercer, LLC, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan, where he served as managing partner. Additionally, he served as president of the Talent Business at Mercer LLC and Mercer, Inc. Ashford also authored “Talentism: Unlocking The Power Of The New Human Ecosystem,” which was published in 2014. That same year, Ashford was named president of Holland America Line, becoming the first African American president of a cruise line. In this role, he directed the operations for a fleet of fifteen cruise ships and managed eighteen thousand employees worldwide. He also oversaw the company’s sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations and strategy.

He serves on the advisory board of Purdue University School of Technology. In 2011, Ashford was elected to the board of directors of ITT, Inc. in 2016 he joined the board of the Seattle Chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance, and in 2018 he joined the Virginia Mason board of directors and finished a two-year term as board chair for the Executive Leadership Council (ELC).

Ashford and his wife, Samantha Ashford, have two sons, Orlando, Jr. and Jackson.

Orlando Ashford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 6, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.178

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/06/2017

Last Name

Ashford

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Orlando

Birth City, State, Country

Bangor

HM ID

ASH04

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Dorothy Terrell

State

Maine

Favorite Quote

There's a thin line between confidence and conceit.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

9/14/1968

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Favorite Food

Italian

Short Description

Business chief executive Orlando Ashford (1968 - )

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black

Sharon Hall

Business executive Sharon Hall was born in 1956 in Chicago, Illinois to Barbara and Wallace Hall. She attended Catholic grade school and graduated from Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois in 1974. In 1978, Hall graduated magna cum laude from Morris Brown College with her B.S. degree in business management. She went on to be a Consortium fellow at the University of Southern California, where she earned her M.B.A degree in venture management in 1982.

In 1978, Hall was hired as assistant brand manager at Procter & Gamble. In 1982, she began working as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. She was hired as manager of strategic planning for Pacific markets at Avon in 1984, and by 1992, she worked her way up to being general manager of the Avon’s new business development group. In 1997, Hall was hired at the executive search firm Spencer Stuart, where she became partner in 2001. She is a member of the firm’s human resources and consumer practice specialties. She founded the firm’s Diversity Practice in 1999, and began serving as a global diversity practice leader. Hall became the only African American to ever serve on the board of Spencer Stuart in 2005, and managed the firm’s Atlanta office for five years.

Hall has been widely recognized for her success in business. In 1987, Hall was named an Outstanding International Business Woman by Dollars & Sense Magazine. She was recognized by Avon with its Chairman’s Award in 1990 and 1992. She participated in the 1992 marketing strategy development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America; and became a board director at the Kansas City Urban League in 1994. Spencer Stuart awarded Hall the Q-Firm Award in 2000. In 2006, she was awarded by Women Worth Watching; and in 2008, she was included on The Essence Power List. Hall was a featured speaker at the 2010 Women on Wall Street Conference, and is a speaker at the 2014 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit.

Hall has been interviewed or featured in the publications Fortune Magazine, Dollars & Sense Magazine, Business to Business, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Black Enterprise.

Hall lives in Atlanta, Georgia and has two children, Christopher and Casey.

Sharon Hall was interviewed by The History Makers on February 18, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.027

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/18/2014

Last Name

Hall

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Stephanie

Schools

St. Dorothy School

St. Philip Neri Catholic School

St. Gerard Majella School

Hillcrest High School

Bloom High School

Morris Brown College

University of Southern California Marshall School of Business

First Name

Sharon

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HAL15

Favorite Season

Every Time the Seasons Change

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cancun, Mexico

Favorite Quote

Know Why You Are Where You Are.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

12/11/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chocolate

Short Description

Business chief executive Sharon Hall (1956 - ) was a partner at Spencer Stuart, where she founded the diversity practice and served as director of the board. She was also a general manager at Avon Products Inc. and a strategist at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Employment

Spencer Stuart

Le Petite Academy

Avon

Booz Allen

Procter & Gamble

Favorite Color

Yellow Orange

William Whitley

Architect and business executive William N. Whitley was born on April 29, 1934 in Rochester, New York and raised in Warren and Cleveland, Ohio. Whitley’s father was a chemist; his mother an actress. He graduated from Kent State University in 1957 with his B.S. degree in architecture, and went on to serve as a captain in the United States Air Force from 1958 until 1960.

In the 1960s, Whitley joined his brother, James, in operating Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC, a full service architectural and planning firm specializing in institutional design, sport facility design, and commercial housing design, where he served as vice president and project principal. Whitley/Whitley Architects has provided a substantial amount of work in Cleveland and the State of Ohio for various city and state public agencies, as well as services for cities and community groups in cities throughout the United States, including Saint Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Gary, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; Saginaw, Michigan; Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; New York City, New York; Orlando, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Reading, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C. and San Diego, California. Whitley/Whitley was involved with work on Cleveland’s Tower City Center, the Cleveland State University Convocation Center, Lincoln Junior High School, the Lee-Harvard Branch of Cleveland Public Library, the Central Area Multi-Service Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Guesthouse development. Other projects have included Kent State University's Fashion Museum, Cuyahoga County Community College's Learning Center, and Cleveland’s John F. Kennedy Recreation Center. Whitley’s firm has also designed numerous housing units and worked on several rehabilitation projects.

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC has received many awards and honors, including the Progressive Architecture Design Award, the HUD Biennial Design Award, Burlington Awards, the House and Home Award, the Ohio Prestressed Concrete Design Award, the Ohio Masonry Council/ASO Award for Excellence in Masonry Design, the Cleveland Chapter of Architect’s Building Design Award, the East Ohio Energy Conservation Award, and the ASO Honor Awards Certificate of Merit.

Whitley has three children: Kyle, Kym and Scott.

William Whitley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.036

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/12/2014

Last Name

Whitley

Maker Category
Middle Name

Nivens

Organizations
Schools

Kent State University

Nathaniel Rochester School No. 3

Roosevelt Elementary School

Rawlings Junior High School

Alexander Hamilton Junior High School

John Adams High School

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester

HM ID

WHI20

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/29/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Catfish

Short Description

Architect and business chief executive William Whitley (1934 - ) served as vice principal and project principal of Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC.

Employment

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC

United States Air Force

Joseph Baker and Associates

Damon, Worley, Samuels and Associates

Dalton and Dalton

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
0,0:720,13:1440,38:1680,43:23622,298:25446,325:31284,397:32363,423:34770,477:36513,508:36845,513:50750,700:52730,719:56020,731:58780,780:59585,789:63384,838:80870,1057:81600,1065:82038,1072:82330,1077:82622,1082:82987,1088:90786,1221:91122,1226:95540,1293:103754,1375:104164,1381:114900,1532:115220,1538:116180,1561:118090,1575:126370,1722:129730,1799:130360,1809:131480,1834:137632,1902:138070,1909:139165,1991:147920,2078:148760,2091:150356,2179:178645,2562:179919,2583:190130,2700:190704,2737:192426,2766:192836,2772:193738,2797:194230,2804:194804,2812:195378,2830:195706,2835:196280,2844:209316,3213:245708,3580:248704,3642:252150,3687$0,0:2108,48:4624,134:11900,294:15904,308:42220,698:43750,730:44110,735:45100,754:46000,766:57966,926:58542,935:60054,977:60414,983:66376,1049:68812,1121:69595,1132:70291,1143:72118,1188:74206,1221:74554,1226:82870,1341:85595,1346:86216,1359:90910,1403:91330,1411:95084,1464:108110,1677:112486,1700:112946,1706:126024,1822:131029,1924:141072,2042:142318,2055:149378,2156:159634,2257:168414,2396:169757,2423:172048,2479:179022,2587:192930,2810:204060,2950:205760,2977
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Whitley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Whitley lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Whitley describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Whitley talks about his mother's career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Whitley talks about his father's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Whitley describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Whitley describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Whitley talks about his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Whitley talks about his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Whitley describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Whitley remembers his family's move to Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Whitley remembers his early awareness of race

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Whitley describes his experiences as a twin

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Whitley describes his early education in Warren, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Whitley describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Whitley talks about his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Whitley remembers his early interest in architecture

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Whitley remembers playing sports in junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Whitley recalls playing football at John Adams High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Whitley remembers his early instruction in architecture

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Whitley recalls his decision to attend Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William Whitley remembers his football teammates at John Adams High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Whitley talks about the Black Economic Union of Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Whitley recalls his experiences at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Whitley remembers meeting his wife at Kent State University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Whitley describes his experiences in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Whitley remembers his internship with Robert P. Madison

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Whitley recalls the start of his career as an architect

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Whitley recalls the founding of Whitley and Whitley, Architects and Planners

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Whitley talks about the impact of Mayor Carl Stokes' election

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Whitley talks about his experiences of racial discrimination in the architecture field

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Whitley remembers the development of Whitley and Whitley, Architects and Planners

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Whitley talks about how decisions are made in the architecture industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Whitley talks about mayoral politics in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Whitley describes his international travels

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Whitley remembers winning a Progressive Architecture Award

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Whitley talks about the role of risk taking in architectural design

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Whitley talks about the importance of listening to clients

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Whitley recalls his work with the East Cleveland City School District, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Whitley recalls his work with the East Cleveland City School District, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Whitley talks about building the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Whitley talks about mandated architecture requirements

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Whitley talks about forging relationships with tradespeople

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Whitley talks about the staff of Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Whitley talks about securing architectural contracts

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Whitley reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Whitley describes his advice to aspiring African American architects

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William Whitley talks about the black architecture community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - William Whitley describes the material selection process

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - William Whitley describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - William Whitley talks about the leadership of Mayor Carl Stokes

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - William Whitley talks about his daughter, Kym Whitley

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - William Whitley describes his sons

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Whitley reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Whitley talks about his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Whitley describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Whitley narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$1

DATitle
William Whitley remembers his early interest in architecture
William Whitley talks about his experiences of racial discrimination in the architecture field
Transcript
When did you ever, I mean was there a time when you were a youth, did you think of becoming an architect?$$Oh, well, you know architecture was--I didn't think about becoming an architect but I found out what I liked. When I lived in Warren, Ohio we used to make huts, and we used to go out in the woods and chop down little trees about that big around and we could--that was our timber, laid the floor out and we made the walls out of that. Made the roof out like that, come inside take mud and smooth and make your plaster inside. We were, we built a hut; then we got to the point, we said now, let's not--let's make a village, not just a hut, a village. My mother [Beatrice Nivens Whitley] had given us a--at the time it was Army goods and it was a little, a little hatchet that the soldiers had. It came with the--you went to the Army Navy store and got you a little hatchet and you could take, you could take a tree down with one good hatch--hack at it. So, I was in architecture then, I got a feel for it and I enjoyed it; and then we used to go play in houses that were being built, and we'd get run off, but you know there was a little sense there. But what turned on us on was I went to a movie ['Tycoon'] with John Wayne and he was an engineer, civil engineer. He was a civil engineer down in Brazil and you know at the end he got the girl, right? He built these bridges and things like that but at the end he won the girl. We said this looks kind of nice, maybe I'll be a civil engineer. So, I started thinking about being a civil engineer first; then I went to another movie, I gotta come up with his name, but he was an architect.$$This is Gary Cooper, right?$$Gary Cooper was sitting on top of the building, the wind was blowing through him, his--and he blew up a few of the buildings that he didn't like that people didn't build it the way he was supposed to build it. I said that's it's I'm gonna be an architect; and that was it, from then forward (makes sound), that was it.$$Yeah, that's 'The Fountainhead.'$$'Fountainhead,' 'Fountainhead.'$$Yeah, based on the novel ['The Fountainhead'] by Ayn Rand.$$That's it, 'Fountainhead' did it; saw that and that was--there was no turning back then. Started off in the tenth grade and said hey, they asked me what I wanted to do, I told 'em. They brought in an architect he told me, said, "Hey you, let me tell you, you unh-uh, you two, you two forget it."$$Now this is career day, right? When--$$Career day.$$--when--$$But they had broken us up: people that wanna be architects go here, people that wanna be doctors go there, pe- you know et cetera; dentists go over here, talk to these people.$$So this is, now you and your brother [HistoryMaker James Whitley] often go, you've done it for three years I think, go to the public schools here.$$Um-hm.$$In this area and encourage kids to become architects, right?$$That's right. That's right$$So, here's when flash back to your youth.$$Yeah, they were doing that but they were turning me, turning me around instead of turning me forward--trying to turn me around I don't know, but they actually they felt they were doing me a favor, they thought they were doing me--"Hey, don't go there, you're gonna have a problem."$$They knew I guess (laughter).$$They knew I was gonna have a problem; and I had a problem.$$Okay, so, these are the times, the times have changed.$$Yeah, times have changed but you know, you know the world had to change.$$Right, right. So, so you're in the seventh grade when this happens, right?$$Seventh grade.$$Seventh grade, you're twelve years old I guess?$$No, when I got the speech I was in just the tenth grade, so I was about fifteen.$All right, yeah I--off camera I was just saying that--$$Yeah.$$--people often say that Harold Washington in Chicago [Illinois] as the first black mayor made the process fair, and you had a reaction to that?$$Well, it's impossible, making it fair doesn't mean anything. President of the United States, who's that, Johnson [President Lyndon Baines Johnson], he made it fair, put it in the law. I went down to the Navy department [U.S. Department of the Navy] in, in where is Hampton [sic. Arlington, Virginia]? Hampton, Vir-?$$Yeah, Virginia. Yeah.$$Virginia--Hampton, Virginia. I walk in there and the guy says, "Hey?" I said, "I'm, here's my application. I wanna participate on these [U.S.] Navy jobs." They were building like crazy, I'm talking billions of dollars they're spending. I just want a little piece. Well, you know you're in Virginia now, and we got rules. You know the laws says you gotta do this, you gotta do that. (Unclear) no, no, don't worry about those rules. We got rules, you gotta go down and talk to So and So and then the AIA [American Institute of Architects] in the state has to say you're all right, and this is--you're blocked. There are too many people with a rule, there're too many people below that rule that control. So, you're not gonna, you know just by putting a rule, they had the law. At that time, it was mandatory. Nope, unh-huh the gates did not open up because the rules were changed. No; and that's true federal, state, everywhere. Every time I go--I can go anywhere and ask for a job. James [Whitley's brother, HistoryMaker James Whitley] may have told you about I had a buddy that was head of--classmate, got him through calculus. His final grade was dependent on, (whispers) "What's number three?" Helped him through calculus, he passed the course. They made him--he went on to be head of Kent State's [Kent State University, Kent Ohio] architectural--the school, the university, he was a university architect that controlled--he could say that he has developed millions of work for the campus. He went from there to Marriott hotels [Marriott International, Inc.] all over the world. I call him up and say, "Hey, you're doing all these hotels, how about giving me one?" Never happened, never happened, but after it was all said and done he called me. He said, "Hey, let me tell you the truth. I couldn't." And it wasn't a matter of you can't do the work, he said that, "These guys around here, they would question my judgment." That's what he told me, he said, "Man they would que-," I would be out of here just based on judgment, so that's true everywhere. It's not, and then the guy didn't even want to do it. The law can say, "Do it." (Makes sounds) That's what you--you're fighting. That's a head wind that you're fighting and it's a reality.$$Yeah, and that's a lot to go against.$$That's a lot to go against you know. Everybody is--"Hey, how will I look when I do this," you know (laughter)?

James Whitley

Architect and business executive James M. Whitley was born on April 29, 1934 in Rochester, New York and raised in Warren and Cleveland, Ohio. Whitley’s father was a chemist; his mother an actress. He graduated from Kent State University in 1957 with his B.S. degree in architecture.

In 1963, Whitley founded Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC, a full service architectural and planning firm specializing in institutional design, sport facility design, and commercial housing design, where he has served as president and designer. He went on to expand the firm alongside his brother, William, and his sister, Joyce, and moved Whitley/Whitley Architects to Shaker Heights, Cleveland in 1969.

Whitley/Whitley Architects has provided a substantial amount of work in Cleveland and the State of Ohio for various city and state public agencies, as well as services for cities and community groups in cities throughout the United States, including Saint Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Gary, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; Saginaw, Michigan; Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; New York City, New York; Orlando, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Reading, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C. and San Diego, California. Whitley/Whitley was involved with work on Cleveland’s Tower City Center, the Cleveland State University Convocation Center, Lincoln Junior High School, the Lee-Harvard Branch of Cleveland Public Library, the Central Area Multi-Service Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Guesthouse development. Other projects have included Kent State University's Fashion Museum, Cuyahoga County Community College's Learning Center, and Cleveland’s John F. Kennedy Recreation Center. Whitley’s firm has also designed numerous housing units and worked on several rehabilitation projects.

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC has received many awards and honors, including the Progressive Architecture Design Award, the HUD Biennial Design Award, Burlington Awards, the House and Home Award, the Ohio Prestressed Concrete Design Award, the Ohio Masonry Council/ASO Award for Excellence in Masonry Design, the Cleveland Chapter of Architect’s Building Design Award, the East Ohio Energy Conservation Award, and the ASO Honor Awards Certificate of Merit.

Whitley’s son, Kent, is a project manager and architect at Whitley/Whitley.

James Whitley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.035

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/12/2014

Last Name

Whitley

Maker Category
Middle Name

M

Schools

Kent State University

Roosevelt Elementary School

John Adams High School

Alexander Hamilton Junior High School

Rawlings Junior High School

Nathaniel Rochester School No. 3

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester

HM ID

WHI19

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/29/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Architect and business chief executive James Whitley (1934 - ) founded Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC.

Employment

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC

Joseph Baker Associates

Keith Haag

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:11340,255:19020,334:23306,375:27954,420:30738,484:31602,504:33138,529:44230,734:62280,1108:72910,1232:78304,1309:96106,1573:101605,1657:104720,1677:105926,1704:114750,1773:115550,1787:127965,1950:134070,2032:135474,2069:137190,2113:139998,2174:146680,2241:146960,2247:148290,2279:148640,2285:149130,2293:177181,2630:183040,2825:183390,2831:183880,2839:185420,2872:207656,3191:208792,3270:216200,3466$0,0:6555,95:19100,220:31714,414:34298,481:48151,652:52797,799:55742,942:76643,1143:84442,1256:97434,1459:97702,1464:117164,1739:117448,1759:119791,1849:120075,1854:120856,1867:121637,1883:123909,1921:124264,1927:126039,1974:126607,1983:128027,2022:128311,2027:129092,2040:137220,2140:137520,2146:138060,2211:138420,2216:143971,2291:147832,2353:149911,2395:150406,2401:154160,2428:154640,2435:161234,2534:161502,2539:161770,2544:163244,2581:168510,2674
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Whitley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Whitley lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Whitley describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Whitley talks about his mother's education and occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Whitley describes the community of Marked Tree, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Whitley describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his parents' move Rochester, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Whitley lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Whitley describes his family's move to Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Whitley describes his younger sister

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Whitley describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James Whitley describes his experiences as a twin

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - James Whitley describes his neighborhood in Rochester, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Whitley describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Whitley recalls his favorite childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Whitley remembers Rawlings Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Whitley recalls transferring to Alexander Hamilton Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Whitley describes his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Whitley describes his coursework at John Adams High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes the history of football in Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his activities at John Adams High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Whitley recalls his decision to become an architect

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James Whitley recalls his decision to attend Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - James Whitley describes his architectural training at Kent State University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Whitley recalls his internship with Robert P. Madison

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Whitley recalls his experiences at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Whitley describes his decision to join the track and football teams

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Whitley remembers his mentors at Kent State University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Whitley recalls joining the firm of Joseph Baker and Associates

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Whitley remembers serving in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Whitley recalls founding Whitley and Whitley, Architects and Planners

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his sister's career as an urban planner

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James Whitley recalls the growth of black business during the Black Power movement

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Whitley recalls the election of Mayor Carl Stokes in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Whitley talks about the importance of networking in the construction industry

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Whitley remembers developing his architectural firm

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Whitley recalls his contract with the Cleveland Clinic

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Whitley describes his approach to architectural design

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Whitley describes the obstacles to innovation in architectural design

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes the challenges facing African American architects

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Whitley reflects upon the African American leaders of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Whitley describes his relationship with Robert P. Madison

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Whitley recalls building facilities for the East Cleveland City School District

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Whitley describes the challenges faced by architectural firms

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Whitley remembers winning a Progressive Architecture Award

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Whitley recalls his work with the General Services Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes his relationship with the American Institute of Architects

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Whitley talks about his mentorship of young architects

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Whitley describes the role of lawyers in the construction industry

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - James Whitley describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - James Whitley reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - James Whitley shares his advice to aspiring architects

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - James Whitley talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - James Whitley describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

8$2

DATitle
James Whitley describes his sister's career as an urban planner
James Whitley recalls his favorite childhood activities
Transcript
So your brother just came on over from--$$No, he just left, he just--but see, the fre- I'm single, I was single at this time. William [HistoryMaker William Whitley] was married [to Kaysonia Whitley] with children. I, I can live, I knew I could live six months and, and the fee was six thousand dollars no way, I mean. I was quite, quite free and able to do and with, with that, he came along. 'Cause the fee was set could do what he had to do.$$Okay, so where did you set up your offices?$$It's, the first offices was at Lee Road and, and Chagrin Boulevard.$$It's in, in Cleveland [Ohio]?$$In Cl- Shaker Heights [Ohio], really but--$$Shaker Heights (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) Cleveland, yeah.$$All right, and now, now your sister Joyce [Joyce Whitley] is I guess involved at some point. Does she--$$Now, here's what happened, then there's the (unclear). Now, now we're architects. My sister majored in anthropology. Case Western Reserve [Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio]. She went to Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee] though, she went to Fisk. But, she smoked, so my mother [Beatrice Nivens Whitley] took her out of there. So, she finished at Reserve, anthropology. But, when she finishes school she says--and, and I don't know, happenstance, whatever. Urban, urban planning is a big deal at the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois]. Well, she somehow gets hooked up and take- goes to University of Chicago. Takes up planning city planning, all right. Comes out and she's working for a guy named Meltzer [Jack Meltzer] in Chicago [Illinois]. And as all of this comes together, I'm leave- I'm, we're going into architecture. She's getting trained as a city planner. The riots occur, the riots occur. Now when the riots occur all the federal funds go to solve that problem. But, to solve the problem you have to have a plan, you have to have a plan to solve the problem. Meltzer is, is right in position to do it. And he jumps on it immediately. Now, Joyce is in there with, with him and sees how it's done, and it's all over the country. I mean it's all over the, planning is all over the country. Joyce comes out city planner and works- experience with Meltzer every, every major city. Cleveland. So, all of a sudden she's getting work, Cleveland, Buffalo [New York], St. Louis [Missouri], Fort Wayne [Indiana], Cincinnati [Ohio], Chinatown in Washington D.C., New York City [New York, New York], New York City, Roosevelt Island, Roosevelt Island. I mean it was all over the place. But, when you get a planning, what comes after planning? Buildings. Now we're in a position, now we're in a position--we're open [as Whitley and Whitley, Architects and Planners; Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC], now this opportunity starts. Now, all over the, all these federal buildings I mean and I'm talking about multifamily, multifamily structures are going up in all the--where, where these plans are. So, then we're up and rolling then, I mean then, you know. We were knocking those things out, you know three or four a year, for many years. And the planning studies.$$So, so, so you get started in '63 [1963] but your, your sister gets involved in the late '60s [1960s] I guess--$$Yeah, it was the late '60s [1960s], '60s [1960s] (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Around when the riots are happening--$$That's right, that's right, that's right.$$--and post riots.$$And when that start happening--$What were you interested in as a little kid?$$Small, real s- just playing and--oh I'll say one thing the Warren [Ohio] experience I think probably was the most memorable. But we, we lived at--Warren's a small, you know, small basically a rural kind of community. And we lived close to the edge of town. So, the woods and the trees and all of that was accessible to us, and oh we played that to death. We played that to death. I mean it was just, just pure freedom, I mean pure freedom. And we ran out the door, you ran, you ran out to woods. You could do anything you want out there, you know what I'm saying. And that's what we did. And, I, I would say maybe that's when one of the start of the creative side, anyway. During the war [World War II, WWII], we're playing war. And you could play war in the woods. You can dig, you can dig trenches, you can build, build huts. And then we, we were famous 'cause we--tree huts. We'd have 'em swing the tree. And they had a popular tree which was about a inch and half, two inch diameter. Oh you could cut down with one or two hacks, tie 'em together or nail them together. Tied 'em together was basically what we did. And you could make anything you wanted. And we had a, a cement, we found a cement mixer--hands. Boy we made that a boat. We both--and had a creek out there. You could go down the creek and the creek is maybe, say it's eight foot wide. But, but enough to float and you know, play with what you had to do. And you, we knew how to swim, so we weren't afraid of water. But, as I think back on it those experiences were very, very nice, I mean that was a--you were free to do what you wanted to do. And it's kind of of nice, but I felt I was living in the city, I didn't feel like I was living in the country. It was a city life but freedom at the edge. You could play baseball out there, you know build yourself a--it's funny. Yeah we built baseball diamonds, it's not like there was the baseball diamond out there. But, you could put that together and play. And I remember the people that--but that was basically a white community. We were in a, all those people I remember those were, were white kids.$$Okay.$$Yeah, and none those problems in the South. I mean no southern kind of problems at all. That was like, you know I remember Paul Picerelli [ph.] lived behind me. I could come down with those, those guys names, you know. The pretty girl was Shirley Novak [ph.], you know, what I'm saying. But, a good experience, and Warren was a very good experience. Then we came to the big city, Cleveland [Ohio]. Now, that's the big difference. There's a big difference there now.

Byron Lewis

Advertising CEO Byron E. Lewis Sr., was born on December 25, 1931 in Newark, New Jersey to Thomas Eugene and Myrtle Allen Lewis. Growing up in Queens, New York, Lewis graduated from Shimer Junior High School and John Adams High School. In 1953, he received his B.A. degree in journalism from Long Island University.

Upon graduation, Lewis served in the United States Army, and then held a variety of jobs, including social work, before launching his advertising career. In 1961, he was hired as an advertising sales representative for Citizen Call and Urbanite Magazine. Lewis also worked for Amalgamated Publications, and later became vice president, director of advertising at Tuesday magazine from 1963 until 1968. In 1969, Lewis established UniWorld Group, Inc., the nation’s oldest multicultural advertising agency. Following UniWorld’s initial success, he expanded the agency and created UniWorld Entertainment in 1977, UniWorld Hispanic (Unimundo) in 1980, and UniWorld Healthcare in 2002. UniWorld’s clients have included AT&T, Avon Products, Burger King, Colgate Palmolive, Eastman Kodak, Ford Motor Co., Mars Candy, Stax Record Shaft film series, and the United States Marine Corps. Lewis also worked on the Black Political Summit in 1972, Kenneth Gibson’s mayoral campaign in 1971, and Reverend Jesse Jackson’s first presidential campaign in 1984. He created and produced a number of national media productions, including Sounds of the City, a Black radio serial; America’s Black Forum; and This Far By Faith, a PBS film. Lewis also founded the American Black Film Festival, formerly known as the Acapulco Black Film Festival. In 2012, he retired and became UniWorld’s Chairman Emeritus.

Lewis has received numerous awards and honors. He received Black Enterprise’s AG Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award, and was named one of Long Island University’s Alumni of Distinction. Lewis has been inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Fame, Omega Psi Phi’s Hall of Fame, and the AdColor Hall of Fame. He has also received an honorary doctorate degree from Adelphi University. Lewis has served on the boards of the Apollo Theater Foundation, the Jackie Robinson Educational Foundation, the NYC Mission Society, the Phoenix House Foundation, and Long Island University.

Lewis is married to Sylvia Wong Lewis. He has one son: Byron Eugene Lewis, Jr.

Byron Lewis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 23, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.265

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/23/2013 |and| 10/24/2013

Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Shimer Junior High School

John Adams High School

Long Island University

First Name

Byron

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

LEW16

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sag Harbor

Favorite Quote

Nothing is better than an idea whose time has come.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

12/25/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pie (Apple)

Short Description

Business chief executive Byron Lewis (1931 - ) is the founder of UniWorld Group, Inc., the nation’s oldest multicultural advertising company.

Employment

Citizen Call

Urbanite Magazine

Amalgamated Publishers

Tuesday Magazine

UniWorld Group, Inc.

Favorite Color

All Colors

Lillian Lambert

Small business executive Lillian Lincoln Lambert was born on May 12, 1940 in Ballsville, Virginia to Willie D. Hobson, a farmer and Arnetha B. Hobson, a school teacher and homemaker. Lambert graduated from Pocahontas High School in Powhatan, Virginia in 1958. Her mother, a college graduate, urged Lambert to pursue an advanced degree, but she wanted to move to New York City instead. She worked as a maid on Fifth Avenue, a typist at Macy’s Department Store and a travelling saleswoman. Lambert then moved to Washington, D.C. in 1961, where she worked for the federal government as a typist in the Veteran Affairs Division and later with the Peace Corps while going to school at the District of Columbia Teacher’s College (now the University of the District of Columbia). In 1962, Lambert enrolled as a full-time student at Howard University at the age of twenty-two. Under the mentorship of Professor H. Naylor Fitzhugh, she majored in Business Administration and applied to Harvard Business School. Lambert graduated from Howard University in 1966 with her B.A. degree in business administration and started Harvard Business School in 1967. At Harvard Business School, she worked with four other black students to increase the number of African American enrollments and in 1968, they founded the African American Student Union. Lambert graduated in 1969 and was the first African American woman to receive her M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School.

Lambert was then hired at the Sterling Institute in Washington, D.C. and later as a manager at the National Bankers Association. In 1972, Lambert joined Ferris & Company as a stockbroker. In 1973, she began teaching at Bowie State College and became the executive vice president of Unified Services, a janitorial services company. Then in 1976, Lambert left Unified Services to start her own janitorial company, Centennial One, Inc. Starting in her garage, she grew Centennial into a business with more than 1,200 employees and $20 million in sales. In 2001, Lambert sold her company and in 2002, she became president of LilCo Enterprises. She now serves as a coach, consultant and public speaker.

Lambert is the recipient of numerous awards including the Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Maryland in 1981 and the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award in 2003, the school’s highest honor for its alumni. She has served on the board of visitors for Virginia Commonwealth University, the board of regents for the University System of Maryland, the board of directors for the African American Alumni Association of Harvard Business School and committee vice chair for the Manasota Chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Lambert is married to John Anthony Lambert, Sr. and has two adult daughters, Darnetha and Tasha.

Lillian Lincoln Lambert was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 9, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.018

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/9/2012

Last Name

Lambert

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lincoln

Schools

Pocahontas Middle

Harvard Business School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Lillian

Birth City, State, Country

Powhatan

HM ID

LAM03

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Youth, womens groups, business groups, education institutions.

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Defeat Is Not An Option.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

5/12/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Business chief executive Lillian Lambert (1940 - ) was the first African American woman to graduate with her M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School and went on to found her own company, Centennial One, Inc.

Employment

LilCo Enterprises

Centennial One, Inc.

Unified Services

Bowie State University

Favorite Color

Blue, Red

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lillian Lambert's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert describes her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert talks about her father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert talks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert talks about her family's property in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert considers her likeness to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lillian Lambert lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lillian Lambert remembers nearly being crushed by a falling tree

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lillian Lambert talks about the schools she attended in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lillian Lambert remembers her neighbors in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Lillian Lambert describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Lillian Lambert describes her childhood home in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert describes family conflicts over the value of education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert talks about her family's attitudes towards money

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert talks about her schooling and extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert talks about her childhood church, Mt.Pero Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert describes race relations in Ballsville, Virginia during her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert recalls watching boxing with her father and listening to stories told outside the local store

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert describes working as a nanny in Riverhead, New York, as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert talks about attending Pocahontas High School in Powhatan County, Virgina

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert describes her high school aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lillian Lambert describes her time living in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lillian Lambert explains her move to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert describes working at the Veteran's Administration in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert talks about her decision to enroll at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert describes how she financed her education at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert talks about her mentor, H. Naylor Fitzhugh

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert talks about her time at Howard University in Washington, D.C. as a commuter student

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert talks about her college extracurricular activities and reflects on being a nontraditional student

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert recalls professors from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert recalls her various jobs during the summers in college

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert describes her admission to Harvard Business School

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lillian Lambert talks about the lack of African Americans at Harvard Business School from the 1930s to 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Lillian Lambert describes her efforts to have Harvard Business School enroll more black students

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert describes her efforts to recruit black students at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert reflects on Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and its possible effect on diversity at Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert recalls her professors from Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert recalls her time at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert talks about a business school project for American Express

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert talks about working at the Sterling Institute after earning her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert reflects on being the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert talks about working at the Sterling Institute and the National Bankers Association

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert describes working as a stockbroker and as a consultant for a janitorial company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert talks about teaching and consulting while pregnant and her work for Unified Services full time

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert talks about being fired from Unified Services and starting her own business, Centennial One, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert talks about her committee work and her contracts awarded in the 1970s, including a government contract through the SBA's 8(A) Program

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert describes her commercial cleaning business, Centennial One, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert talks about her largest contracts and financial losses

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert recalls winning the Small Business Person of the Year Award in 1981

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert considers President Nixon's role in the creation of the Small Business Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert talks about her mother's death

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert talks about her first husband's involvement in her business

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lillian Lambert talks about her second marriage

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert talks about her involvement with the Harvard Business School African American Alumni Association in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert talks about the success of her business, Centennial One, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert talks about selling Centennial One, Inc. in 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert talks about starting LilCo Enterprises and working as a realtor

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert talks about writing her book, 'A Road to Someplace Better'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert reflects on how her life has changed since her childhood in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert reflects her interactions with the people in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert describes her volunteer activities

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert talks about her student talks

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert describes her mentoring relationships

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert describes her hopes and concerns for African American communities

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert talks about the racism shown HistoryMaker Barack Obama

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert talks about discrimination in her business dealings

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert considers what she might have done differently

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert considers her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert talks about serving on the board of regents at the University System of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert talks about her marriage to John Lambert

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Lillian Lambert narrates her photographs

Richard Parsons

Richard Dean Parsons was born on April 4, 1948, in Brooklyn, New York. Parsons graduated from the University of Hawaii and earned his J.D. degree from Union University’s Albany Law School in 1971.

Parsons began his career working as a lawyer and counsel for former New York governor Nelson Rockefeller. When Nelson Rockefeller became Vice President of the United States, Parsons moved to Washington, D.C., and served as a White House aide during the Gerald Ford Administration. In 1977, he moved back to New York and became the managing partner of the law firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. In 1988, Parsons was then chosen to serve as chief operating officer of Dime Bancorp, Inc., one of the largest thrift institutions in the United States.

Parsons joined Time Warner as its president in February 1995, and has been a member of the company’s board of directors since January 1991. As president, he oversaw the company’s filmed entertainment and music businesses and all corporate staff functions, including financial activities, legal affairs, public affairs, and administration. Parsons became chairman of the board in May 2003. From May 2002 to December 2007, Parsons served as Time Warner’s chief executive officer (CEO).

As CEO, Parsons led Time Warner’s turnaround and set the company on a solid path toward achieving sustainable growth. In the process, he put in place the industry’s most experienced and successful management team, strengthened the company’s balance sheet, simplified its corporate structure, and carried out a disciplined approach to realigning the company’s portfolio of assets to improve returns. In its January 2005 report on America’s Best CEOs, Institutional Investor magazine named Parsons the top CEO in the entertainment industry.

Parsons’ civic and non-profit commitments include co-chairman of the Mayor’s Commission on Economic Opportunity in New York; chairman emeritus of the Partnership for New York City; and chairman of the Apollo Theatre Foundation. He serves on the boards of Howard University, the Museum of Modern Art, and the American Museum of Natural History. He also serves on the boards of Citigroup and Estée Lauder.

Accession Number

A2008.146

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/22/2008

Last Name

Parsons

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Shimer Junior High School

University of Hawaii

Albany Law School

First Name

Richard

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

PAR07

Favorite Season

None

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/4/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Business chief executive Richard Parsons (1948 - ) was CEO of Time Warner from 2002 to 2007. He is also the former chief operating officer of Dime Bancorp, Inc., managing partner at the firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, and served as a White House aide during the Ford Administration.

Employment

New York State Government

U.S. Government

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler

Dime Bancorp Inc.

Time Warner, Inc.

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Richard Parsons's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Richard Parsons talks about his mother's early life

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Richard Parsons describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Richard Parsons talks about his paternal family history and his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Richard Parsons lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Richard Parsons describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Richard Parsons describes his block in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Richard Parsons talks about moving from Brooklyn to Queens, New York, New York as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Richard Parsons describes his block in Queens, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Richard Parsons recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Queens, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Richard Parsons describes his daily life during his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Richard Parsons talks about his and his family's involvement in Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Richard Parsons describes the ethnic history of Queens, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Richard Parsons remembers burning his house down in Queens, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Richard Parsons remembers helping his father with a home improvement project

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Richard Parsons talks about what his parents expected of him growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Richard Parsons describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Richard Parsons talks about the jobs he had growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Richard Parsons talks about his influences growing up, including his paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Richard Parsons talks about visiting his paternal grandmother in Virginia during the summer growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Richard Parsons describes his father's influence on him

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Richard Parsons talks about his growing awareness of race in his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Richard Parsons talks about the ethnic makeup of the schools he attended

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Richard Parsons recalls his parents' opinion of attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Richard Parsons recalls first arriving in Hawaii

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Richard Parsons talks about attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Richard Parsons recalls earning the highest score when he took the New York State bar exam

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Richard Parsons talks about meeting and working for Nelson Rockefeller

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Richard Parsons describes the work he did as first assistant counsel for Nelson Rockefeller and their relationship

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Richard Parsons recalls Nelson Rockefeller's invitation to join his staff in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Richard Parsons describes the work he did as Deputy Counsel to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Richard Parsons recalls lessons learned while working for the federal government during the Ford administration

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Richard Parsons describes how Nelson Rockefeller felt about being vice president of the United States

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Richard Parsons talks about the growth of his relationship with Nelson Rockefeller

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Richard Parsons describes leaving Washington, D.C. to practice law at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Richard Parsons talks about leaving law practice to work for Dime Savings Bank of New York, in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Richard Parsons reflects upon what he learned as CEO of Dime Savings Bank of New York in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Richard Parsons talks about his biggest challenges as CEO of Time Warner Inc. in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Richard Parsons considers what he might have done differently during his time as CEO of Time Warner Inc. in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Richard Parsons talks about mistakes that were made during the AOL/Time Warner, Inc. merger

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sponsors of 'An Evening With Richard Parsons'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Introduction to 'An Evening With Richard Parsons'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Richard Parsons recalls his childhood in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Richard Parsons describes how his father inspired his work ethic

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Richard Parsons describes his performance as a student

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Richard Parsons talks about going to the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Richard Parsons talks about his wife, Laura Bush Parsons

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Richard Parsons explains his decision to attend law school

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Film clip about Richard Parsons's work with Nelson Rockefeller

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Richard Parsons describes the political climate in Washington D.C. during the mid-1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Richard Parsons talks about living on the Rockefeller estate, where his maternal grandfather once worked

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Richard Parsons describes his interest in politics and his relationship with Nelson Rockefeller

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Film clip about Richard Parsons moving from his law career into the corporate world

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Richard Parsons describes becoming president and CEO of Dime Savings Bank of New York in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Richard Parsons explains his decision to work for Dime Savings Bank of New York in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Richard Parsons describes some of the decisions he had to make as CEO of Dime Bancorp Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Richard Parsons talks about working on Rudy Giuliani's mayoral campaigns in the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Richard Parsons describes joining Time Warner Sport

Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Film clip about Richard Parsons joining Time Warner Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Richard Parsons talks about joining Time Warner Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Richard Parsons talks about the merger of AOL/Time Warner Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 22 - Richard Parsons talks about the merger of AOL/Time Warner Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 23 - Richard Parsons talks about his goals for Time Warner Inc. and being a role model

Tape: 5 Story: 24 - Richard Parsons talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 25 - Conclusion of 'An Evening With Richard Parsons'

DASession

2$2

DATape

4$3

DAStory

2$6

DATitle
Richard Parsons talks about his biggest challenges as CEO of Time Warner Inc. in New York, New York
Richard Parsons describes the work he did as Deputy Counsel to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller in Washington, D.C.
Transcript
So when you came to Time Warner [Inc., New York, New York], and are you saying that you used all that you knew at Dime Savings [Bank of New York; Dime Bancorp Inc., New York, New York] for here and did that really prepare you for all the things that you were going to face here?$$No it didn't. But it was some, it was some preparation. You can't really run anything if you don't know the business, right? That's, again that's sort of like a given. You have to at least know what the bus--how the business is supposed to look like when it's run right and profitably. Which means you understand how the pieces fit together and how they work together. So I had to learn this business when I came here. I couldn't learn this business from outside any more than I could really learn the Dime business from outside. You have to get into the trenches and get your hands all in the stuff and learn it. But I'd say the basic leadership skills or package was much improved and much refined by the Dime experience.$$Now what was the most difficult part of, of your tenure here? Was it--I mean maybe you might even answer that in a sequence of, of--$$Well there were only two times (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) As a personal--$$That were really difficult.$$Okay.$$The most difficult was right after the AOL [Inc.; America Online, New York, New York] merger. Managing all the personalities, it was, it was, it was apparent almost from the time--from shortly after the, the deal was announced that this--the foundations on which the whole deal was premised were crumbling under us and the, and the structure was sliding down the side of a hill. And that's, you know that's not a great time to be anywhere. And it's particularly not a great time when you have all these people up at the top who aren't necessarily seeing things the same way, or don't have the same agenda and so it was a lot of managing of personalities, of, of different cultures because the AOL culture was different than Time Warner culture. In an environment where as I say, the, the, the foundations of the structure are, are being obliterated. And then when I became CEO, it was shortly after that the AOL accounting irregularities came to light. And so we had the governments in the form of the SEC [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] and the justice department [U.S. Department of Justice], shareholders, all the media, everybody just trying to, you know, kick the house which was already sliding down the hill, over. So that was a tough time.$$Now you didn't, you didn't talk in the interview ['An Evening With Richard Parsons'] about Carl Icahn and his (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah that wasn't really tough.$$It wasn't tough, okay.$$That was, you know the reality of that situation was I knew from day one this guy could not win. From day one. So it was just a matter of managing him and managing the media. Now Carl is gifted with the media. So he created, he created an impression of--two minutes--he created an impression of you know really close contests and all this stuff. But he, he was never in the game. So it was, it was how to manage him and how to manage him to a place that--cause he, even though he could not win, he was capable of creating enormous mischief, right, so you don't want that. So how to get Carl to a place where we could, you know, part company. He could go pursue whatever else he wanted to without having, you know, sort of shot up lots of little holes in my canoe that would now need to be patched. Even though he never could sink the canoe. So that wasn't that hard. That was, that was almost fun. The other time that was hard, the, the--managing the transition at AOL was tough. And, and it's just cause you know, like people always say well who were your biggest competitors? Well everybody who, who's in the media space is our competitor, even [The] HistoryMakers to some extent. But there's nobody--this is a big boat, right. This is a big boat. It's the biggest one on, in our space. There's nobody out there that was going to sink our boat, [Rupert] Murdoch, Sumner Redstone, you know--the only, the only entity that's really big enough to take us out was the government. And there was a point in time where they were on that warpath, so that was hard.$$You're talking about during the, the whole merger.$$I'm talking about right after the merger and with all the accounting irregularities. The other time that was tough for me was the first two years I was here, the transition from being--from running your own shop where I was, you know chairman, CEO of the Dime. Even though I came here to be president, not being in control of your own life and your own agenda as I had gotten used to was--it took some adjustment.$And so his [Nelson Rockefeller] team there [Washington, D.C.], it was you, who were the--it was four or five I thought.$$There were--he brought a bunch of people with him. The four that you're thinking of were the ones he ultimately moved over to the White House [Washington, D.C.] staff in the Domestic Council (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right, and they were you and--$$Well it was a fellow named Jim [James] Cannon, Art Quern [Arthur F. Quern] and myself, we were sort of the two deputies. Jim was the assistant to the pres--became the assistant to the president on domestic policy and head of Domestic Council. And who was the fourth, it was a fourth? Oh, Dick Dunham, Richard [L.] Dunham who had been his budget director in New York, became the head of the Federal Energy Council. Energy Regular--FERC it was called, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, was another one that he gave up off of his staff to put into a lion job if you will, on the president's staff or presidential appointee. But he still had a number of the people who came down to Washington [D.C.] with him who stayed on the vice president's staff.$$And in that, this working group, what were the key areas that you worked on? You were saying that you were, you were over domestic, domestic policy issues, right, domestic?$$Yeah, now when I went to, when I first went down, I went as--I thought I was going to become counsel to the vice president. And then when I got there, there was another guy who's name is Peter Wallace who thought he had been offered the counsel to the vice president. Well like I said Nelson offered this, the same job. But there were three people, all of whom thought they were going to be chief of staff to the vice president. So we flipped a coin, literally, Peter and I, and he ended up being counsel and so I was the deputy counsel. And I was there for--in the vice president's office, for four or five months. And, but it was, it turned out to be an interesting four or five months. The one thing we worked on, or that I worked on most intensively in that period of time was on what they call the Rule 22 amendment [cloture rule]. See if I can do this quickly. Rule 22 is the, the rule in the [U.S.] Senate rule book that basically determines how you terminate or bring to closure a debate on something. So it's a so-called closure rule. And even now you're still--you're familiar with the fact that people say well it takes sixty senators to stop a debate. So that even though you might have a majority of fifty-five or something like that, unless you have sixty senators, they can filibuster you to death in the Senate because you can't force a motion to bring the debate to a close requires nowadays, a sixty vote majority. When we got there in 1975, late '74 [1974], early '75 [1975], the closure rule required two thirds, which means you had to have sixty-seven senators, which was how all the southern senators for years and years and years would filibuster the civil rights stuff to death. And then it would never get done because they'd just stand up, talk and talk and talk and can never close the debate 'cause you couldn't get sixty-seven senators to do it. So there was a movement on to liberalize the rule to go from sixty-seven to sixty, which is what it is today. And so that was a battle that took about six or eight weeks and the vice president was key to it because under our [U.S.] Constitution, the vice president is the president of the Senate. And whenever he shows up, he sits in the leadership chair and he's the guy that makes all the rulings on, on parliamentary matters and other matters that come before the house. So we had this role to play and it was just--it was very interesting, it was very intense--

Robert Johnson

Robert "Bob" Johnson, born June 17, 1935, in Chicago, was the older of two children born to Gladys and Robert. Johnson attended Roosevelt University in Chicago, earning a B.S. in sociology in 1958.

Following graduation, Johnson went on to work at the Chicago Housing Authority as a community relations aide. In 1965, he was hired at Sears Roebuck & Company, and rose to the position of vice president of specialty sales. In 1988, Johnson and his daughter partnered to form Bagcraft Corporation of America, a flexible packaging manufacturer, created as part of an initiative by PepsiCo and Frito-Lay to encourage the creation of minority-owned businesses suppliers. In 1991, Johnson and business partner Tom Bryce formed Johnson Bryce, Inc., as part of that same PepsiCo initiative. Johnson currently serves as CEO and chairman of the company. In 1997, with revenues exceeding $25 million, Johnson Bryce, Inc., was named the Frito-Lay Flexible Packaging Supplier of the Year.

Johnson is also active with several organizations and universities. He is a trustee of LeMoyne Owen College and a member of the board of trustees of Clemson University's Packaging Science Department. He is a founding member of the Executive Leadership Council, a nonprofit corporation that provides a networking and leadership forum for African American executives. Johnson also serves on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Johnson and his wife, Rose, live near Chicago and have two daughters.

Accession Number

A2003.172

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/1/2003

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Willard Elementary School

Du Sable Leadership Academy

Malcolm X College

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Roosevelt University

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

JOH14

Favorite Season

None

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Carribean

Favorite Quote

You Can Do It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

6/17/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Robert Johnson (1935 - ) is the CEO of Johnson Bryce Co., a supplier of food packaging to PepsiCo.

Employment

Chicago Housing Authority

Sears Roebuck & Company

Bagcraft Corporation of America

Johnson Bryce, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3128,26:3496,31:4232,40:8556,81:9384,92:10212,102:20424,252:21252,262:28241,274:29017,284:31425,299:31935,308:32360,314:32700,319:33125,325:37379,369:37947,378:40150,417:40490,422:52155,512:52867,521:54558,539:59592,568:60040,573:63787,596:64202,602:64534,607:66775,638:67107,643:70520,665:72515,684:73180,692:73560,697:76497,716:76853,721:87570,800:95520,840:95836,845:98610,856:101384,877:123280,1051:131292,1109:132410,1125:134330,1139:136748,1193:137060,1198:146941,1304:147564,1312:160060,1468:160460,1473:161260,1482:168247,1569:170041,1604:170386,1610:182422,1730:196930,1825$0,0:913,24:1261,29:1696,35:2392,48:6687,75:7735,85:17308,168:24792,259:25227,265:45364,352:45640,357:46261,368:46537,373:51210,408:52470,427:60330,454:60804,461:61594,472:62147,480:62463,485:65307,534:68000,543:68268,548:70935,565:71355,570:71880,576:82800,652:85200,661:87406,675:88702,693:94500,743:95172,754:96012,763:96348,768:96936,775:99288,804:99792,811:103250,816:103746,826:103994,831:107180,842:125020,957:125820,966:127520,991:177985,1304:178635,1315:178960,1322:179545,1330:179935,1338:185041,1408:186369,1428:186867,1438:187946,1453:188610,1462:189025,1468:194748,1538:199449,1592:200100,1639:205548,1658:217512,1770:218292,1792:218682,1799:231200,1875:232050,1887:237741,1914:243990,1995:244622,2008:249183,2078:249427,2083:257437,2127:258400,2138:268597,2247:269059,2254:273758,2284:275690,2307:278238,2318:283266,2398:284330,2403
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Johnson talks about his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Johnson describes his home life as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Johnson describes his childhood personality and his mother, Gladys H. Johnson's work

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Johnson talks about his father, Robert L. Johnson

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Johnson describes his grade school years at Willard Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Johnson talks about his grade school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Johnson remembers Mary Herrick, his teacher at DuSable High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Johnson remembers Mary Herrick, his teacher at DuSable High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Johnson remembers Mary Herrick, his teacher at DuSable High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt.3

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Johnson describes his childhood memories from the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Johnson describes his experiences at Theodore Herzl Junior College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Johnson compares the demographics of Theodore Herzl Junior College to the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Johnson talks about working in the library at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Johnson talks about his experience of racial discrimination at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Johnson explains his decision to leave the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Johnson describes his decision to enroll at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Johnson remembers being taught by anthropologist John Gibbs St. Clair Drake at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Johnson talks about his interest in sociology

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Johnson talks about joining the U.S. Army in 1958

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Johnson describes working at the Chicago Housing Authority after leaving the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Johnson talks about his role as assistant housing manager for the Chicago Housing Authority in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Johnson explains how his position at the Chicago Housing Authority sparked his interest in business

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Johnson talks about business affairs at the Chicago Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Johnson talks about getting a job at Sears, Roebuck & Company, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Johnson talks about getting a job at Sears, Roebuck & Company, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Johnson describes his first six weeks at a Sears, Roebuck & Company store on 63rd Street and Halsted Avenue in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Johnson shares a memory of working in the toy department at Sears, Roebuck & Company during Christmas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Johnson recalls racial discrimination during his early years at Sears, Roebuck & Company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Johnson describes the riots around Sears Roebuck & Company in Chicago, Illinois after the 1968 assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Johnson talks about racial discrimination in the corporate world

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Johnson talks about the beginning of the Executive Leadership Council

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Johnson describes the Executive Leadership Council

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Johnson talks about the challenges of being an African American CEO

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Johnson talks about HistoryMaker Richard Parsons

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Johnson talks about challenges faced by African American executives in the corporate sector

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Johnson talks about leaving Sears, Roebuck & Company to start his own business

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Johnson reflects upon the permanency of racism in Corporate America

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Johnson describes running his own company, Johnson Bryce, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Johnson explains how he began Johnson Bryce, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Johnson reflects on small business mergers

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Johnson describes the growth of Johnson Bryce Inc. and the importance of small businesses

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Johnson shares his advice for small business owners

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Johnson describes the greatest challenge he has faced with his company

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Johnson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert Johnson lists his favorites

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Robert Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt.2
Robert Johnson talks about the beginning of the Executive Leadership Council
Transcript
So that dynamic of having this constant flow of new housemates, whatever, is the sights and sounds of growing up, that dynamic, do you have anything that you want to share?$$Well, yeah. Well, it exposed you to a lot of people, exposed you to a lot of different people, and even at a young age, you began to sense that there were significant differences in people, and people's attitudes, the way they behaved toward each other, what they thought of the war, what they thought of the opportunities. There was a constant discussion in the house of how we as Negros at that time, how we as Negros would take advantage of the opportunities that were afforded us as a result of this war because jobs were plentiful and jobs that black people had been denied were grudgingly given to them because of the shortage of labor. Now, you could save that money, and this is a discussion that would go on, you could save that money, you could invest it, you could, you could use it for positive purposes or you could have a good time with it and drink it up and just you know play with it. And that was a--that was big discussion, you know, who was smart about their money. Now my father's socking all this money away cause he was renting rooms and you know at the end of--at the end of World War II, he had from various sources and I don't know all of them because I was--this happened between the time I was five to ten years old, but at the end of World War II he had saved four thousand dollars and with that he bought him-he bought an apartment building. So he was on the side of you know take advantage of these opportunities to advance yourself. And he was very critical of people who didn't see that opportunity and didn't see a relationship between opportunities made possible by the war and how you would advance yourself.$Oh, really. So how did this first meeting come about since you say you've never met each other before?$$There were a group of guys who got together in Texas to save a college. Wally, Wallace [sic, Bishop College, later, Paul Quinn College, Dallas, Texas] a black college in the Dallas area, and they were not successful, the college went under. But they decided to stay together and they came up with the idea of an African American support group for senior executives because they realized in coming together for this purpose how isolated they were, because in most cases you're not, at that time, maybe different today, you're not included in the informal networking of your fellow white business associates. And if you're excluded from there, and then, in most cases, your problems are not easily shared with people in your community, because there are so few of you that those experiences that you're having are relatively rare.$$Who were the first founding members, can you name as many as you can for us?$$[HistoryMaker James] Jim Kaiser, Vaughn Clarke, [HistoryMaker] Elynor Williams, [HistoryMaker] Toni Fay. Well that's something you should have asked me before the interview, I could have had the list.$$What year did it start?$$It started in 1985, yeah, 1985 [sic. 1986].$$Did any of the executives have a problem being a member of the [Executive Leadership] council as far as career because sometimes it can be seen that you're pulling yourself apart from, you know, the general population. Was that any problem?$$Yes. Many executives would not join the organization. And some who joined would not become active. They joined, paid their dues but never attended a meeting. And that's a real--that's a real problem. You isolate yourself when you do that. So you have to make a decision, is the value you're gonna get out of this worth the risk? My own attitude is that, that it is, that you cannot participate in a white organization and hide the fact that you're black. Black is the first thing they see about you, sometime black is the only thing they know about you. So you know to try to lower the profile of your blackness, I think, is quite--well, it's unlikely to happen, unlikely to be a benefit. And I have seen enough people to see people try both approaches and see the results of both approaches, and there's no difference.$$It's akin to taking off the mask?$$Yeah.

Raymond Haysbert, Sr.

Prominent Baltimore businessman Raymond Haysbert was born in a slum in Cincinnati on January 19, 1920. Haysbert was the fourth of eight children, and three of his younger siblings died while he was still a child. His father moved away when he was eight years old, and with the Depression following soon after, Haysbert and his three brothers went to work. He continued with school, and after graduating he enlisted in an ROTC program at Wilberforce University in Ohio. Haysbert was forced to drop out of school his third year to make money, and when World War II broke out, he joined up with the Tuskegee Airmen in Italy.

After returning from the war, Haysbert married his college sweetheart, Carol Roberts, to whom he had been introduced by Henry Parks in 1952. Parks had opened up his Baltimore sausage factory only a year before, and was struggling to make a go of it in an environment filled with bigotry. Haysbert and Parks partnered and began selling Parks Sausage throughout Baltimore, delivering fresh sausages daily to stores. The strategy was a success, and by 1955 Parks Sausage was a sponsor of the World Series. The company, which had reported losses in its first two years in existence, was reporting gross annual profits of $6 million by 1966 and $9 million in 1968. Parks Sausage became the first black-owned company to go public in 1969.

Following on his successes, Haysbert was named president of the company in 1974, and when the company was sold to a conglomerate in 1977, he made more than $1 million. By the mid-1980s, Parks Sausage was making almost $30 million a year, and Haysbert was serving on several boards of directors, including on the Baltimore Federal Reserve. By the 1990s, however, things were not so good. Corporate clients buying massive quantities began finding other suppliers and health consciousness hurt sales. After a heart attack in 1994, Haysbert handed over the presidency to his son, Reginald, but remained on as CEO. At the same time, he bought back the 49 percent of the company owned by Sara Lee, making Haysbert a 97.5 percent owner of the company. Creditors continued to add up, however, and by 1995, Parks was sold.

Today, Haysbert is still active on the front of encouraging African American-owned businesses, and is president of a family catering business, Forum Caterers. In light of his recent heart troubles, he has also become active with the American Heart Association, serving as honorary chairman of Operation Heartbeat.

Mr. Haysbert passed away on May 24, 2010.

Accession Number

A2003.120

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/4/2003

Last Name

Haysbert

Maker Category
Middle Name

V.

Organizations
First Name

Raymond

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

HAY05

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paradise Island, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

It Is Not Where You Start, It Is Where You Finish.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/19/1920

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sausage

Death Date

5/24/2010

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Raymond Haysbert, Sr. (1920 - 2010 ) the co-founder, former president, and CEO of Parks Sausages, based in Baltimore, Maryland.

Employment

Parks Sausage

Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
0,0:2691,15:21290,154:32078,266:32666,274:37202,347:45260,423:45680,429:69408,686:112759,1095:117016,1130:130149,1273:133674,1326:142415,1419:142840,1425:143265,1431:159181,1603:159703,1610:160051,1615:160399,1620:183597,1974:204544,2222:204979,2228:224980,2459:239201,2638:240092,2650:240416,2655:241226,2676:244490,2733$0,0:42034,505:42786,515:47190,556:50870,611:51422,618:84230,970:95840,1140:101870,1221:117100,1343:135234,1541:179330,2084
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Raymond Haysbert, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes his mother and siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes his father, William Haysbert

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. shares his memories of school in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes the black community in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about his activities in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes attending Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio with Leontyne Price

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about Central State University and his social life at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes training in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about being part of the ground crew during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. recalls finishing his degrees at Wilberforce University and Central State University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. recalls joining Park Sausage Company in 1952

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about racism in selling sausages

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes the visual marketing of sausage

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes the success and distribution of Parks Sausage

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes advertising Parks Sausages

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes Parks Sausage Company's special sausage recipe

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about disguising race in the marketing of Parks sausages

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes buying Parks Sausages Company in 1980

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. recalls running Parks Sausage

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. reflects upon how racism impacted his business career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes how positive thinking impacted his relations with his employees

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes the different products that Parks Sausage made

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about the failure of adding ice cream to Parks Sausage products

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes his political involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about black politicians

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes President Bill Clinton

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. shares his views on Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about being called the unofficial mayor of Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about the youth in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. talks about why he is a Republican

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. reflects upon his regrets

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Raymond Haysbert, Sr. narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II
Raymond Haysbert, Sr. describes Parks Sausage Company's special sausage recipe
Transcript
So and then of course in North Africa and in Italy, we landed in Bari, Italy.$$How do you spell that?$$B-A-R-I, Bari, Italy. And of course the ships had been bombed by the Germans at the time, so it was you know pretty hectic at time as such. But they just didn't believe that we could fly or that blacks could fly. And so they kept sending us around to do different things, keep us busy. Matter of fact of it was that after fighting through all that adversity, this was not an ordinary group of people. Because all the ordinary people were washed up. And those that did get through had in any case--in any case the results as you know, especially in the HBO movie, came out, was that the Tuskegee Airmen never lost a plane due to enemy fire, one hundred percent, which almost seems almost impossible. And of course that sounds as if our people were super humans or something of that type because the unlikelihood of never failing, I mean, you can't be better than 100 percent. Well but the truth of the matter is, is that the rigorous of screening out and the rigorous training and the taking people over to North Africa when everybody else was over in Italy fighting and sending people over here for gunnery practice and what not, that we had gotten two to three times the training of the rest of the Americans. So that when we finally got there, we were highly trained, highly select group. And we had one other thing which was Colonel Ben Davis who said don't leave the bombers. He was tough. We were afraid to go off fighting the German planes. We had to stick with the bombers. As a result they were better protected. And as they say the rest is history.$$Right. Now that's something that other Tuskegee Airmen say too that the training was--you all were trained and retrained and over trained. Some people had even became trainers because they were trained so much--$$Oh, they just did. So the need for pilots were so bad that's the only way we got into the fight in the end. But the need for pilot was so bad that the average American, non-black pilot, well maybe get six months of training, and they needed them. And they would throw them into the breech, you know. And yet you had all these black troops getting extra training, extra training. So when they did come into the battle, we could sleep in the plane, we could eat or we could dance in em, do everything else in them. And the Germans found that out too. These guys could really do it, but they can. It's one of those things where adversity made you know not be all that bad, because you had to be so tough you get through it.$$Okay.$$So after that I came back from the service. I went back to Wilberforce [University, Wilberforce, Ohio].$Now what about the product itself, is there a special recipe for Parks Sausage that made it taste different?$$Oh, absolutely, absolutely. Our recipe was concocted so to speak by Henry Parks. Henry Parks had originally come from Georgia. I think he was spirited out of Georgia in Atlanta area, Green County, that's the reason why his name was Green early on. But he had the most sensitive taste of anybody I've ever known. It was developed when his parents, his grandmother, would send him out to get herbs and spices. Back in those days you seasoned your food, you couldn't go to the super market and get ground coriander or thyme or something of that type. What you had to do was to get lot of herbs yourself. So she would let him taste some of the herb and send him out to look for that among the trees and then taste it, and if it tasted like the one it was before then that was it. So he could detect an ounce of salt or pepper in 7000 ounces of a batch of sausage. He would say, oh, just one ounce, so you had one ounce of sage or one ounce of pepper or whatever. So the recipe, we called it the golden bowl. One of my ads says he brings into the golden bowl every morning for him to taste to see if its right on time, that if its (unclear). And we did have taste panels every day. We ate sausage because we didn't find any technology that could duplicate flavor and that's what we were selling in a sense, it was flavor. And so we had to taste every batch of spices that came in. We had it overlapped so that it tasted just like the other one and we could tell it and make the modifications with that one. So in some batches from say McCormick or from some of the Chicago spice houses, we would take the original recipe and add two ounces of sage. When that was gone the next batch we might not have to add the two ounces of sage, and that's where you move you're through, because we knew what we were selling, we were selling satisfaction. We called ourselves the Parks Satisfaction Company, not sausage company so--and flavor was our--so yes, it was unique.

Brenda Gaines

Brenda J. Gaines, president of Diners Club North America, grew up in North Chicago, Illinois. She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree in public administration from Roosevelt University.

From 1980 until 1981, Gaines served as a deputy regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development before becoming special assistant to the regional administrator. In September 1983, she was appointed to head the Chicago Housing Authority. In July 1985, Chicago Mayor Harold Washington appointed Gaines deputy chief of staff. After Washington died unexpectedly in 1987, Gaines entered corporate America as the head of government and community relations for Citibank. Gaines quickly rose to senior vice president in charge of residential lending. In 1992, she moved to the Citigroup subsidiary Diners Club and held a number of leadership positions with Diners Club and Citicorp before being named president of Diners Club North America in 1999.

Gaines holds leadership positions with various organizations and businesses. She serves on the boards of Citibank Canada; Diners Club International; Office Depot; World Business Chicago; the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation; the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys and Girls Club of Chicago; Junior Achievement of Chicago; World Business of Chicago; and the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. She is also a member of Lambda Alpha International and the Economic Club of Chicago, and she mentors for MENTTIUM 100 and the Partnering for Success Program.

Gaines has received a number of awards and honors for her civic and professional leadership and service. Black Enterprise included her in its list of the Top Fifty Blacks in Corporate America, and Gaines was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America by Fortune in 2002. In 2008 she was appointed to Fannie Mae's Board.

Accession Number

A2003.020

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

1/24/2003

Last Name

Gaines

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Roosevelt University

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

North Chicago Community High Sch

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Brenda

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

GAI02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

Citibank

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maui, Hawaii, Los Cabos

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/22/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Junk Food

Short Description

Business chief executive Brenda Gaines (1949 - ) was the former deputy chief of staff of the City of Chicago and is currently head of Diners Club North America.

Employment

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Chicago Housing Authority

City of Chicago

Citibank

Diner's Club

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Brenda Gaines' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Brenda Gaines lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Brenda Gaines describes her family's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Brenda Gaines talks about her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Brenda Gaines describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Brenda Gaines describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood in North Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Brenda Gaines remembers visiting the South as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Brenda Gaines describes her childhood activities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Brenda Gaines shares her memories of elementary school

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Brenda Gaines talks about the racial composition of her community

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Brenda Gaines describes attending North Chicago High School

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Brenda Gaines talks about attending the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Brenda Gaines shares her memories of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Brenda Gaines talks about cultural shifts stemming from the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Brenda Gaines talks about her activities at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Brenda Gaines describes working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD]

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Brenda Gaines talks about being recruited by Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Brenda Gaines describes working for Mayor Harold Washington as Housing Commissioner

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Brenda Gaines describes Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Brenda Gaines talks about Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Brenda Gaines talks about running the Chicago Housing Authority

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Brenda Gaines describes her role as Deputy Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Brenda Gaines remembers Chicago Mayor Harold Washington's death in 1987

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Brenda Gaines describes working for Citibank and Diners Club

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Brenda Gaines contrasts working for the government versus the private sector

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Brenda Gaines talks about Mayor Harold Washington's work habits and speculation about his death

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Brenda Gaines talks about the need to increase in diversity in Corporate America

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Brenda Gaines comments on diversity in Corporate America and affirmative action

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Brenda Gaines describes her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Brenda Gaines reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Brenda Gaines talks about the barriers facing black women

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Brenda Gaines describes her parents' pride in her success

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Brenda Gaines describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Brenda Gaines talks about challenges she faces at the workplace

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DATitle
Brenda Gaines describes working for Mayor Harold Washington as Housing Commissioner
Brenda Gaines talks about running the Chicago Housing Authority
Transcript
Okay, okay. Well what was this experience like working for the [Mayor Harold] Washington administration? I know that the--there was a lot of opposition to [unclear] doing and you know, can you tell us about some of those struggles?$$You know it's interesting. Probably when I was in it, I said why am I doing this? Unless I was in the mayor's office, then, then it was like I know why I'm doing this. 'Cause he would just really pump you up. But now when I reflect back on it, it was--you know as I said before, it was really one of the best experiences I've ever had. I guess for a couple reasons. One, being able to work with him [Mayor Harold Washington]. Under all kinds of adversity, he kind of, you know he just kept going. And he was just so positive and really believed that he could affect change and I think he did. I think that some of the adversity brought us as a team, as a mayor's team, closer together in many respects. Those first , first couple of years were rough, I must say. In terms of the--what was going on with the City Council. I can also say that I've really--I was very lucky because in terms of the position I was in as Commissioner of Housing, I actually had a--most, most times, a decent relationship with the City Council. And so was able to get things done without a lot of, without a lot of hassle. But it was, it was rough. There were long hours. You were always on. I mean it didn't matter what time it was. And you know I remember the community meetings that we would go to. We would--the mayor started community meetings and all over the city, I mean every single community. And we would go--I can't remember was it once a month or--I think it was once a month. Could have been once every three--I can't remember. But we would go and they'd start, say at seven or 8:00 at night, and many cases we were still there till 11, 11:30. He'd have all of his commissioners lined up with him on a podium and we would just take ques--he would make a speech and we'd just take questions from the community. And he--it could be 11:30 at night and he's still going. He's--the rest of us are like okay, we're tired, we're tired, and he's still going. But it was to me, it was a wonderful learning experience to learn about communities and the cities because I was from North Chicago, again. To learn about it, to see people, to listen to them and to see how different the, the--to see, you know, a city like Chicago, how you can have so many different experiences in each community. It's amazing to me that some people never been to downtown Chicago. Had never been to downtown Chicago. That's true. They just kind of--here's my community; this is what I know and this is what I'm happy with. And so I want this community to be the best it can, it can be.$Now, now specifically about the [Chicago Housing Authority] Department of Housing. What was the agenda of the Department of Housing then? Is it--had it--did it have a different agenda that it, that it usually would have under other mayors, or was it--$$Well I, I think prior to Harold Washington, it was--it served very limited neighborhoods in the city. The mission of the Department of Housing is to, to finance and rehab, provide financing for the development and rehabilitation of low to moderate income housing. That's the, the mission. They also do--it's interesting 'cause the Department of Housing does a lot of things, or at least did then. 'Cause they were also--it was also the agency that you would go to if you had a fair housing complaint, for instance. And it was also the agency that would fund what we call delegate agencies, but agencies who were doing housing counseling in the community. So it did a lot of things. But most of those services were fairly, you know, segregated in certain political boards in the city, none of which were African American. And there were, there were a number of, of people there, a good portion of people who were you know appointed because of who they knew. When I got there, there were a number of people who never showed up for work and I kept trying to figure out well, you know, this says--because by that time, I came in July. They actually had a, a reduction of people before I got there. But there were over three--say 350 people there. So when I got there--and I kept saying well where are they? Well you know we have people, you know they're not in this office or here, or they're in the field, or they--so one day I just started walking around with a list. I was like well where is this person? Well where is this? Well as I found out, they hadn't been there, you know, they were basically a ghost payroll. You know so I started just, you know, cutting, cutting people. If you're not here, you know, you don't need the job. And so I can remember being questioned about it at the budget hearing in City Council. Well what happened to so-and-so, and what happened to so-and-so? And I said well they weren't here, lost their job. And inter--I mean I didn't get a lot, you know I may have, you know, kind of little, you know--well what you do that for? But, but no, you know, terrible, terrible outcry based on that. I did find that there were a lot of people there who had been there, some of whom were trying to do a good job, but didn't really have the skills or tools to do it because no one really wanted them to do a good job before. And so part of what we need to do was to be able to get people in there who could, who had the, the skills to do a good job, and to do the job that, that should be done, and to say it's okay to make a decision yourself. A lot of people were--I mean knew, knew what they were doing, but were never allowed to make decisions or never allowed to really make a recommendation. They were waiting for somebody from the top to say this is what you'll do. And it was like no, you're in this job, you're the expert. What do you think we ought to do? So it was, it was very different. And we need to be fair. It doesn't really matter that so-and-so's calling here every day, I don't care. What do you recommend, you know? How can we make sure that we're getting you know, fair services. How when we, when we rate a proposal for funding, are we sure that it's the best proposal to rate? So, you know and I think that, I think you know the department you know was, was successful. I think it is now even--I think that the current mayor you know has a, has a, an emphasis on housing as well.