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Love Whelchel, III

Human resources chief executive Love Henry Whelchel, III was born on February 4, 1969 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama to Love H. Whelchel, Jr. and Larma Miller Whelchel. Whelchel grew up in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) denomination where his father, Love Henry Whelchel, Jr. was a pastor. When the family lived in Durham, North Carolina, his father pastored Russell Memorial CME. In Dayton, Ohio his father was pastor of Phillips Temple CME. Whelchel graduated from Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California. There, he was mentored in African American history by his teacher, Ivan Baldwin. Following high school, Whelchel enrolled at Morris Brown College to study hotel and restaurant management. He is heavily involved in the debate team, matches trials, and befriends many international students.

Upon graduation, Whelchel was hired by New Leaf, Inc., a small publishing and distribution company. New Leaf eventually promoted him to a management position in the human resources department. In 1996, Whelchel began to work for the Atlanta Centennial Organizing Committee and the 1996 Olympic Games. Whelchel worked in managerial positions for several major corporations from 1996 to 2011, such as Top of the World and Global Conductor. Between 2004 and 2011, he worked in human resources at TBWA/Chiat/Day and Young and Rubicon Advertising Agency. There, Whelchel focused on issues of diversity and inclusion; especially, hiring and retaining minorities in upper-level management and executive positions.

In 2011, Sean Combs, chief executive officer and founder of Bad Boy World Wide Entertainment Group, hired Whelchel as his chief human resource officer. There, Whelchel oversees more than three-hundred employees and manages various businesses within Bad Boy, including restaurants, the Sean John clothing and accessories line, the Bad Boy Record Label and the Blue Flame marketing and consulting agency. Whelchel also focuses on global recruitment strategy, as well as and succession planning and associated development.

Love Henry Whelchel, III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 07/31/2012.

Accession Number

A2012.160

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/31/2012

Last Name

Whelchel

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Organizations
Schools

Morris Brown College

First Name

Love

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

WHE04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Latin America, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Don't Make An Excuse. Make A Way.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

2/4/1969

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Human resources chief executive Love Whelchel, III (1969 - )

Employment

Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group

Young & Rubicam

Atlanta Centennial Organizing Committee

TBWA/Chiat/Day

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3704,80:4764,91:7202,175:8262,186:15698,292:19922,401:20450,410:22826,452:23882,470:26522,511:29602,577:30658,592:33650,635:34442,647:37610,704:45356,738:46013,750:46305,755:46889,764:51302,823:51974,832:54278,859:55142,869:56198,883:56870,891:57254,896:58502,912:59270,921:60710,942:61862,955:75984,996:84260,1064:88770,1196:89344,1206:90820,1237:95288,1275:97892,1302:100248,1327:115552,1513:116032,1519:116896,1529:118624,1571:130390,1699:143848,1852:150098,1939:156050,2063:157010,2079:162130,2124:163280,2137:177960,2331:178385,2337:180000,2363:185525,2467:186035,2478:188075,2539:188925,2551:189265,2557:197056,2661:219023,3073:227634,3170:229938,3204:235459,3235:240400,3299$0,0:3306,81:13746,286:19488,427:30530,565:31346,575:36977,657:37365,662:39596,691:43670,753:59760,901:60425,909:61280,919:76260,1080:77241,1092:80947,1137:90120,1225:91100,1240:91884,1257:92766,1272:93158,1277:93550,1282:95510,1319:95902,1324:98810,1332:99539,1344:101410,1360:103854,1406:104324,1418:107332,1483:119002,1599:119732,1613:120097,1619:123528,1696:123820,1701:124331,1709:125791,1746:126229,1754:128784,1793:132215,1867:132726,1876:139052,1910:142928,1995:146728,2085:148172,2117:150984,2186:156181,2210:158859,2237:162773,2290:168320,2325:168835,2331:169453,2338:173058,2396:179532,2482:181128,2506:185832,2602:186420,2613:189270,2620:190180,2643:191090,2667:193120,2687
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Love Whelchel, III's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Love Whelchel, III lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his paternal family's religious background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his father and grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Love Whelchel, III talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Love Whelchel, III describes his parents and his likeness to them

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Love Whelchel, III recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Love Whelchel, III talks about moving frequently with his family because of his father's being a C.M.E. minister

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Love Whelchel, III describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Love Whelchel, III talks about funk music, funk musicians and hip hop in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Love Whelchel, III talks about the political nature of hip hop

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Love Whelchel, III describes forming a miniature Black Panther Party at Immaculata Catholic School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Love Whelchel, III talks about being Christian Methodist Episcopalian at a Catholic school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his move to Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Love Whelchel, III talks about some of his favorite teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Love Whelchel, III talks about attending Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Love Whelchel, III talks about how frequent moving affected his grades

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his heroes and immediate family

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Love Whelchel, III talks about church and other activities he participated in while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his high school activities while at Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Love Whelchel, III talks about hip hop

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Love Whelchel, III describes his high school interest in owning hotels

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Love Whelchel, III talks about having difficulty earning enough credits to graduate from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Love Whelchel, III talks about Spike Lee and deciding to attend Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Love Whelchel, III describes his undergraduate experience at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Love Whelchel, III describes Atlanta, Georgia in the 1980s and 1990s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Love Whelchel, III reflects on his education at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Love Whelchel, III talks about gang activity in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his first job at New Leaf Distributing Company after graduating from Morris Brown College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his involvement with the Atlanta Centennial Organizing Committee for the 1996 Olympics

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Love Whelchel, III talks about working for Recruiters International, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Love Whelchel, III talks about where he worked after leaving Recruiters International, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Love Whelchel, III talks about the advertising firm TBWA\Chiat\Day

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Love Whelchel, III talks about working for the advertising firm Young & Rubicam

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Love Whelchel, III talks about recruiting more African Americans for mainstream advertising agencies

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his relationship with HistoryMaker Dr. Price Cobbs

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Love Whelchel, III talks about being recruited to work for Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Love Whelchel, III talks about Sean "Diddy" Combs

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Love Whelchel, III describes the culture at Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Love Whelchel, III describes the staff at Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his biggest challenge working for Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Love Whelchel, III talks about Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group internships and its international growth

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Love Whelchel, III describes his role as head of human resources at Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Love Whelchel, III talks about the vision of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Love Whelchel, III reflects on times when his employers' vision for a company has not matched up with his own

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Love Whelchel, III considers what makes a good work environment

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Love Whelchel, III talks about recruiting at Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Love Whelchel, III considers his legacy and what motivates him

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Love Whelchel, III describes his hopes and concerns for African American communities

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Love Whelchel, III considers what he might have done differently

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Love Whelchel, III talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Love Whelchel, III describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

9$6

DATitle
Love Whelchel, III talks about his involvement with the Atlanta Centennial Organizing Committee for the 1996 Olympics
Love Whelchel, III talks about being recruited to work for Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group
Transcript
Okay. So, you were saying that you got involved with the [1996 Summer] Olympic Organizing Committee, I guess, right?$$Yes.$$In '90 [1990]--$$The Atlanta Centennial--$$Okay.$$Organizing Committee for the '96 [1996] [Summer] Olympics [Atlanta, Georgia].$$Okay. So, this was the, was this the centennial of the City of Atlanta [Georgia]?$$This is the centennial. This was the one hundredth year. So, this was huge. So, I actually ended up, you know, because I had the distribution and some of the tech skills from New Leaf [Distributing Company], I was able to work with the technology for distributions at the Olympics. There were very few of these shipping systems that were built. So, since I had that skill, they tapped me to, to help out in that regard. That eventually became a management position for me. And, that was really my entry into human resources because I was charged with hiring a lot of folks to work in the mail and distribution centers.$$Okay. Now, this is, this is a time, we were saying off camera, was a time of tremendous amount of event organizing in Atlanta (simultaneously).$$Oh, yeah. A lot of opportunity in Atlanta during this period of time, from the, you know, the early '90s [1990s] through the late '90s [1990s]. I mean, you know, conventions, you know, the games, real estate boom, just anything that you could imagine; businesses growing, the dot com boom touched Atlanta. You know, so a lot was happening at that time which was the perfect storm for me to get into human resources because there was a lot of hiring. So, I left the Olympics and started working with recruiters, a company called Recruiters International [Inc.]. And, I was recruiting folks who would be upgrading systems for Y2K [Year 2000 Problem]. So, I certainly enjoyed that period of time. It kept me busy.$$Now, is there a story about the Olympics? Do you have a story about--that was such a big event.$$It's a big event. I mean--$$Were you there through the Olympics?$$I was there through the Olympics. So, I got a chance to attend the ceremonies, the events. I got a chance to meet a lot of the athletes. I remember Shaq [Shaquille O'Neal] had to hide in the, the shipping center (laughter). Because they would bring him through, by the freight elevators. And, unfortunately, I remember some not so great memories of the bombing. That was in Centennial Olympic Park which was directly across from where I worked. And, arriving in my office the following working with GBI [Georgia Bureau of Investigation] agents, you know, everywhere. And, it was a pretty sad time.$$Yeah. 'Cause they accused a security employee--$$It was a security employee.$$Of the games, right? (Simultaneously).$$Yeah, it was--yeah, he--yeah, he was initially accused--$$Richard, somebody, I can't think of his last name. Richard [Jewell], somebody, I can't--$$I don't recall. I picture his face vividly. But, yeah, he was wrongfully accused. So, yeah, it was a, it was a--so, we went from a really festive, you know, an amazing time and that was a, you know, that was a, a pretty rough patch. So, yeah, I remember that very vividly, and the divide in the city and, you know, it really, it really kind of, you know, took that innocence away from Atlanta, you know, being hit like that.$Now, how did you, when did you meet Sean ["Diddy"] Combs? When did you meet him before you got this position?$$I did not. I--the first time I meet Mr. Combs was when I interviewed with him.$$Okay.$$In Los Angeles [California].$$Well, tell--just walk us through, how did you, you knew about Bad Boys--$$Oh, yes. Absolutely.$$--[Bad Boys] Worldwide Entertainment [Group], right?$$Absolutely.$$And, did you--when did you think about like working for them or were you recruited or what happened?$$I was recruited. So, I was approached by a head hunter, who told me about the opportunity. And, I, like a, you know, a good husband (laughter), I talked to my wife about it. And, next thing I know I met with some of the executives, some of his core team here. And, shortly after that, I flew to Los Angeles to meet with Mr. Combs directly. And, it was a fascinating meeting.$$All right. So, we were talking about the beginnings with Bad Boy Entertainment. And, so, you were recruited and--$$Yes. I was recruited by a head hunter. The head hunter arranged for me to meet with some of the senior executive here. My final meeting was with Mr. Combs, and it was a, it was a fascinating meeting. I mean, the interview, you know, he asked some of the best questions that I've ever been asked in an interview. And, he knew exactly what he was looking for and that kind of just struck me as, you know, you know, odd. Because a lot of the CEOs that I've worked with in the past, you know, they use the HR function one way or the other. But, you know, a lot of 'em don't really have an opinion, you know, here or there about, you know, it's an HR function as a necessary evil, whatever. But, he knew exactly what he wanted and knew exactly what kind of questions to ask, you know, to get the proper executive for his organization. So, that really, that was really, that was really interesting.$$What kind of questions did Diddy ask you that--?$$He asked me, he basically did, you the behavior format and asked me, okay, he would give me a situation and how would you respond to this situation. So, then he drilled down, and this way he found out about how I would deal with employee relations. He asked me questions that would, that were associated with how I vetted talent. He ask me questions on how I would work with other senior leaders on his team. And, he asked me about what type of technology one would need in order to centralize his HR function. So, the questions, were very good and, you know, a meeting that could've lasted a few minutes, probably lasted, you know, about forty-five minutes or more. Because, you know, the questions, you know, he really drilled down.

Linda Torrence

Television producer and public relations director Linda Torrence was born on November 23, 1944, and grew up in College Station, Arkansas. She graduated from Wrightsville High School in Wrightsville, Arkansas in 1962. Her father, Samuel Hudson, was the city’s first black police officer. Torrence attended Arkansas Baptist College and majored in business administration. She was the first black teller at the First National Bank in Little Rock from 1962 to 1967 and later managed the College Station Community Credit Union in 1972. Torrence was politically active after high school and was the first African American female to represent Arkansas at the Democratic Convention in 1972 as an officer of the Young Democrats Club. She also hosted a television talk show on ABC-TV in Little Rock.

Torrence worked in adult education at the Urban League in Rochester, New York, and in fundraising at CBS, WHEC-TV as Director of Public Affairs. Torrence served as assistant to the director in the Donor Resources Department of the American Red Cross in Portland, Oregon, and co-founded two companies, the Walker (Business) Institute and Belcher-Torrence, a human resource company. Both companies offered business development and marketing strategies to businesses in the Portland community. Torrence was vice president of marketing and communications for the Private Industry Council (PIC) and director of human resources for Rogers Cable Television, a subsidiary of Canada’s largest cable company. At Rogers Cable, Torrence was the host of the talk show, Women in Focus, which aired for three years.

Torrence joined the staff of WAGA-TV in 1990. In her position as director of community relations and public service, Torrence is the station’s liaison to the Atlanta community. Torrence manages FOX5’s sponsorships of non-profit organizations and serves as the point of contact for community related activities and issues. She is producer of The Georgia Gang, a weekly talk show of panelists who discuss Georgia politics, and directs the production of FOX5 Editorials.

Torrence serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Grady Hospital Foundation and Georgia Commission on Women. She is the recipient of numerous awards and citations and has been honored by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for her role in the development of the America’s Youth Passport. Torrence is a mother and grandmother. She resides in DeKalb County with her husband Joseph Phillips.

Accession Number

A2006.027

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/18/2006

Last Name

Torrence

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

College Station Elementary School

Wrightsville High School

Arkansas Baptist College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Linda

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

TOR01

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near Water

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/23/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Vegetables

Short Description

Human resources chief executive and public relations chief executive Linda Torrence (1944 - ) was the Director of Community Relations and Public Service for WAGA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the producer of, "The Georgia Gang," and directed the production of FOX5 Editorials.

Employment

First National Bank of Little Rock

College Station Community Credit Union

The Flint Spokeman

KGW-TV

WHEC-TV

American Red Cross Oregon Chapter

Belcher-Torrence

‘Women in Focus’

Rogers Cable

Portland Private Industry Council

WAGA-TV (Television station: Atlanta,Ga.)

'The Georgia Gang'

Favorite Color

Black, Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:11107,100:11552,106:12264,114:12976,123:18903,198:23721,290:29602,414:29930,419:33456,465:33784,470:35260,490:40030,518:40310,523:42340,567:47168,616:48608,643:53504,855:56384,908:60838,931:61666,941:64334,959:64774,965:66270,978:67590,997:68734,1013:72078,1068:77965,1101:78217,1106:79036,1128:79351,1134:79666,1140:81493,1173:82501,1209:82942,1217:84328,1260:84769,1278:87100,1335:87352,1340:91170,1357:96950,1487:97834,1512:101098,1592:101574,1597:102050,1605:103750,1651:111680,1724:111904,1729:112408,1739:112856,1748:113976,1770:114256,1776:119705,1831:121861,1884:123632,1946:129869,2051:130639,2062:132179,2090:132718,2099:140294,2184:141329,2193:141812,2202:142157,2208:142571,2213:143054,2222:143744,2233:144089,2239:144572,2247:144986,2255:145331,2261:146228,2281:147194,2289:147608,2296:147953,2302:157096,2354:157491,2360:158676,2379:159071,2385:165753,2464:166222,2472:166959,2487:167763,2502:168232,2511:168969,2524:169438,2533:170108,2544:172654,2587:173592,2605:174195,2617:174865,2628:178014,2699:178684,2710:183426,2740:185720,2802:187200,2833:195740,2943:196028,2948:196316,2953:200132,3032:204450,3065:208465,3144:212050,3208:214102,3248:216686,3297:217142,3305:217446,3310:218738,3331:220714,3380:221170,3401:221474,3406:229510,3496:229910,3502:233030,3575:236710,3630:237430,3663:238310,3703:239430,3746:239910,3753:241030,3771:255580,3944:256090,3952:257195,3968:257960,3983:258385,3989:259235,3998:260085,4009:260765,4018:264616,4047:269180,4100:270370,4117:271070,4126:271420,4132:271910,4141:272190,4146:273310,4165:274010,4176:275200,4194:276670,4226:276950,4231:279120,4275:279680,4285:294018,4480:297710,4495$213,0:1988,38:3692,71:11857,284:12212,290:12851,300:15407,368:16188,382:16898,393:24254,469:25660,487:26252,498:27732,518:32314,554:33772,577:34663,593:35392,605:37093,631:42920,662:44600,697:45400,711:46680,732:47720,756:54276,864:54660,871:56580,916:56836,921:57988,946:62242,995:62530,1000:63466,1015:64114,1029:64618,1038:65626,1061:66058,1069:66562,1079:67714,1100:68722,1119:77730,1184:78005,1190:78445,1199:81897,1219:82371,1226:84500,1241:84850,1247:85480,1257:86180,1265:86460,1271:87160,1282:87930,1296:89050,1302:90450,1338:90870,1345:94020,1417:95000,1434:95280,1439:96400,1494:98010,1559:108371,1671:114221,1747:114586,1753:114878,1758:115681,1777:118163,1821:126486,1924:127727,1957:128530,1970:128895,1976:129260,1982:145900,2290:161122,2452:161537,2458:162367,2471:164359,2496:164857,2503:165189,2508:175035,2615:177810,2689:178185,2695:183921,2816:185230,2822
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Linda Torrence's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Linda Torrence lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Linda Torrence describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Linda Torrence describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Linda Torrence describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lina Torrence describes her brother and maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Linda Torrence describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lina Torrence describes her siblings and maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Linda Torrence describes College Station, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lina Torrence remembers her early pastimes

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lina Torrence describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Linda Torrence remembers celebrating the holidays, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Linda Torrence describes the African American community of College Station, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Linda Torrence remembers her family's homes in College Station, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Linda Torrence describes her elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Linda Torrence remembers celebrating the holidays, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Linda Torrence describes her integrated neighborhood in College Station

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Linda Torrence describes her neighbors' occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Linda Torrence recalls visiting Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Linda Torrence remembers College Station Elementary School in College Station, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Linda Torrence describes her elementary school teachers and principal

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Linda Torrence recalls riding the bus to Wrightsville High School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Linda Torrence describes her activities at Wrightsville High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Linda Torrence remembers becoming pregnant in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Linda Torrence describes the sports teams at Wrightsville High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Linda Torrence recalls attending college and working while a single mother

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Linda Torrence recalls filing a racial discrimination lawsuit, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Linda Torrence recalls filing a racial discrimination lawsuit, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Linda Torrence recalls managing College Station Community Credit Union

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Linda Torrence recalls managing The Flint Spokesman newspaper in Flint, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Linda Torrence recalls earning a degree from Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Linda Torrence describes her introduction to the television broadcast industry

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Linda Torrence describes her involvement in the 1972 Democratic Convention

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Linda Torrence recalls being motivated by the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Linda Torrence remembers managing work, school and mothering

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Linda Torrence describes her public affairs work at WHEC-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Linda Torrence describes her early experiences of television and radio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Linda Torrence remembers moving to Portland, Oregon

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Linda Torrence remembers obtaining her position at KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Linda Torrence recalls the climate of Flint, Michigan and Rochester, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Linda Torrence recalls her work at KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Linda Torrence recalls serving on Portland Custodians' Civil Service Board

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Linda Torrence describes her community involvement in Portland, Oregon

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Linda Torrence describes the community of Portland, Oregon

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Linda Torrence recalls working for the American Red Cross in Portland, Oregon

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Linda Torrence reflects upon being a trailblazer

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Linda Torrence recalls founding the Belcher-Torrence consulting firm

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Linda Torrence describes her consulting firm, Belcher-Torrence

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Linda Torrence recalls becoming the human resources director of Rogers Cable Systems

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Linda Torrence remembers her talk show, 'Women in Focus'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Linda Torrence recalls joining the Portland Private Industry Council

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Linda Torrence describes her duties at the Portland Private Industry Council

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Linda Torrence describes her coworkers at the Portland Private Industry Council

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Linda Torrence recalls founding the Walker Institute organization

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Linda Torrence recalls moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Linda Torrence reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Linda Torrence describes her move to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Linda Torrence talks about her work at Atlanta's WAGA-TV station

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Linda Torrence describes her role as community relations director at WAGA-TV

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Linda Torrence describes her children

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Linda Torrence talks about her husband, Joseph Phillips

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Linda Torrence talks about The HistoryMakers project

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Linda Torrence talks about her religious faith

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Linda Torrence describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Linda Torrence narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Linda Torrence narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Linda Torrence narrates her photographs, pt. 3

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DATitle
Linda Torrence describes her involvement in the 1972 Democratic Convention
Linda Torrence remembers her talk show, 'Women in Focus'
Transcript
When I was in Little Rock [Arkansas], I was somewhat involved in politics. I, at one time, was the first African American woman to represent the State of Arkansas, if--well, I shouldn't say at one time, I was the first African American woman to represent the State of Arkansas in the 1972 Democratic Convention [1972 Democratic National Convention, Miami, Florida].$$All right, so how did that come about?$$I was very actively involved in, in--first of all, I was very active in the young Democrats club. And at the time that I got involved, I was the only African American person that was an officer of the young Democrats club. I was the secretary for the young Democrats club.$$Now, was this attached to the school [Arkansas Baptist College, Little Rock, Arkansas], or was this just in the city (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh, no, this was, no, this was, this was a political organization of young people involved in the political process. And the other people were, were not people of color, so I was very active with them. I also was active in my, in my community, in terms of trying to work with the community to bring about change. For example, I told you that there was a lot of violence in College Station [Arkansas]. I remember a group of people in College Station got together and they called the sheriff down to talk about all of the violence and the killings. And as a result of that then, you know, my name was in the newspaper, like along with some other folk that were involved. And that was really the beginning of my political process. And as I grew older and left College Station and moved to Little Rock, I was still politically active. And, in fact, at one time, believe it or not, I was very seriously thinking about running for the state legislature. And my attorney told me at the time, the same guy that represented me in the lawsuit, that he said, "Linda [HistoryMaker Linda Torrence], you may not be as effective as a single woman," because at the time, I was single. And, but I did go on to the '72 [1972] Democratic Convention representing the State of Arkansas, and had a tremendous experience. It was in Miami, Florida that year. And that was also the first year that the Democratic Party decided that it would change its rules to include people under thirty, blacks, and people, and women, so I fit all three categories. I was under thirty, I was African American, and I happened to be a female. And so, that's exactly what they were looking for in terms of getting more into the democratic process, as far as the, the convention was concerned. So, I went to the convention representing the State of Arkansas.$$So--$$And I'm sure the man at the television station, having known me from working in the bank [First National Bank], having been aware, especially being in the media, that I was involved in politics. I'm sure, probably from his perspective, I would have been a good candidate that they could take a chance on at this television station. So, I, I would guess that, that was part of what fueled his desire, or his interest in me, in terms of working in that, in that television station.$$Okay.$$And, oh, I, I guess the other part of it, I've always had a very outgoing personality, always been a people person all of my life, love people, love working, interacting with people. So, I'm sure he saw that. And, of course, when you're, when you're hosting a television show, you want somebody that has, that had personality, and I think that's what I had. And so, I would imagine that he was looking at those things.$$And then, you were groomed immaculately also, right? You said your [maternal] grandmother [Mattie Rembert Williamson] always had your hair done.$$Oh, yeah.$$You always kept your hair in place and, you know, done--$$Oh, yeah.$$--really nice and then you, you actually looked the part. I want to ask, did the, did your involvement in the young Democratic club help to bring about the changes in the rules that the Democratic National Convention had, as regard to blacks, women, and people under thirty?$$You know, I really can't say that. I think that was just something that the Democratic Party overall was looking at. And I'm sure there were probably similar clubs like the one that we formed in Arkansas and other states. And that is not to say that they didn't have an impact, but I can't say that our particular group had an impact. We were probably a part, a small part of a, of a, an entire process.$While I was there, one of the program directors, one of the producers, rather, came up to me one day because I had interviewed her for a job. And she said, she said, "Linda [HistoryMaker Linda Torrence], you do an excellent job of interviewing." She said, "I thought you asked some great questions when you were interviewing me for this job." She said, "I think we ought to do a television show, and have you host it." And I said, "Oh, really," I said--she said--I said, "I, I would like to do that." And so, she developed a show, and it was a show that was geared toward women. And the name of the show was 'Women in Focus' with Linda Torrence, and I did that show for about--I don't know, three or four years. I didn't get extra pay for it, but I just did it because I thought it would be a fun thing to do.$$Good for the resume, too.$$Absolutely. And I should tell you, one of the persons that I hired in that company was Dan Rather's daughter. Her name was Robin Rather. I have no idea where Robin is right now. I have not seen or heard from her since I left that station but, yeah, I hired Dan Rather's daughter. She was a producer.$$Oh, my, okay. I wanted to ask a quick question here. Was it about around this time that human resources started that, that was a name for, you know, that department in corporations, so before that, it was called something else.$$Personnel.$$Yes.$$No, it was still personnel at the time because my title was director of personnel.$$Okay, all right, 'cause it was what, during the--well, sometime afterwards that it became human, the human resource department? Okay (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right, right, right, exactly.$$Duties didn't change, but the name changed?$$Right, right.$$And I think that change was just to make it--well, make it appear or to have it more people-oriented?$$Um-hm, um-hm.$$Okay. Now, how long did the show run, you say, human, 'Women in Focus'?$$I think I did that show probably for about three years.$$And it was on the cable station--$$Um-hm.$$--that you, that you had?$$Um-hm.$$And what type of, it was 'Women in Focus,' but some of the photos we saw, we saw a lot of men on the show (laughter).$$Well, some of the shows that we did were men who had women bosses. I mean, how do you, how do you--we would ask, you know, part of the show would be--well, as a man, how do you feel reporting to a woman? One of the shows we did were women who were, who had their first child at age forty.$$Okay.$$You know, things like that.$$All right. And how long did you stay with--what was the name of the company? We just said a cable company (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) At the time, it was called Rogers Cable Systems.$$Okay. So, how long did you stay with Rogers (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) I think I was there for about six years.

Benaree P. Wiley

Benaree “Bennie” Pratt Wiley was born on May 13, 1946, in Washington, D.C. Her mother, Mildred Petticord Pratt, died when she was two years old, and her father, Carlisle Pratt, was an attorney and judge before his death in 1993. Wiley grew up in Washington, D.C., and was raised by her paternal grandmother Hazel and her aunt, Aimee Pratt. She is also the sister of Sharon Pratt Kelly, who served as the mayor of Washington, D.C. from 1991-1995.

Wiley attended the public schools of Washington and graduated from Howard University in 1968 with a B.A. degree in marketing. In July 1970, she married Fletcher “Flash” Wiley and a month later they moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she entered Harvard University’s Business School, graduating with an M.B.A. in 1972. After receiving her M.B.A., she served as a consultant with such corporations as Abt Associates, Contract Research Corporation and Urban Systems Research and Engineering. As an independent consultant, Wiley worked with non-profit organizations to build their capacity and refine their program delivery. She then combined her interests in business and child development with the establishment of a high-end toy store, Giocatolli, on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. During her time working as a consultant, her son, Pratt was born in 1976 and her daughter, B.J., in 1978.

In 1991, Wiley became the president and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., in Boston. The Partnership’s goal is to assist businesses in the Boston area to attract, retain and develop professionals of color, to increase the number of black professionals at all levels of leadership in the corporate sector of Boston and to help these professionals navigate the complex corporate structure of Boston. Under Wiley’s leadership, The Partnership became a major force in Boston’s corporate world, helping over 1,300 African Americans integrate themselves into the corporate community and stimulated more than 200 corporate partners to open doors for black professionals.

Wiley is highly active in the Boston community. She is a past chair of the directors of the Children’s Museum in Boston, a trustee of Boston College, and overseer of WGBH Educational Foundation, a director of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and a director of the Boston Foundation. As a former director of the Crispus Attucks Children’s Center, she and her husband were honored for their two decades of service with the dedication of a playground in their name at the Center. In 2003, Wiley was selected as one of Boston’s most powerful women by Boston Magazine.

Wiley retired from The Partnership, Inc., in 2005. She and her husband reside in Boston.

Accession Number

A2005.027

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/27/2005

Last Name

Wiley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Gage Elementary School

Lucretia Mott Elementary School

McFarland Junior High School

Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School

Harvard Business School

First Name

Benaree

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

WIL20

Favorite Season

Winter

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Go With Your Gut.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

5/13/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Human resources chief executive Benaree P. Wiley (1946 - ) was the founder and former CEO of The Partnership diversity consulting firm and was named one of Boston's most powerful women by Boston Magazine.

Employment

IBM

Abt Associates

Contract Research Corporation

Partnership, Inc.

Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Benaree Wiley interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Benaree Wiley's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Benaree Wiley talks about her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Benaree Wiley talks about her father, an attorney and judge in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Benaree Wiley remembers her grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Benaree Wiley talks about her father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Benaree Wiley recalls the death of her mother and her relationship with her sister

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Benaree Wiley describes her childhood neighborhood, LeDroit Park in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Benaree Wiley recalls a family celebration of the Brown v. Board decision

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Benaree Wiley discusses elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Benaree Wiley talks about her middle school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Benaree Wiley discusses her high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Benaree Wiley reflects on her participation in student protests at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Benaree Wiley tells of her studies at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Benaree Wiley recalls working in a "women's job" at IBM in the late 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Benaree Wiley talks about her decision to attend Harvard Business School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Benaree Wiley discusses her marriage to Fletcher Wiley, their move to Massachusetts and the culture shock they experienced

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Benaree Wiley remembers being a female minority at Harvard Business School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Benaree Wiley names her children and their birth dates

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Benaree Wiley explains her post-graduate school job with Abt Associates in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Benaree Wiley talks about working as a business consultant at several firms

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Benaree Wiley talks about owning a toy store, "a great family endeavor"

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Benaree Wiley explains her family's move to an African American neighborhood in Boston

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Benaree Wiley discusses her professional and civic careers

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Benaree Wiley tells of her sister Sharon Pratt Kelly's political career

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Benaree Wiley gives a history of The Partnership, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Benaree Wiley discusses her work as president and CEO of The Partnership, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Benaree Wiley explains The Partnership's Boston Fellows Program

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Benarree Wiley talks about Boston's progress in race relations since 1970

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Benaree Wiley explains how The Partnership, Inc. is connected to Boston's communities

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Benaree Wiley considers her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Benaree Wiley talks about future plans

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Benaree Wiley reflects on her life

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Benaree Wiley shares her hopes for the future of the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - How Benaree Wiley would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her husband, daughter and son, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, 2003

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her paternal grandmother, ca. 1948-1949

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her sister and father, Washington, D.C., 1954

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her sister, Sharon Pratt Kelly, 1949

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her sister, Sharon Pratt Kelly, ca. 1951

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her sister, Sharon Pratt Kelly, ca. 1954

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Benaree Wiley's kindergarten class photo, ca. 1951

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her sister and cousin, ca. 1950

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her friend and husband, Boston, Massachusetts, ca. 1975

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her husband, 'Flash' Wiley, at Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., 1971

Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her husband and the Welch family, Killington, Vermont, 1986

Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her nieces, daughter, aunt and sister, France, 1997

Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with Wayne Budd, Jackie Budd and Fletcher 'Flash' Wiley, ca. 1990-1991

Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with Leo Breitman, Ron Brown and Richard Taylor, ca. 1993-1994

Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Benaree Wiley at a Partnership, Inc. conference, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, ca. 1999

Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with Liz Walker and Bob Johnson, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, ca. 1999

Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with Carol Faulk and an unidentified man, and students, John Marshall Elementary School, Dorchester, Massachusetts, ca. 2000

Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with her husband, son and Governor Mitt Romney, 2003

Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with a Boston Fellows [Program] class, 2000

Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with Partnership conference participants, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, not dated

Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Benaree Wiley with Diane Patrick, David Thomas and Gail Snowden, Martha's Vineyard, not dated