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Genelle Trader

Corporate executive Genelle Trader was born on February 21, 1952 in Wilmington, Delaware to Marion Bishop Trader and Purnell Trader. She graduated from Tower Hill School, where she was the first African American student to attend the school. Trader went on to receive her B.S. degree in mathematics, cum laude, from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts and her M.S. degree in management with an emphasis in management information systems and finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management in 1980.

From 1980 to 1982, Trader worked as a marketing representative at the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). In 1982, she became a senior product manager at Wang Laboratories, where she managed the company’s line of minicomputers and one of the industry’s first voice mail servers. After a brief stint as the product area manager at Computer Sciences Corporation in 1985, Trader was hired as the director of portable systems at AST Research Inc. in Irvine, California, where she led the launch of the company’s first notebook computer in 1989. Then, in 1992, Trader became the vice president of marketing at Everex Systems, where she led the restructuring of the company’s marketing organization. In 1993, Trader was recruited by SunExpress President Dorothy Terrell to become the senior director of marketing for SunExpress. During her ten years at Sun Microsystems, Trader also led the company’s Workstation Products Marketing Group, and a key Internet corporate initiative. In 2002, Trader left Sun Microsystems and subsequently found her own consultant and executive coaching firm, Strategic Business Coaching Group, based in Wilmington, Delaware. Trader coaches executives at Fortune 500 corporations and nonprofits. Since 2010, Trader also works with First Cap Advisors, as a consultant.

Trader has served on the board of trustees of the National Park Foundation’s African American Experience Fund; on the board of directors at The HistoryMakers; and as the strategic planning co-chair of both the Potomac, Virginia Chapter and Wilmington, Delaware chapters of The Links, Incorporated. She also served on the board of directors of the Serviam Girls Academy in New Castle, Delaware.

Genelle Trader was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 13, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.153

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/13/2018

Last Name

Trader

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Scotia

Occupation
Schools

Tufts University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

First Name

Genelle

Birth City, State, Country

Wilmington

HM ID

TRA04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Delaware

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris/Morocco

Favorite Quote

Okay Genelle, We Can Do This.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Delaware

Birth Date

2/21/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Wilmington

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Collard Greens

Short Description

Corporate executive Genelle Trader (1952 - ) served as the senior director of marketing at Sun Microsystems, Inc. for ten years, and founded Strategic Business Coaching Group, a consultant firm based in Wilmington, Delaware.

Employment

Strategic Business Coaching Group

First Cap Advisors

Sun Microsystems

Everex Systems

AST Computers

Computer Sciences Corporation

Wang Laboratories

IBM

Favorite Color

Purple

Tom A. Goss

Insurance chief executive and athletic director Tom A. Goss was born on July 6, 1946 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He attended Knoxville’s Austin High School, where he was a standout football star in the 1960s. Goss went on to attend the University of Michigan and was named to the all-Big Ten team as a defensive tackle during his senior year. He graduated in 1968 with his B.S. degree in education.

Goss was first hired by Procter & Gamble in 1969. In 1970, he became a regional manager at R. J. Reynolds Industries, and was then named regional vice president for sales at Del Monte Corporation where he worked until the mid-1980s. Goss subsequently returned to Michigan as vice president of sales and marketing at Detroit's Faygo Beverages. In 1987, he moved to California and served as an executive at National Beverage Corporation until 1993, when he was named president and chief operating officer of PIA Merchandising. In March of 1997, Goss established and became managing partner/advisor of The Goss Group, Inc., a commercial insurance brokerage firm. That same year, he applied for and was hired as the first African American athletic director of the University of Michigan.

In 2000, Goss resigned from the University of Michigan and became chairman of The Goss Group, Inc. In 2001, The Goss Group, Marsh Inc. and the GMAC Insurance Group announced the establishment of a joint venture company, Goss LLC, where Goss also went on to serve as chairman.

Goss has served on numerous boards throughout his career, including the Barbara Ann Karmanos Institute, the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Tigers Baseball Advisory Board, United American Healthcare Corporation, and Omni Care Health Plan Inc. He was the former board chair of the Detroit Workforce Development Board, and has served as a trustee to the African American Experience Fund of the National Parks Service & Foundation. His awards include the 2001 University of Michigan’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

Goss is married to Carol Goss. They have three children: Anika, Fatima and Maloni.

Tom Goss was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 24, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.232

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/1/2014

Last Name

Goss

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Austin-East Magnet High School

University of Michigan

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Tom

Birth City, State, Country

Knoxville

HM ID

GOS03

State

Tennessee

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

7/6/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Short Description

Insurance chief executive and athletic director Tom A. Goss (1946 - ) , chairman of Goss LLC and a principal at The Goss Group, Inc., was the first African American athletic director of the University of Michigan.

Employment

Procter & Gamble

R.J. Reynolds Industries

Del Monte Corporation

Faygo Beverages

National Beverage Corporation

PIA Merchandising

The Goss Group, Inc.

University of Michigan

Goss LLC

Rodney Reynolds

Magazine publisher Rodney J. Reynolds was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the University of Cincinnati where he studied graphic design and advertising. Reynolds undertook his first publishing venture with a national, general purpose publication targeted towards African American men, Spectrum Magazine.

In 1992, Reynolds and Corporate Cleveland Magazine developed Minority Business, a quarterly publication where he served as publisher and editor. He went on to publish New Visions and Renaissance Magazine. He also developed Today, a magazine that focused on African American families. Reynolds founded RJR Communications, Inc. in 1992. In 1995, Reynolds, along with Forbes, Inc., began publishingAmerican Legacy Magazine, which centered on African American history and culture. In February of 2001, RJR Communications and New Millennium Studios, founded by entertainer Timothy Reid, launched American Legacy Television, a nationally syndicated television program. Reynolds has served on the board of directors for the Mount Vernon Public Library, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Central & Northern Westchester, the Harriett Tubman Home, and the Rye Country Day School. He was appointed as the diversity chairperson for the New York Blood Center - Westchester Region. In addition, Reynolds is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

In 1998, Reynolds received the “Forty Under 40 Award” from The Network Journal. In addition, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. honored his work with the Lillian Award. He received the Percy E. Sutton Award from the Harlem Business Alliance; the Visionary Award from the African American Men of Westchester; the National Business Leader of the Year Award from the African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester & Rockland County; and the 2002 Triangle of Service Award from the Southeast Regional African American Preservation Alliance. In 2004, Reynolds received the inaugural Earl G. Graves Entrepreneurial Award; and, in 2005 he was the recipient of the W.O. Walker Community Excellence Award.

Rodney J. Reynolds was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 13, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.203

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/13/2013

Last Name

Reynolds

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Jerome

Schools

University of Cincinnati

Dartmouth College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Rodney

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

REY03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Hang In There.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/9/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Magazine publishing entrepreneur Rodney Reynolds (1958 - ) , founder and publisher of American Legacy Magazine, serves as president of RJR Communications, Inc. and executive producer of American Legacy Television.

Employment

RJR Communications, Inc.

Reynolds Publishing Co.

Wesley & Associates

Favorite Color

Blue

Barry Williams

Barry Williams was born on July 21, 1944, and raised by his parents, Otis and Ilza Williams, in a racially diverse community in Mt. Vernon, New York. His parents, both college graduates, instilled strong values of education, hard work, and family in their three children. Williams attended Grimes Elementary School as a young child. He graduated from George Washington Junior High, and later went to high school at a small boarding school in New England.

In 1962, Williams entered Harvard University. While there, he was elected class marshall and played college basketball. Williams received his B.A. degree in 1966 from Harvard University. He then won a fellowship through Corning Glass that allowed him to travel around the world for fourteen months. Williams traveled through Europe, Latin America, and Africa. In 1968, Williams returned to Harvard to study law and business. In 1971, he received his J.D. degree and M.B.A. degrees jointly from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.

Upon graduating, Williams moved to San Francisco where he worked at the international management consulting firm of McKinsey and Company until 1979. Harvard University awarded Williams the Harvard Medal in 1979 for his outstanding service in business and the community, and at Harvard University. Between 1979 and 1986, Williams worked as managing principal at Bechtel Group. In 1987, he founded Williams Pacific Ventures, Inc., a real estate and private equity investment and consulting firm.

Since 1990, Williams has served on the board of directors of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. He has served on the board of PG&E Corporation since 1996, and is also a member of the board for CH2M HILL; Simpson Manufacturing Company; Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company; SLM (Sallie Mae) Corporation; and the RH Donnellet Corporation. He has taught classes in entrepreneurship at the graduate business school of the University of California, Berkeley. During his six year term on the National Park Foundation board, Williams co-founded the African American Experience Fund. The objective of the fund is to raise money to support the National Park Foundation’s African American parks and historic sites. He has also served as a U.S. delegate for the Conference on National Parks in Durbin, South Africa. In 2000, Williams became interim president and CEO of the American Management Association, the largest national provider of seminars, and a senior mediator for the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS).

Williams lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Accession Number

A2005.240

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/11/2005

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lawson

Schools

Harvard University

P.S. 68

Grimes School

Westminster School

Harvard Law School

First Name

Barry

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

WIL29

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/21/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Investment chief executive Barry Williams (1944 - ) is the founder of Williams Pacific Ventures, Inc., a real estate and private equity investment and consulting firm. He co-founded the African American Experience Fund for the National Park Foundation, and serves as a director of the PG&E Corporation.

Employment

McKinsey and Company

Bechtel

Williams Pacific Ventures

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barry Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barry Williams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barry Williams describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barry Williams describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barry Williams describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barry Williams talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barry Williams describes what he knows about his ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barry Williams remembers his childhood babysitter

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barry Williams describes his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Barry Williams talks about his aunts

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Barry Williams describes his brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barry Williams describes his family's emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barry Williams recalls his childhood neighborhood in Mount Vernon, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barry Williams describes the sights of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barry Williams describes his childhood education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barry Williams recalls his middle school years

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barry Williams describes significant teachers in his life

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barry Williams remembers his childhood activities and aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barry Williams recalls his experience of church

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Barry Williams talks about his values

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Barry Williams recalls games from his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Barry Williams remembers attending Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barry Williams remembers his sophomore year at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barry Williams recalls how the Civil Rights Movement influenced him

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barry Williams describes his extracurricular activity at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barry Williams recalls playing basketball against his friend Bill Bradley

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barry Williams recalls influential figures at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barry Williams recalls travelling the world for fourteen months

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barry Williams recalls becoming interested in business at Harvard Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barry Williams talks about his interest in China

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Barry Williams describes his job at McKinsey and Company

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Barry Williams describes working at Bechtel Group, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Barry Williams remembers a difficult period in his life

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Barry Williams describes Williams Pacific Ventures, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Barry Williams recalls a fire in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barry Williams remembers losing his home in a fire in Oakland

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barry Williams describes where he lived after the Oakland fire

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barry Williams talks about his businesses

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barry Williams recalls working with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barry Williams describes his business interests and black entrepreneurship

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barry Williams recalls serving as interim CEO of American Management Association

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barry Williams remembers receiving a Harvard Medal

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Barry Williams describes his interest in reading and theater

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Barry Williams remembers joining the National Park Foundation board

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Barry Williams describes his work with the African American Experience Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barry Williams describes fundraising for the African American Experience Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barry Williams describes his goals

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Barry Williams describes his hobbies

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Barry Williams describes his reading list

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Barry Williams talks about traveling

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Barry Williams talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Barry Williams talks about his wife, Lalita Tademy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Barry Williams recalls hosting an inaugural family reunion

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Barry Williams recalls dating his wife, Lalita Tademy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Barry Williams describes his proposal to his wife, Lalita Tademy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Barry Williams reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Barry Williams recalls being part of The Board at Bechtel Group, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Barry Williams recalls contributing to Winston Tubman's Liberian presidential campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Barry Williams talks about his hero, Nelson Mandela

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Barry Williams describes philanthropic work he intends to do

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Barry Williams describes his future plans

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Barry Williams reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Barry Williams describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Barry Williams reflects upon his values

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Barry Williams reflects upon his family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Barry Williams describes his hopes for his children

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Barry Williams describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Barry Williams narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Barry Williams narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Barry Williams narrates his photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

4$10

DATitle
Barry Williams recalls working with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services
Barry Williams describes his work with the African American Experience Fund
Transcript
I found it very interesting: you are a senior mediator with JAMS.$$I spent about seven or eight years with JAMS.$$Could you first tell us what JAMS is (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) JAMS stand for Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services. So an alternative to the court system is to take something to mediation slash arbitration and that's where you voluntarily go and try and seek a solution amongst the parties. Now there is a technical difference between mediation and arbitration. Mediation is where the mediator tries to get you together but he can't force a decision. Arbitration is where the judge comes to a decision which you have to abide by. But again I have this dual education, law and business, and I've always had this sense that I want to do something with my law. I spent three years and paid a lot of money to go to law school [Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts] and a member of the bar and I had this theory that if the goal of the process of mediation or arbitration is to settle. I thought a lot of times it's probably, you're settling on a business basis, you're making business decisions on whether you want to settle now or pursue the case. So I approached what is--what was and what is the most outstanding mediation arbitration firm JAMS and said, "I'd like to be a mediator. I'm not a retired judge," that's the J in JAMS, "but I'd like to do some joint mediations and I'd like to really see if I could help settle cases by identifying the business considerations and how they interface with a solution." So I did that for many years jointly with a very good friend of mine and significant person at JAMS, Judge Danny Weinstein [Daniel Weinstein], and Danny was wonderful because the first couple of days he said, "This is a friend of mine who is sitting in," and then I was his assistant and then I was his co mediator (laughter) and Danny gave me all the opportunity in the world. I developed a specialty of complex business litigation where multi parties, multi issues and the area I very much liked was the environmental area and I eventually became a trustee or the trustee of an environmental site where I was not the mediator, I was in charge of cleaning up the site. I had the litigation, the insurance, the technical side and what have you. So for those reasons I had to leave JAMS because I was full time on a site. But I came across a lot of interesting cases when I was at JAMS. One of the cases [Pigford v. Glickman] that I spent a lot of time, more than a year on, was the settlement with the federal loan home board [Farmers Home Administration] and the black farmers of the South where the black farmers had won a class action showing discrimination for years within this government agency in dispensing of loan funds, and so then we had to divvy up the money that had been put together as damages. And we adjudicated many, many cases, and I did a lot of the individual cases, but we had many people doing that. The thought was that there might be about twelve thousand black farmers. I think we adjudicated more than twenty-eight thousand cases and there was a recent case saying that there were plenty more black farmers who either didn't have legal representation or what have you. So we had many people adjudicating these suits. And so I was with a panel of three other people: a former California state supreme court [Supreme Court of California] justice; a law professor; and the dean of a local law school. And we tried to put together a quality control program so that there was some consistency in the rendering of decisions. But I'm very proud of that case, and the opportunity through JAMS to work on a case like that.$And you were telling us about the National Park--$$Well, I fell in love with the National Park Foundation. The National Park Foundation is a federally chartered foundation. It's the only federally chartered foundation in that space which raises money, private money, for the national parks and over the last couple of years we've been averaging raising $50 million a year for the National Park. This is very important because the government principally is the principal source of money for our national parks. But money tends to go to maintenance and capital projects, not to education, not to outreach, and one of our goals is to make sure there's lots of interpretive material so parks are not only where you go see a bear. You know, we have this wonderful collection of American history in our parks. They are an educational institution but you need the interpretive material to go with, and then you need the outreach programs to make sure kids and diverse people come to our parks. Well, I happen to be in a meeting where we were putting together a program to fund the Civil War sites, and between the state parks and the national parks we've got about 80 percent of the Civil War embodied in our parks. I thought it was a great project, but it's not what I came to spend three days to--it's not my principal cause. Well, interesting enough a young black woman came up to me her name is Falona Heidelberg. I remember that 'cause she had called me and I had meant to answer the call but when you get a call from somebody named Falona Heidelberg you wouldn't suspect she was a young black woman who really had something she wanted to talk to you about. She asked me to make a long story short how I felt about the conversation 'cause she said there were seventeen national parks which principally deal with African American themes and because they are small parks, new parks, because they don't have bears and wolves they're not the attraction, they don't get the funding. So we had just allocated a couple of hundred thousand dollars for Civil War, I went back in there and said, "Well how about a program for these seventeen parks?" And she raised her hand and said, "I'd like to work with Director Williams [HistoryMaker Barry Williams] on this," and we looked at each and said, "We expect the same allocation for the national parks" and the group said yes. We started the African American Experience Fund. Our goal is to raise money for those seventeen national parks and historic sites, eighteen if you include the Underground Railroad because quite frankly I couldn't name them all, they're not household names. You would know about the Martin Luther King center [Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia]. You might know about the Tuskegee Airmen site [Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Tuskegee, Alabama], you wouldn't know about Nicodemus [Nicodemus National Historic Site, Nicodemus, Kansas], you wouldn't know about Cane River [Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Natchitoches, Louisiana], you wouldn't know about Maggie Walker [Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, Richmond, Virginia], you wouldn't know about Frederick Douglass site [Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Washington, D.C.]. Frederick Douglass is my favorite site.$$Why?$$A black man who went to the White House [Washington, D.C.] in the early 1920s who had a ten thousand volume book collection and a bottle of 1890 Chateau Montagne wine in his house and had a mansion in Anacostia Washington, D.C. which is a slum now as people call it that's where his mansion was. And this has to be reserved, and one of goals is to get the books out of storage into a working collection. But there are lots of these stories that we need to tell African Americans, that we need to tell Americans, that we need to tell children. And one of the interesting discussions I've had was--I can't even remember the name of the picture, but I've always been impressed with Jewish people and how they tell their story and I said, "What's the difference between the Jewish experience and the African American experience?" I don't know if these are the principal differences but the differences that resonated with me is that when you look at the Jewish story and how they've told the story it's not only a story of survival, it's a story of triumph. And I believe if we characterized what we've done, which is an equal story not just of survival but of triumph, it would mean a lot. The other thing Jewish people do is they teach their kids and so that's my focus in this African American Experience Fund to teach the kids.

Robert Stanton

Robert George Stanton was born on September 22, 1940 in Forth Worth, Texas. His mother was a short order cook and his father was a hay contractor. He grew up in Mosier Valley, one of the oldest African American communities in Texas, settled by free slaves. He graduated from I.M. Terrell High School in Forth Worth in 1959.

He earned his bachelor's of science degree from Huston-Tillotson College in Austin in 1963. The summer of his junior year in college he began his career with the National Park Service. Borrowing $250, he bought a train ticket to Wyoming and a park ranger's uniform and worked as a seasonal ranger at Grand Teton National Park. Stanton, along with several other African Americans, was recruited by then Interior Secretary, Stewart Udall who traveled to predominately Black college campuses recruiting students.

In 1963, Stanton began his graduate studies at Boston University and went back to Huston-Tillotson to work as the director of public relations and alumni affairs from 1964 until 1966. That year, he took a full time job with the Park Service as a personnel management and public information specialist in the Washington, D.C. headquarters office. In 1969, he became a management assistant and in 1970, he was appointed superintendent of Virgin Islands National Park in St. Thomas. In 1974, Stanton became deputy regional director of the Southeast Region of the National Park Service in Atlanta and in 1976 he returned to Washington, D.C. as assistant director of park operations. In 1978, Stanton was named deputy regional director of the National Capital Region, where he remained until 1986. In 1987, he returned to headquarters as associate director for operations, and in 1988, he became the first African American to serve as director of the National Park Service. Stanton's nomination for the post by former President Clinton was the first that had to be approved by the U.S. Senate…he was confirmed unanimously. He retired from that position in 2003.

Stanton currently works as an adjunct professor at Texas A&M teaching courses on conservation. He has also taught at Yale University and been the recipient of numerous awards for his civic work and environmental stewardship.

Accession Number

A2004.110

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/27/2004 |and| 8/11/2004

Last Name

Stanton

Maker Category
Schools

I. M. Terrell High School

Mosier Valley School

Huston-Tillotson University

Boston University

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Fort Worth

HM ID

STA04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

National Parks

Favorite Quote

Mankind Differ As The Waves But Are As One As The Sea

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/22/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak, Potatoes

Short Description

Federal government official Robert Stanton (1940 - ) is the first African American to serve as director of the National Park Service.

Employment

Grand Teton National Park

Huston-Tillotson College

National Park Service

Virgin Islands National Park

Texas A&M University

Yale University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Stanton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Stanton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Stanton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Stanton talks about his Mosier Valley ancestry and his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Stanton describes his earliest childhood memory and names his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Stanton talks about the Mosier Valley community in Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Stanton remembers efforts to improve African American children's schooling in Mosier Valley, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Stanton describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Stanton describes his experience at Mosier Valley Elementary School in Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert Stanton talks about early adolescence and his brother's death in the Korean War

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert Stanton talks about his adolescent influences and busing to I.M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert Stanton describes his high school experience in Fort Worth, Texas and his aspirations as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Stanton remembers Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Stanton remembers being recruited to work for the U.S. Department of the Interior in the summer of 1962

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Stanton remembers working in Grand Teton National Park during the summer of 1962

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Stanton talks about working for Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas and returning to the National Park Service

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Stanton talks about the beginning of his career at the National Park Service and meeting his wife

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Stanton talks about working as superintendent of the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Stanton talks about his work as deputy regional director of the Southeast Region and assistant director of the National Park Service

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Stanton recalls his tenure as deputy regional director of the National Capital Region of the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Stanton talks about climbing the National Park Service hierarchy to serve as the director

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Stanton remembers the director of National Park Service nomination process

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Stanton describes his accomplishments as director of the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Stanton describes congressional oversight hearings he experienced as director of the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Stanton reflects upon African American's interaction with the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Stanton talks about challenges facing the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Stanton talks about what he would like to have done as director of the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Stanton talks about the National Park Service's role in preserving African American history

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Stanton talks about his favorite national parks and the parks he has yet to visit

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Stanton recalls teaching at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut and bringing students to the World Park Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Stanton talks about his current consultation and board work

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Stanton reflects upon how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Stanton reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Stanton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Stanton narrates his photograph, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Stanton narrates his photographs, pt.2

DASession

2$2

DATape

2$3

DAStory

5$3

DATitle
Robert Stanton talks about the beginning of his career at the National Park Service and meeting his wife
Robert Stanton describes his accomplishments as director of the National Park Service
Transcript
What were you doing for the [National] Park Service [NPS] in 1966?$$My first appointment was in personnel management and public information.$$And you held that position until 1969?$$Until 1969 and then I was reassigned to, to the National Capital Region [NCR] in a park position as a management assistant.$$Um-hm.$$And I served in that position until 1970. Our director of the park service at that time did something similar to, to what [Secretary of the Interior] Stewart Udall did, he looked at the faces of all of his superintendents from South Pacific to Maine, from Alaska to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and did not see one black face among the hundreds of superintendents. And he too said, "This is a new day," and he and my regional director at that time and--he conferred with the regional director and also with his deputy director and said that we were going to make an appointment and I have the distinction of being, and I say this with all humility, of being the first African American to be appointed by the park service as a park superintendent. The thing that's so interesting is that two individuals who made a--who played a very prominent role in that appointment, were two gentlemen who was at Grand Teton National Park [Wyoming] in '62 [1962], the original director, Russell Dickenson, when I was appointed superintendent, was my first chief ranger. And the gentleman who was the number two for the whole of the park service working with Director [George B.] Hartzog [Jr.], was [Harthon L.] Spud Bill who was the superintendent at Grand Teton, so they had a lot of influence on me. But I might mention the other thing about the Teton experience. As I mentioned earlier, Secretary Udall directed his staff to recruit among a fairly large number of historically black colleges and universities [HBCU], and one of the colleges they attended was Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina. And I don't know how many students were selected but one I know that was selected from there, William D. Kennard [ph.] another good Omega [Psi Phi Fraternity] man I might add, also worked in Grand Teton '62 [1962] and '63 [1963]. And when I came to the Washington [D.C.] area in 1966 for my permanent job, William was a bachelor, and I was a bachelor then, and so we were about to go out on the town here in Washington and he said, "Hey [HistoryMaker] Bob [Robert Stanton], there's this young lady that just finished from Livingstone, she's now working at HUD, [U.S. Department of] Housing and Urban Development, and I've been dating a girl from Livingstone," he said, "why don't we just double date?" I said, "Sounds great to me William," you know. You probably getting two or three dates this week, you know.$$(Laughter) That would be the first of many--$$Yeah, right.$$--this week, right?$$Yeah. So the next thing I know, William was my best man; his brother was in the ministry and his brother was administering the wedding. But Teton has had a lasting experience on me but probably the best because I married Janet Moffatte [Stanton] of South Carolina and the best thing that ever happened to me, yeah, yeah, yeah.$$That's great.$$Thirty-eight years of marriage, yeah.$Tell us a little bit about some of your accomplishments as director [of the National Park Service (NPS)]?$$Well, again, a director, any, any, any accomplishment as a superintendent, management assistant, regional director, or associate director, or director, is in direct proportion to the support that you get from your staff and their motivation and their interest, and I had the best group of federal employees in the National Park Service whom I worked with daily and I think we accomplished a great deal. We accomplished a great deal on several fronts. One is in working directly with [U.S.] Congress to get new authorizations that allow for more revenues to be available to the park service to, to meet some of those needs and congress authorized new legislative authorities for the park service to have more resources at its disposal, and I was very pleased with some of those legislative accomplishments. Also further to congress, congress during my tenure as director approved nine new parks, extended the boundary of I think twenty-something parks. And two parks that came into the system while I was director speak specifically to events associated with African Americans. Little Rock Central High School [National Historic Site, Little Rock, Arkansas], which is very close to me because the nine students who integrated Little Rock Central High School [Little Rock, Arkansas] in 1957 were my peers, and that now is a national historic site. And the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site [Tuskegee, Alabama] to commemorate the bravery of those fighters notwithstanding that the [U.S.] Army or the [U.S.] military was segregated but yet they still fought valiantly in World War II [WWII]. But I also I was very proud that congress passed legislation authorizing the [National] Underground Railroad Network to Freedom and it was my great joy--$$Hmm.$$--to be invited by President [William Jefferson "Bill] Clinton to join along with a number of other distinguished citizens including Rodney [E.] Slater who was secretary of transportation at that time, Congressman Carl Stokes [sic. Ambassador Carl Stokes], (unclear) and others to witness him personally signing the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. And but also on the operational side, I think we improved the quality of interpretation, the visitor experiences when one goes to the park. One of the passions I have is to increase the involvement of young people in a program we inaugurated we call the Public Lands Corps that provided for the expanded involvement of young people. We expanded the Parks Classroom Program. We improved the safety of our employees in the work place. I was very concerned about the number of lost time injuries of our employees suffering back strains or automobile accidents and what have you, so substantially improved that. And certainly the construction of new facilities and the upgrading and maintenance of facilities. Major conservation projects included the restoration of the Everglades National Parks [sic. Everglades National Park, Florida], an agreement to remove some dams out of Olympic National Park in Washington State, alternate transportation systems at the Zion National Park in Utah, also at Acadia [National Park] in Maine. So I think a number of major improvements were made over my roughly four years as the director of the park service. Could have been more had I stayed in longer but that was not to be (laughter).$$And not your choice, not your decision.$$That's right. That's right.