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Patricia Miller Zollar

Management executive Patricia Miller Zollar was born on January 25, 1963 in Rockingham, North Carolina to Queen Esther Miller. She attended the T.W. Bennett Elementary School and Lilesville Middle School, before graduating from Anson Senior High School in Wadesboro, North Carolina. Zollar went on to earn her B.S. degree in accounting in 1984 from North Carolina A&T State University, and her M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School in 1989.

In 1975, Zollar got her first job picking peaches with Pee Dee Orchards in Lilesville, North Carolina, and was promoted to whole peach processing the following summer. After graduating from college in 1984, Zollar worked as a certified public accountant in Deloitte & Touche’s audit division in Dallas, Texas. In 1993, she joined Lehman Brothers as a trader in the fixed income division in New York City. Three years later, Zollar joined Goldman Sachs as vice president of the asset management division, before returning to Lehman Brothers as the co-head and cofounder of the Partnership Solutions Group in 2004. Zollar became a managing director of Lehman Brothers in 2007 and started the NorthBound Private Equity Partners platform. NorthBound Equity Partners’ private equity investments are focused on minority and female investors and their portfolio companies. In 2008, as a Founding Shareholder, Zollar helped Neuberger Berman, who was previously acquired by Lehman Brothers, to spin-off as an independent company. She is currently a leader in Neuberger Berman’s Private Equity business and serves as a member of its Global Investment Committee.

In 2004, Zollar became a member of the Executive Leadership Council in New York City. She served on the board of trustees of North Carolina A&T State University from 2007 to 2015, where she served a term as board vice-chair in 2011 and as chair in 2013. In 2010, Zollar joined the board of the National Association of Investment Companies, and the following year joined the board of The Apollo Theater. Zollar began to host the Big Ideas Conference at North Carolina A&T State University in 2016. In 2018, Zollar joined the Harvard Business School Alumni board. She is also a member of the Economic Club of New York and the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City.

Zollar and her husband, Al Zollar, have one child: Diana.

Patricia Zollar was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 23, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.199

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/23/2018

Last Name

Zollar

Maker Category
Middle Name

M.

Organizations
First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

Rockingham

HM ID

ZOL04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Vietnam

Favorite Quote

Never Let Others Define Who You Are.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/25/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Meatloaf

Short Description

Management executive Patricia Miller Zollar (1963- ) served as managing director of Neuberger Berman’s NorthBound Equity Partners platform.

Favorite Color

Green

Ed Fitzpatrick

Automobile sales entrepreneur Ed Fitzpatrick was born on April 7, 1942 in Elyria, Ohio to Benjamin Edward, Sr. and Mary Frances Fitzpatrick. He received his B.A degree in history from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in 1964.

Fitzpatrick began his career as a teacher in Cleveland, Detroit and New Jersey. He then transitioned to the automotive industry, serving as a dealer placement administrator for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A and the national dealer development manager for Mitsubishi Motors Sales of North America, Incorporated. Later, Fitzpatrick joined the Dodge Division of Chrysler Corporation as a management trainee. In 1989, he established the Fitzpatrick Dealer Group. In addition to owning the Puget Sound Chrysler-Plymouth and the Puget Sound Dodge in Renton, Washington, Fitzpatrick purchased the Valley Lexus dealership and a Toyota dealership in California in 1997. In 1998, he was appointed to the Toyota and Lexus Division National Dealership Council. Fitzpatrick established the Valley BMW dealership in Modesto, California in 2000, and sold his Puget Sound Chrysler-Plymouth and Puget Sound Dodge dealerships. In 2002, Fitzpatrick developed the Coliseum Lexus of Oakland as his flagship store and continued to serve as president of the Valley BMW dealership.

Fitzpatrick has received awards and accolades for his accomplishments in the automobile industry, including the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award from the Minorities in Business magazine and Quality Dealer of the Year Award from Time magazine. The Fitzpatrick Dealership Group was also named Auto Dealer of the Year by Black Enterprise in 2006. In 2009, the Fitzpatrick Dealership Group became the largest African American-owned dealership group in California. In 2015, Fitzpatrick honored with the David F. Mungenast Senior Lifetime Achievement Award from the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA). Fitzpatrick was elected chairman of the California Motor Car Dealers Association in 2005. He has also served as chairman of the National Association of Minority Auto Dealers (NAMAD) and the California New Car Dealers Association, in addition to serving as the founder and president of the Toyota/Lexus Minority Dealers Association.

Fitzpatrick and his wife, Bertha, have two adult children, Sean and Ryan.

Ed Fitzpatrick was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 6, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.065

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/6/2018

Last Name

Fitzpatrick

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Ed

Birth City, State, Country

Elyria

HM ID

FIT02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anyplace Warm

Favorite Quote

The People - In Business They Are The Measure Of Any Form Of Success,

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/7/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Automobile sales entrepreneur Ed Fitzpatrick (1942 - ) established Fitzpatrick Dealer Group in 1989, which included the Valley Lexus and Valley BMW dealerships in Modesto and the Coliseum Lexus of Oakland.

Favorite Color

Red

Matrice Ellis-Kirk

Management executive Matrice Ellis-Kirk was born on March 9, 1961 in Cleveland, Ohio. She earned her B.A. degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1982.

Ellis-Kirk began her career as an officer in commercial banking at MBank in Dallas, Texas. In 1987, she became the director of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Office of Management and Budget, and remained in that position until 1993. Ellis-Kirk then joined Apex Securities as vice president and office manager until 1995, when she began serving as a consultant with Spencer Stuart. In 1999, Ellis-Kirk was hired by Heidick & Struggles International, Inc. and later became a managing partner at the firm. She joined RSR Partners in 2014 as the managing director.

Ellis-Kirk received the Spirit of the Centennial Award from the City of Fair Park, Texas in 2001. She was also the recipient of the Dallas Historical Society’s Jubilee History Makers Award in 2015. The following year, Ellis-Kirk was named to D Magazine’s “Dallas 500” list.

Ellis-Kirk served as a board member for many organizations, including for the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, The Woman’s Museum, the Dallas Symphony Association, and North Texas Tollway Authority. She also served on the board of directors for ACE Cash Express, on the Executive Committee for the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation, on the executive board for Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, and on the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Visitors. She was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Women’s Empowerment, a member of the advisory board for the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a trustee for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Foundation, a member of the Dallas chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors, and chairwoman for the AT&T Performing Arts Center. In 2013, Ellis-Kirk was appointed to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships by President Barack Obama.

Ellis-Kirk and her husband, Ron, have two children, Elizabeth and Catherine

Matrice Ellis-Kirk was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.071

Sex

Female

Interview Date

03/16/2017

Last Name

Kirk

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

John W. Raper Elementary School

Lulu Diehl Junior High School

East Technical High School

University of Pennsylvania

Mount Greylock Regional High School

First Name

Matrice

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

ELL07

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Life Is Choices, You Have A Choice Every Day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

3/9/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard greens

Short Description

Management executive Matrice Ellis-Kirk (1961 - ) served as an investment banker with Apex Securities for several years before becoming an executive search agent with RSR Partners. Ellis-Kirk also served as the first African American first lady of Dallas, Texas.

Employment

Mercantile National Bank

Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Apex Securities

Spencer Stuart

Heidrick and Struggles International Inc.

RSR Partners

Favorite Color

Black

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Matrice Ellis-Kirk's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her mother's family background pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls how her parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her likeness to her paternal great grandmother and grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls briefly living with her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her father's early death

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers advocating for sensible dress codes in schools

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers the Friendly Town initiative in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls the popularization of the term L7

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her educational aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her early interest in investment banking

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her friends at Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about her mentors at Mount Greylock Regional High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her return to Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls her decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers playing sports at Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls her activities at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about her early interest in the arts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about the challenges facing first time African American mayors

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls her decision to move to Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers working for Mercantile National Bank in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her early community involvement in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls joining Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers marrying Ron Kirk

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about working at Apex Securities

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her husband's decision to run for mayor of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her husband's first mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls her husband's election as mayor of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes the mayor's reading program

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about Texas Governor Ann Richards

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes Texas' political structure, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes Texas' political structure, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls becoming an executive recruiter

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her duties as first lady of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her husband's senate run

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her board involvements

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about her role in Barack Obama's presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls serving on the President's Commission on White House Fellowships

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers working at RSR Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about the value of civic involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$5

DATitle
Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her early interest in investment banking
Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her husband's decision to run for mayor of Dallas, Texas
Transcript
And my dream was, when I was eight years old I wanted to be an investment banker. So my [paternal] grandmother [Lillian Miller Bowden (ph.)] had talked about it. I first thought I wanted to be a nurse and then I saw blood and I passed--almost passed out so that, that went by the wayside before I was even eight years old.$$Now there aren't many youth that come up with the idea that they want to be an investment banker. So how did you--did you ha- did you know somebody who was an investment banker (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) So grandmother ran the dry cleaning business. So she got The Wall Street Journal and the newspaper, I later learned that she had it and was looking at the stock market because that's how they figured out what the numbers were. But she would help me look at the names of companies and we would look at the New York Stock Exchange [New York, New York] and I would learn what the tickers were of those companies. So then I started reading and started asking questions what's capital, what's equity and so she would have me pull up my World Book Encyclopedia and we would talk about it and I started reading it and just would read about an investment banker. I said, "That's what I want to be--that's what I want to be." So I was reading The Wall Street Journal and that's how I made that decision. Her belief was that, well if they're in The Wall Street Journal they are doing something right. Their names are on buildings. And so it was Morgan Stanley [Morgan Stanley Wealth Management] and places like that, Manufacturers Hanover [Manufacturers Hanover Corporation] you know, all of the names of the banks from way back when, National City Bank [First National City Bank; Citibank, N.A.]. So in the summer I would go and do summer internships through the city 'cause they had these little paid internships for inner city kids and you could work at the banks. So I would work at the bank and clip coupons, J and L Steel [Jones and Laughlin Steel Company] coupons. But I just knew that I wanted to be an investment banker. I wasn't really sure exactly what it was but then over time--by the time I was in the seventh grade I knew what an investment banker was so and that's really what I wanted to do.$$You knew they were around a lot of money and had money.$$I knew they made money yeah exactly. And you know, I didn't--I was good in school so when I was good in math and science and everything I read said that's what you could do with math and science so that was what was interesting. Then when I went off to high school [Mount Greylock Regional high School, Williamstown, Massachusetts], you know I had teacher who I would tell him I really wanted to go to a school that was good in math and science. He says, "Well you want to go to the University of Pennsylvania [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] that's where, that's where really--people that are good in math and science that's where they go."$So that--that was for two years. But what--did the company [Apex Securities, Dallas, Texas] do--(unclear) (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) The company was doing great.$$Okay.$$I was doing everything that I wanted to do and then my husband [HistoryMaker Ron Kirk] came home and told me he wanted to run for mayor. And, and so I just started crying (laughter) because first anybody in politics that we knew, they had a dysfunctional family. So I was like ugh, I've got two kids [Elizabeth Alexandra Kirk and Catherine Ellis Kirk], we were happy, it's a great family situation, I loved my husband, we have fun together. You know, but everything you've read in politics either the husband was cheating or it was dysfunctional; I was like oh my Lord look at what I've gotten myself into on one aspect of it. And on the other side of it was I'm finally doing everything that I want to do from a career standpoint. I've dreamed since I was eight years old and if you become mayor and you win this thing, I'm going to have to quit because the business did business with entities around or affiliated with the city. It's not just the city, but then the city had a piece of the ownership of DFW Airports [Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas], so you can't do work there. The city had pieces to do with water utilities and other markets, you can't do anything. So my company was going to basically have to say I love you but I'm going to miss you because otherwise they could not participate in all those types of revenue opportunities. And that just, that was not good business and it didn't make business sense. So he runs--$$And now, did you see this coming at all that he might--was he that kind of--was he popular like that then (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yes, a little bit. So I kind of knew what I was getting. I kind of knew what I was getting. I can't fain complete ignorance as much as I would like to. When we were in our session with our minister when we were getting married in '86 [1986] he says, "One of the things one should do is talk about yourself aspirationally so that you can see if you can even grow together." Mine was I wanted to be a billionaire philanthropic donor to the arts and education. I wanted to be Alice Walton redux and he wanted to be mayor. So yes I kind of knew what I was getting.$$Okay. All right. So, so you quit your job--this is your favorite job and you quit it basically to help your husband run (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So that he could, so that he could--yeah absolutely. And it was the right thing to do because he was the right person. I mean, you know, one of the things my [paternal] grandmother [Lilian Miller Bowden (ph.)] always said when we were young was that if you have--that you have to give back and you have to find a way to do it in a way that's going to bring people along with you. So you can't, you you can't--my grandmother was completely against people who wanted to be the only ones. It was if you get something you have to bring people along with you. You cannot do this by yourself. And him being mayor--I too would have the highest impact by him being in that role. It would long term serve everyone well because you would be able to use that bully pulpit to further all of the things that you're talking about. And you know we had conversations in our house always about what can we do to bring along the next generation. What can you do to create wealth in these various communities so that they can have the resources to accomplish their goals and what can you do to impact education. The city, the city here--government does not impact the school district. There's two different elections but you have a bully pulpit by which you can talk about the importance of education, the importance of investing in ensuring kids not to drop out, the importance of nutrition and getting a meal, the importance of early childhood education, the importance of families being together at mealtime, the importance of kids having afterschool study and tutoring and the importance of their ability to serve others so that they understand what service looks like. So you have the pulpit to do all of those things that here you are as one person trying to impact in a community. So it was the right thing to do and I had to give up my job for it. I could always go back after he was done was the way I looked at it. But I was too young to have a mindset that I couldn't.$$Okay (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Plus the fact you, in my house you can't say you can't do anything. That's just, that's blasphemy if you say, "I can't," that, that--you get excommunicated (laughter).

Michelle Gadsden-Williams

Management executive Michelle Gadsden-Williams was born on May 21, 1969. She graduated summa cum laude with her B.S. degree in marketing and her B.A. degree in communications from Kean College in 1990. Gadsden-Williams later enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with honors with her M.S. degree in organizational dynamics in 2006.

Gadsden-Williams served as a diversity practitioner for more than twenty years in pharmaceutical and financial services. She held positions of increasing responsibility in the diversity management and staffing functions at Merck & Company, Inc., including as senior university relations and diversity consultant, future-talent program and diversity manager, and manager of diversity programs. Gadsden-Williams also held positions in the human resources division and in product management at Philips-Van Heusen Corporation and Wakefern Food Corporation in New Jersey. In 2006, Gadsden-Williams became the first African American executive director of diversity and inclusion at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. She was later appointed as managing director and global head of diversity and inclusion and as a member of the Talent, Branding and Communications Management Committee at Credit Suisse AG based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Gadsden-Williams was appointed as a member of the Global Advisory Council on Values for the World Economic Forum, and as a board member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a board member of the SLE Lupus Foundation in New York City, and an executive committee Member of the Women’s Leadership Board of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Gadsden-Williams has been profiled in Black Enterprise Magazine, Diversity Executive, Ebony, Essence, Fortune, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Gadsden-Williams is the recipient of a number of community service awards and accolades for her work as a diversity practitioner. She received Novartis’ Scientific Operations Business Excellence Award in 2004 and its Human Resources Excellence Award in 2003. In 2005, she was honored at the YWCA of Central New Jersey’s Tribute to Women in Industry Gala. She was the 2010 recipient of the Maya Way Award for Diversity Leadership from Dr. Maya Angelou, and has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree from Kean University.

Michelle Gadsden-Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 13, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.185

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/13/2013

Last Name

Gadsden-Williams

Maker Category
Schools

University of Pennsylvania

Kean University

James Madison Primary School

James Madison Intermediate School

John P. Stevens High School

Fashion Institute of Technology

First Name

Michelle

HM ID

GAD02

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe

Favorite Quote

To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/21/1969

Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Management executive Michelle Gadsden-Williams (1969 - ) was the first African American executive director of diversity and inclusion at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Employment

Credit Suisse Group AG

Merck & Co.

Phillips Van Heusen

Wakefern Food Corporation

Novartis AG

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:2214,39:3526,72:4264,82:5658,102:6314,111:9026,123:9756,136:10413,148:11873,201:12457,210:13114,222:14793,257:15377,267:21801,373:22166,379:26952,395:27700,407:28040,414:28380,420:28652,425:28924,430:30352,452:32120,486:33004,500:33752,511:36336,558:36608,563:37016,570:39056,617:39600,626:40212,637:42252,724:42728,733:43272,742:47650,747:47906,752:48226,758:48738,768:48994,773:50530,781:51443,795:57556,975:62638,1136:63100,1144:63694,1158:65938,1200:66268,1206:66532,1211:67390,1225:68974,1252:69832,1267:70360,1279:71152,1294:71482,1300:71878,1309:72274,1319:72802,1328:80200,1379:83400,1453:87960,1531:88440,1539:90440,1582:90920,1590:101289,1741:103185,1768:108478,1897:109189,1907:113455,1978:115825,2035:128038,2147:130962,2191:131650,2201:133456,2230:134058,2238:137530,2254:141982,2293:144309,2306:144674,2312:145769,2327:149722,2351:150574,2364:154337,2447:156254,2481:156609,2487:157248,2499:157532,2504:161650,2584:167899,2619:168723,2628:169547,2654:180940,2796:183678,2849:184344,2859:184640,2864:184936,2869:189530,2953:198669,3159:210490,3322:211064,3336:211556,3344:213770,3375:214672,3393:216312,3414:216886,3422:218444,3444:228560,3576:228856,3581:229300,3589:230114,3602:231520,3631:233518,3655:234332,3671:235664,3694:236552,3709:237144,3719:239068,3759:239808,3770:240104,3775:243170,3783:243632,3791:245414,3824:246008,3834:246734,3845:247130,3852:247592,3861:248318,3877:248582,3882:248978,3890:249506,3899:249770,3904:253080,3944$0,0:790,14:1106,19:5056,82:5530,90:6399,115:7031,124:7742,135:9322,164:10981,195:11534,203:13272,237:13588,242:13904,247:21045,361:21693,370:24285,418:24933,428:25500,437:25986,445:26310,450:36594,558:39178,610:39790,622:40810,640:41762,655:42034,660:45162,725:50108,773:51010,786:53060,818:54208,833:54864,871:55848,887:62162,1024:62900,1034:63720,1045:65770,1079:68804,1124:69296,1131:70444,1147:78992,1160:80004,1174:80464,1180:81660,1197:82120,1205:85064,1247:85708,1259:88652,1301:89388,1310:89940,1317:93068,1361:93896,1371:94724,1382:98588,1471:99232,1479:99968,1488:100612,1495:102728,1523:103556,1533:105028,1552:108770,1604:109330,1612:110450,1640:111410,1653:112290,1667:112610,1672:112930,1677:113570,1686:115490,1726:115970,1734:119330,1821:120050,1832:120450,1838:121010,1846:129296,1943:129712,1948:130128,1953:130544,1958:134740,1993:135550,2004:138880,2044:139330,2050:139960,2058:140680,2068:141940,2099:142480,2107:142930,2113:143650,2122:146560,2145:149552,2239:150980,2272:151320,2278:152680,2306:153224,2315:153496,2320:153904,2327:154176,2332:157100,2392:157508,2399:160024,2447:160704,2459:161112,2466:161452,2472:168748,2559:169252,2567:169540,2572:170404,2587:170692,2592:171052,2598:171772,2617:172060,2622:173068,2643:173572,2654:174292,2666:175012,2677:176236,2702:176884,2714:181944,2765:182676,2780:183286,2792:184689,2834:184933,2839:185848,2856:186153,2862:186397,2867:186946,2883:187434,2892:187678,2900:188471,2915:191155,2998:191826,3010:193107,3039:193473,3046:195730,3101:195974,3106:199565,3127:199865,3132:200240,3138:201140,3168:203315,3200:204440,3227:205115,3237:206015,3254:206390,3260:207215,3274:207965,3286:210140,3344:210665,3353:212540,3385:221400,3463:222300,3509:223575,3530:224250,3540:225225,3557:227630,3572
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Michelle Gadsden-Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her Gullah ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams talks about her paternal grandmother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers her early household

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her neighborhood in Edison, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers a typical day in her early household

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her early religious experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers her early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her extracurricular activities at John P. Stevens High School in Edison, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her social life in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers her childhood idols

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her experience at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams talks about her influences in college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers her first retail positions

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams talks about her management training program at Wakefern Food Corporation

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls developing a diversity program at Wakefern Food Corporation

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers joining Merck and Co., Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls meeting her husband, David Williams, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls meeting her husband, David Williams, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her roles at Merck and Co., Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls joining Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams talks about her mentors at Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her accomplishments at Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers being recruited to Credit Suisse Group AG

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her diversity work at Credit Suisse Group AG

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams shares her future plans at Credit Suisse Group AG

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams reflects upon her legacy in Corporate America

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams reflects upon the future of diversity work

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams talks about African American representation in diversity outreach

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her diagnosis with systemic lupus erythematosus

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her husband's support through her illness

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband describes how they met

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband talks about his family background

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband recalls his career at AT&T Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband talks about his support of his wife's career

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband recalls changing his career aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband reflects upon his marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband talks about having a support system while working in Corporate America

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls developing a diversity program at Wakefern Food Corporation
Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her diversity work at Credit Suisse Group AG
Transcript
And by the time you leave what is your position (unclear)?$$Well once I graduated from the Leaders in Training program, he offered me a role in his function in HR [human resources]. I could have gone anywhere else in the organization and I told him that I wanted to work for him and no one else. So I was a HR administrator once I graduated.$$Okay.$$I then talked to him about diversity as an opportunity that I think that most companies who want to really distinguish themselves and differentiate themselves that they do this affirmative action diversity work really well and that we should consider having such a function within the company. He said to me, "Michelle [HistoryMaker Michelle Gadsden-Williams] if you can create a business case that makes sense for this company maybe you can create a new job for yourself." And I said, "Okay," so I went to IBM [International Business Machines Corporation] and visited with Ted Childs [HistoryMaker Ted Childs, Jr.] and I went to PepsiCo and I visited with the head of diversity there. I went to Texaco [Texaco, Inc.] and I visited with Ed Gadsden [Edward N. Gadsden, Jr.] who is a distant cousin. So I made my way around to different companies doing some investigative reporting, so to speak, to really build a case for my company. Long story short, I built the business case. Ernie [Ernie Bell] helped me to package the presentation that I was going--he was going to allow me to present to the executive committee. I presented that information to the committee and I was able to create a job for myself once they said yes this is what we want to do. They then--Ernie said to me, "So Michelle do you want the job?" And I said, "Absolutely, yes." So that's when I entered into the diversity arena.$$Okay. So what did you learn about those other programs and you know, you mentioned Ted Childs--$$Yeah.$$--and he's very well known in the corporate community. I saw that you count him as one of your mentors.$$Yes.$$So what are you learning when you're seeing these different programs and did you see things--one what you're learning; and two did you see things that you thought were not good programs?$$Well, being a novice at the time, not necessarily understanding or knowing what good was. When I met with Ted what I saw was the power of the human condition, the power of influencing an organization that did well without diversity practice that then embraced it and then turned the corner and did even better. I, I think that IBM at that time was one of the frontrunners in the diversity space. So that was one of my first interviews, so to speak. So everyone else had similar types of programs but not to the degree to which what IBM was doing. So I saw, from my perspective not understanding what good looked like, it looked like everyone else was doing well at it. These were companies that were clients of Wakefern [Wakefern Food Corporation, Keasbey, New Jersey]; we used their products. So I said if our clients are using them in doing this (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Then we should do something like this.$$Then we should do something like this.$$So how long did it take to get the diversity program?$$Six months.$$Okay, and so what did you accomplish with the program and how much of a pipeline were you able to initiate?$$Well given that we were so embryonic at it, init- what we wanted to address first was increasing diverse representation in the company. So we wanted to hire diverse individuals so that's one of the things that we did first. So in I'd say the first year, we were able to increase our pipeline, I'd say maybe by 6 percent and we utilized that Leaders in Training programs as a pipeline to do that. So children, not children--students out of university were able to recruit individuals of diverse profiling utilizing that as an entree into the company. So we were able to leverage that program to bring in diverse individuals.$What had they been doing in the diversity space?$$Not a lot, just the traditional type of work. They had employee research groups who were putting on these events around theme months like Black History Month and Women's History Month. They were doing a lot in the GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender] community. They were doing a lot for women but for everyone else, not a whole lot going on. So they really wanted to turn the corner, they really wanted to go from good to great and they asked me if I would help them and I said yes.$$So you're in human resources.$$I am in human resources.$$Okay so what is the structure and how does it differ from what you did before and what have you been able to do in the two years and what are your plans?$$In terms of the structure, I work in the talent branding and communications division [at Credit Suisse Group AG], which is led by Pamela Thomas-Graham. So HR is part of the talent umbrella within TB&C [Talent, Branding and Centre of Excellence]. I sit on the human resources management committee which is the leadership committee for HR and I report to the head of talent development and strategy. I have a fairly small organization. I have in total there's thirteen of us globally who work in the diversity function. We are a forty-eight thousand person organization and we are in about thirty-six countries around the world. So it's a far cry from what I came from [at Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG]. A two hundred thousand person organization in two hundred countries versus forty-eight thousand in thirty-six. So for me less can be more because it's a very--it's a smaller organization where you can have more intimate conversations and dialogue and make the kind of impact that you want to make in a shorter amount of time because you're not travelling around the world fifteen times in order to meet everyone and to meet the leadership team and thus and so. So in terms of what I've been able to do are several things. To design the diversity 2.0 strategy, so they've done great work up until the time that I entered. It's now time to start thinking about diversity in the context of the business because we're talking about a Wall Street firm. These guys have been successful without diversity all these years, so why now? So it's starting from having that conversation, why they need to embrace it. The clients are asking about it. I spend a lot of my time speaking to clients and asking their questions. They want to know, "So what are you doing on the diversity front?" So the bankers will bring me in to talk about that. You know, I just think that this is a firm who's starting to understand that if they don't do it what is the consequence, that they won't be competitive. So I think they are starting to understand that a lot better and they are also starting to wrap their arms around the true business case in understanding, look if you don't treat your talent well, if you're not inclusive, if you have any unconscious bias in your decision making around promotions and hiring and all that, no one is going to work here. There are too many other firms out on the street--Wall Street and people have too many choices so we've got to do something different. So I think that they are starting to understand that a lot better.$$So what is your budget and what are your plans then? So you talked about the need.$$Yeah$$Um-hm.$$Budget--total budget I'd say it's minimal--six million [dollars].$$Um-hm.$$And that includes salaries and all the operating costs and all of that to run it.

Sharon Gist Gilliam

Sharon Gist Gilliam was born on August 24, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois. The youngest of three siblings, Gilliam, was raised in the Chicago neighborhoods of West Chesterfield and Lawndale. Gilliam’s parents, Mr. Arthur C. Gist and Vivian M. Gist, were small business owners. She attended Burnside Elementary School, and graduated from St. Mary High School in 1961. In 1965, she received her B.A. degree in history at Mundelein College. Gilliam also completed coursework in the graduate department of Public Management at DePaul University. Gilliam then became a history teacher from 1965 to 1968 in the Chicago Public School System.

Gilliam worked with the City of Chicago’s Committee on Urban Opportunity in 1968 as a social planner for the poverty program. Between the years of 1973 and 1979, Gilliam became Assistant Budget Director Commissioner of Consumer Services for the City of Chicago. She then moved to Washington, D.C. and became assistant budget director for the local city government. In 1983, Gilliam relocated back to Chicago and worked as the Budget Director/Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the City of Chicago under then Mayor Harold Washington. As COO, Gilliam was responsible for policy implementation and an operating budget of $4 billion. In 1989, Gilliam received the Marks of Excellence Award from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.

In 1989, Gilliam also became the executive vice president of the management consulting firm of Unison-Maximus. In 1999, Mayor Richard Daley appointed Gilliam to serve as the commissioner and chairperson of the Chicago Housing Authority until July 2009.

Today, Gilliam is principal at UCG Associates, a management consulting firm. She is Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Housing Authority and serves as a board member for several organizations including Mundelein College; Illinois State Board of Education; Chicago Board of Education; and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Accession Number

A2006.034

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/8/2006

Last Name

Gilliam

Maker Category
Middle Name

Gist

Schools

St. Mary High School

Burnside Elementary Scholastic Academy

William Cullen Bryant School

Mundelein College

First Name

Sharon

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

GIL04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

And This Too Shall Pass.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/24/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream, Potatoes (Mashed)

Short Description

Management executive and city government appointee Sharon Gist Gilliam (1943 - ) is the former budget director for the City of Chicago and Chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority.

Employment

Farragut High School

Chicago Committee on Urban Opportunities

Model Cities Chicago

City of Chicago

City of Washington, D.C.

Unison-Maximus

Favorite Color

Pink, Rose

Timing Pairs
0,0:9152,124:9568,129:15394,154:15868,162:16895,174:17290,180:18238,198:21330,246:21798,255:22812,272:24216,309:24528,314:24918,320:31080,464:32952,527:35760,571:37086,585:37398,590:38022,600:44482,622:46406,657:46850,664:47590,676:48182,693:48478,698:54488,738:69308,972:69740,980:73248,1005:73815,1016:74130,1022:76083,1070:80765,1148:84248,1208:85058,1221:87245,1264:88541,1288:88865,1293:89675,1304:96915,1370:100592,1435:102840,1459:103330,1467:103890,1478:104380,1486:106252,1509:106888,1517:108372,1533:115377,1696:133352,1826:135138,1845:135796,1854:136548,1863:138280,1870$0,0:780,5:7699,67:11615,130:12327,139:13039,144:13484,150:16421,192:20938,224:21532,231:22225,240:23611,261:30305,358:30825,368:31670,383:32320,395:42618,501:49242,586:49606,591:50061,597:56345,718:57105,727:57580,733:57960,738:59385,759:60240,776:64879,812:65211,817:68780,879:69278,886:69610,891:71270,916:72266,929:73096,941:83336,1066:84016,1078:84424,1085:86532,1143:87076,1153:87348,1158:88028,1171:89864,1209:95340,1275:98560,1340:100170,1366:100590,1373:101080,1381:105280,1461:106050,1474:107030,1490:114142,1537:114688,1546:117730,1567:118258,1574:119182,1589:119578,1596:123627,1634:128199,1676:129225,1696:129681,1706:129909,1711:130422,1723:130707,1729:131106,1738:131391,1744:132360,1765:132759,1773:133215,1783:133443,1788:139280,1824:139655,1830:147888,1932:152120,1956:152416,1961:155006,2033:155598,2042:156930,2063:159510,2072:160026,2077:160542,2082:164753,2142:165148,2149:165622,2156:166254,2165:167992,2195:168466,2207:169019,2215:174672,2293:175342,2305:176749,2326:177620,2341:182158,2381:185692,2431:192667,2530:193132,2536:194062,2549:198480,2557:198812,2562:200555,2585:200887,2590:205535,2664:206199,2673:211214,2705:214716,2743:216158,2758:220865,2796:224581,2832:225117,2841:226390,2874:231620,2968
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Sharon Gist Gilliam narrates her photographs

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Sharon Gist Gilliam's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sharon Gist Gilliam lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her maternal grandmother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her maternal grandfather's family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her father's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls her father and uncle's tax strategy

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her parents' college experience

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her parents and her likeness to her father

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers West Chesterfield in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her parents' move to West Chesterfield in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes the history of her neighborhood in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers moving into her father's store

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls her father's decision to purchase a tavern

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls working in her father's store

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls her childhood experiences with white people

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls schools she attended

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls transferring to St. Mary High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes St. Mary High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls her decision to attend Chicago's Mundelein College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes Mundelein College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers taking on a second job during college

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls becoming a certified teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes the demographics of Farragut High School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers becoming an urban life advisor

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls her work for the Committee on Urban Opportunity

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes the Chicago Committee on Urban Opportunity

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers the 1968 Chicago riots

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls teaching night school

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes the Model Cities program

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sharon Gist Gilliam explains how Erwin France used the Hatch Act to avoid Chicago politics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls joining the Chicago city budget office

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remember Mayor Richard J. Daley's death

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls becoming acting commissioner of consumer sales, weights and measures, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls becoming acting commissioner of consumer sales, weights, and measures, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sharon Gist Gilliam explains what she learned as assistant budget director

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her role as assistant budget director

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers working for Marian Barry in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her complaints about working in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls what she learned in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Sharon Gist Gilliam compares the governments of Washington, D.C. and Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls her return to the Chicago city government

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls the Chicago council wars

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her coworkers in Chicago's mayoral office

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls overhauling the Chicago budget with David F. Schultz

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers becoming Chicago's budget director

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers working for Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers pushing for a mandatory retirement age

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls why she enjoyed serving as budget director

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers the challenges she faced as budget director

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers the death of Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her job as Chicago's chief operating officer

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls the fallout from Steve Cokely's anti-Semitic remarks

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes the changes she made to Chicago's budget

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Sharon Gist Gilliam remembers Mayor Eugene Sawyer

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls leaving the public sector

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her consulting firm, Unison-Maximus, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls milestones at Unison-Maximus, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes the strengths of Unison-Maximus, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Sharon Gist Gilliam lists her appointments to civic boards

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls serving on the Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls serving on the Illinois State Board of Education

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes the Chicago Housing Authority's history, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes the Chicago Housing Authority's history, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Sharon Gist Gilliam talks about the Chicago Housing Authority's agreement to improve public housing

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her goals for the Chicago Housing Authority

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes the state of Chicago's public housing

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Sharon Gist Gilliam lists her activities in the public and private sectors

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Sharon Gist Gilliam lists the board memberships she enjoys most

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Sharon Gist Gilliam describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Sharon Gist Gilliam reflects upon her personality

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Sharon Gist Gilliam reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Sharon Gist Gilliam reflects upon her family's expectations

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls working in her father's store
Sharon Gist Gilliam recalls her work for the Committee on Urban Opportunity
Transcript
You know and I grew up working in a grocery store you know, as a little kid you stocked the lower shelves. Back in the day when there, when soda pop was sold in bottles all those bottles had to be sorted when they came, when people brought them back for their deposits. Well as a little kid that was one of your first jobs, was sorting pop bottles into the correct shelves. You know the Coke [Coca-Cola] bottles gotta go on the Coke shelves so they can go back with the Coke man and the Pepsi [Pepsi-Cola; Pepsi] and all of that so you know as kids that's what we did until you got tall enough to reach the counter and then you could add stuff up on the adding machine and learn to use the cash register and you know, so there was any number of little activities to keep us, and we didn't know, me and my sisters [Myra Gist and Vivian Gist Spencer], we didn't know from hanging out. You know there was work to be done (laughter) in the businesses and all of us at one time or another worked in one or another of those businesses. Now once they went into the tavern business you couldn't work there 'cause you were too young you know under the liquor licensing laws so but most of the time growing up he always had a grocery and package liquor where you could work and--I mean it was good experience because I mean because you were family. Yeah you may have been a teenager but if he or my mother [Vivian Montgomery Gist] weren't there you may have been fifteen years old, sixteen years old, you were in charge, responsible and accountable for that store. You supervised whatever employee who was there, you may have been fifteen and they were forty-five but I mean it was up to you to see that they were there, they were doing what they were supposed to be doing. You were the one who took in any deliveries, reviewed those invoices and paid the delivery person.$Good Lord but what we did as an urban life advisor, what I did was interviewed folks who were having trouble--whatever their life troubles were which typically at the time--there were--at one point I thought that surely the entire State of Mississippi had been depopulated, because all of those people were on the West Side [Chicago, Illinois], half of them living in their cars and looking for work (laughter), but you could come to an urban progress center and you could apply--they were co-located there, CCDPA, the old Cook County Department of Public Aid, which--whose job has now been taken over by the Illinois Department of Public Aid [Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services]. You had--the job training folks were there, they were all here in this one building. So you could come in and make application for all of these services, you know it's--current people talk about oh, let's do these multiservice centers and there are no new ideas, you know. Been there, done that so people came in and they saw us urban life advisors when they had various and sundry problems. They couldn't get their kids in a school, they needed to know where to get this, that or other kind of help, you know we had our handy Blue Book [Social Service Directory] there, which was put out by the Welfare Council of Metropolitan Chicago which listed every single social service known to man, because remember there is no Internet yet (laughter), so you, you actually had directories and things, and you dealt with CCDPA, the--because that was back in the day when people actually had a social worker, a case worker who figured out their grant amount based on you know what their rent was, the number of kids they had, a whole bunch of other things. So you were forever having to deal with CCDPA to advocate on behalf of these people and try and straighten out stuff that case workers had either had not done or screwed up, help people get food stamps, deal with the CHA [Chicago Housing Authority] you know I mean there-- it was actually possible then to get housing, deal with that and what we were is--even though we didn't necessarily have a social services background, what you had were people with college degrees, who could go through all these directories and figure out how to get through the bureaucracy. I mean that's what we could do and that's what we did and you know. I happened to share an office with a girl, Karen Ivy [ph.] who had worked for CCDPA and she, she taught me you know (laughter) really how you dealt with and got through that bureaucracy to try and help people get you know what at the time you believed they were entitled to. Remember this is the '60s [1960s], we're children of the '60s [1960s] with the mentality that folks here, the government, folks are entitled to all of this service and somebody ought to beat on the head of the government and make them provide it, you know (laughter), give these people their food stamps.