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Samuel Howard

Corporate executive Samuel Houston Howard was born on May 8, 1939 in Marietta, Oklahoma to Houston and Nellie Gaines Howard. Howard received his B.S. degree in business administration from Oklahoma State University in 1961, and his M.A. degree in economics from Stanford University in 1963.

From 1963 to 1967, Howard worked as a financial analyst with General Electric Company. In 1966 and 1967, he served as a White House Fellow and assistant to U.S. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg. From 1967 to 1968, Howard worked as director of educational computer services at Howard University and as a consultant to the U.S. Health, Education, and Welfare Department. He was then named vice president of finance, secretary and treasurer of TAW International Leasing Corporation, where he worked from 1968 until 1972. In 1972, he founded and served as chairman, president and CEO of Phoenix Holdings, Inc. and Phoenix Communications Group, Inc., which owned and operated broadcasting properties in Tennessee, Kansas and Mississippi.

Howard was hired as vice president of finance and business at Meharry Medical College in 1973. He then joined Hospital Affiliates International, Inc. as vice president of planning of the INA Health Care Group in 1977, and was promoted to vice president and treasurer in December of 1980. Howard was hired by Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) as vice president and treasurer in 1981, and was promoted to senior vice president of public affairs in October of 1985. He resigned from HCA in 1988 in order to chair Phoenix Holdings, Inc. fulltime. In 1993, Howard became chairman, president and CEO of Xantus Corporation, an investor owned company that owns and operates health maintenance organizations.

Howard has been a member, board director or committee member of numerous organizations, including Southeast Community Capital; Nashville Electric Service; National Association of Corporate Directors; Nashville Chamber of Commerce; Federation of American Health Systems; Financial Executives Institute; National Easter Seal Society; National Urban League; Leadership Nashville Foundation; Project Reflect, Inc.; National Conference of Christians & Jews, Inc. (NCCJ); and United Way, among others. Howard was founder and director of 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, chairman of the board of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, and trustee of Fisk University. He served on the Governor’s TennCare Roundtable in 1995 and the Boy Scouts Inner City Task Force Committee in 1988.

Howard was inducted into the Oklahoma State University School of Business Hall of Fame in 1983, and received the 1980 and 1984 Federation of American Hospitals President's Achievement Award. In 1994, he received the Nashville NAACP Branch Image Award for Lifetime Achievement and the NCCJ Human Relations Award. Howard received the Outstanding CEO Award among the 100 largest privately-held businesses in Nashville in 1997 and the Nashville Business Journal's 1995 Small Business Executive of the Year Award. He was honored as Nashvillian of the Year in 1998 by the Easter Seal Society of Tennessee and as Philanthropist of the Year in 1997 by the National Society of Fundraising Executives. In 2010, Howard received the White House Fellows John W. Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award.

Howard is the author of The Flight of the Phoenix: Thoughts on Work and Life, published in 2007.

Samuel H. Howard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 24, 2014.

Howard passed away on July 10, 2020.

Accession Number

A2014.031

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/24/2014

Last Name

Howard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Houston

Occupation
Schools

Oklahoma State University

Stanford University

Douglass School

First Name

Samuel

Birth City, State, Country

Marietta

HM ID

HOW06

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

There Is No Traffic On The Extra Mile.$A Good Name Is Better To Be Chosen Than All The Riches Of The World.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/8/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Brentwood

Country

USA

Death Date

7/10/2020

Short Description

Corporate executive Samuel Howard (1939 - 2020) was the founder of Phoenix Holdings, Inc. and Phoenix Communications Group, Inc., and the author of 'The Flight of the Phoenix: Thoughts on Work and Life.'

Employment

General Electric Company

United States Government

Howard University

U.S. Health, Education, and Welfare Department

TAW International Leasing Corporation

Phoenix Holdings, Inc.

Phoenix Communications Group

Meharry Medical College

Hospital Affiliates International, Inc.

Hospital Corporation of America

Xantus Corporation

Favorite Color

Black and Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653125">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Samuel Howard's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653126">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653127">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard describes his mother's family background, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653128">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard remembers his mother's Christian faith</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653129">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard talks about the African American community in Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653130">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard describes his mother's family background, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653131">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653132">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard remembers his home life in Lawton, Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653133">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard describes his early experiences of religion</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653134">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard lists his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653135">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Samuel Howard describes his neighborhood in Lawton, Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653136">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard remembers segregation in Lawton, Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653137">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard describes the black business district in Lawton, Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653138">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard describes his employment during high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653139">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard remembers his teachers at the Douglass School in Lawton, Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653140">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard remembers his start at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653141">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard remembers paying for his education at Oklahoma State University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653142">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard remembers his experiences at Oklahoma State University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653143">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard talks about race relations in Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653144">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard remembers his activities at Oklahoma State University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653145">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard talks about his success at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653146">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard recalls his graduate studies at Stanford University in Stanford, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653147">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard remembers his courtship with his wife</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653148">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard talks about the Civil Rights Movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653149">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard remembers his computer training at General Electric</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653150">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard describes the White House Fellows program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653151">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard remembers being selected for the White House Fellows program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653152">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard talks about his wife's money management</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653153">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard recalls his experiences as a White House Fellow, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653154">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard recalls his experiences as a White House Fellow, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653155">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard talks about President Lyndon Baines Johnson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653156">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard reflects upon his experiences as a White House Fellow</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653157">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard recalls his work as director of computer services at Howard University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653158">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard remembers his work with TAW International Leasing, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653159">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard talks about his radio station investments, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653160">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard talks about his radio station investments, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653161">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard recalls his work at Meharry Medical College and the Insurance Company of North America</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653162">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard remembers filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653163">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard recalls serving as vice president and treasurer of the Hospital Corporation of America</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653164">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard remembers founding a Medicaid HMO in Nashville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653165">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard remembers the allegations against his Medicaid HMO</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653166">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard recalls his exoneration from criminal charges</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653167">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard talks about his financial losses</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653168">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard describes his recent business ventures</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653169">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard describes his proposed changes to the Medicare system</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653170">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard talks about his community engagement in Nashville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653171">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard talks about his work with the Urban League of Middle Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653172">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653173">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard talks about his employees</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653174">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard describes his children</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653175">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard talks about the separation between his family life and business</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653176">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard describes his service with the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653177">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard talks about his wife</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653178">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard talks about his and his siblings' independence</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653179">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/653180">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Samuel Howard remembers his computer training at General Electric
Samuel Howard recalls his exoneration from criminal charges
Transcript
Now you went to work with General Electric as a financial analyst.$$That's right.$$Okay, and--$$But I was in that--what, the best thing that GE offered was the Financial Management Program--BTC, business training course. All executives who were in finance had to go through that course, that means I was really picked; I mean, that's where I really learned accounting and everything else. And I learned computers. I learned how to program a computer and I, I used to do that at General Electric company. And so I--you rotate through the job, through various jobs and one of my jobs I rotated was through the Financial Management Program--I mean the computer program (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Computer program. So, what, what were you--now this is the time when computers are the big mainframes?$$It's big main frames, the Philco 2000 [Transac S-2000] (laughter).$$Philco, that's (unclear)--yeah, we had a big Philco refrigerator--$$That's--(laughter).$$--and a TV. So they had a Philco 2000 computer?$$Yeah, yeah.$$Now how, how large was it? Just for the sake of--?$$I mean it's, god--this, this room here would not hold it, (laughter) it would be this whole office suite (laughter). It was big; and you, you deal, deal with these cards, you had, you know, these 80 column cards that you wrote your--all your program into, the FORTRAN language [Formula Translation] and this thing; and you, you drop those cards, they get out of order, you're up a creek (laughter). Oh, those, those were the days, you dropped a card, you're a mess. But I, I, I did learn a lot about computers. I learned conceptually what computers do. They're all really is one and zero, one and zero, one and zero--that's all it is: one, zero; and I, and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) (Unclear) I was going to say, yeah.$$Yeah. So conceptually I picked that up and so that I began to learn how to program FORTRAN; and, and I worked on--GE really taught me a lot of stuff in terms of finance, that's what I, that's what I learned from them.$$Okay, so you learned FORTRAN and this is--so this is training--GE is providing you training that Stanford [Stanford University, Stanford, California] (unclear) provide. Yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) That's right, that's right. GE was probably looking forward to me becoming an auditor and going up the financial room, and I was on track to be a officer in GE if I had just kept working. But they--what happened with GE was there was another opportunity that came up; and they, they suggested that I take that route, and that was the White House Fellows program.$I was in Calif- in Topeka, Kansas with my brother-in-law [Marvin Wilson]. And my brother-in-law, I told him what was going on with me and TennCare and HMO [health maintenance organization] and I showed him some clippings in the paper about my name and how I absconded with money. And my brother-in-law had a lawyer, friend of his, who was a criminal lawyer, African American, Joe Johnson [ph.], another Johnson (laughter).$$Another, right.$$But what he did was, he came in and read all that stuff, he said, "Sam [HistoryMaker Samuel Howard], this is really serious," 'cause I didn't think it was that serious 'cause I said I didn't do anything, you know, if you th- if you're innocent you don't--a person that's innocent doesn't really go around looking for any bad stones. And he told me that I had better go call his--"You need to get, get you and a lawyer and fight this." And so he got on the phone and he called guy named Bob Ritchie [Robert W. Ritchie], who is a Knoxville [Tennessee] criminal attorney that's a good friend of his. And Mr. Ritchie told me that when I landed to return from Topeka to Nashville, pick up two boxes of stuff on the papers and come to Knoxville--that's where he was. And I then engaged them to fight the case, and it took about $2 million. But the point is that when we got through with it, it was--they couldn't find anything. But I think it was more racially based in Nashville, Tennessee--that's what I think happened.$$If you hadn't had $2 million to fight it, what would've happened? You would've been in jail?$$I could have been--I'd of had to compromise in some fashion I'm sure. But I was fortunate enough to have that kind of cash because I had the radio stations. I sold them. I had some other things--and what, what I also had at the time was a very good reputation in the business community. I never went underground; I was visible. I was chairman of the chamber of commerce [Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce] at one point. I mean I was visible. And so most of the people they just say, "Sam, we don't believe them anyway." Especially my people who I'd worked with at Hospital Affiliates [Hospital Affiliates International, Inc.], HCA [Hospital Corporation of America], Tommy Frist [Thomas F. Frist, Jr.], all of them said that you all are wrong. And there was a--all the fellas were doing were lying, they tried to--they lied, and, and that's what that book ['The Flight of the Phoenix: Thoughts on Life and Work, Samuel H. Howard] is about. The last chapters of that book was about all of the trouble that went through--I went through. And then the last chapter is when I said: "It is finished." That's when they came to me and says we wanna settle and we wanna pay you. But I could not get all of the--my money back, my legal expenses and you can't write it off. You cannot write off your criminal expenses (unclear).$$So you take a beating?$$You take a beating.$$Okay.$$Yes. But I, I, I learned a lot, but it's, it's, it's tough. But I still have my reputation.

Sheila Talton

Corporate executive Sheila G. Talton was born on October 12, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio. As a teenager, she became involved in the civil rights movement in Rockford, Illinois. Talton went on to graduate from Northern Illinois University with her B.S. degree in business administration and speech communications in 1980

Upon graduation, Talton was hired as a sales trainee at NCR Corporation. She became head of Midwest sales for Data Group Systems in Chicago in 1982, moving on to a position as team leader in the sales department of Applied Data Research (ADR) in 1984. Taking advantage of a void left by the breakup of AT&T, Talton founded Unisource Network Services, a provider of voice, data and video networking consultation and support services, in 1987. In 1996, while still leading Unisource, she helped establish the Information Technology Senior Management Forum, a mentoring group that cultivates executive talent among African American IT professionals. Talton sold her stake in Unisource in 2000, and was hired as the vice president of Cap Gemini, Ernst & Young’s Midwest technology consulting practice. In 2002, she was named president of global business innovation services for Electronic Data Systems (EDS). Talton was hired by the computer networking company Cisco Systems Inc. in 2004 where she became vice president of advisory services in the Customer Advocacy Group. She was promoted to a role as vice president of Cisco’s Office of Globalization in 2008 and helped the company identify growth opportunities in emerging markets around the world. She left Cisco in 2012 to found the consulting firm SGT, Ltd. In 2013, Talton established Gray Matter Analytics, Inc., a business providing consulting services and cloud hosting service for analytics.

Talton has served as a member of the board of directors of the ACCO Brands Corporation, the Wintrust Financial Corporation, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Lighthouse for the Blind, and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her honors include selection as a Congressional appointee on the US White House Women’s Business Council, as one of the “Top 10 Women in Technology” by Enterprising Women, and as “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the National Federation of Black Women Business Owners. She is also a recipient of the “Entrepreneurial Excellence Award” from Working Woman magazine and a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award. She was named a 2007 “Woman Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal, received a 2008 Egretha Award from the African American Women’s Business and Career Conference, and was named a 2009 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United. In 2010 she was honored as a Woman of Achievement by the Anti-Defamation League, and as the Outstanding College Alumni of the Year by the Business School of Northern Illinois University. In 2011 she was named one of “25 Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal and received the “Diamond Leadership Award” from the Information Technology Senior Management Forum.

Sheila G. Talton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 23, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.216

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/23/2013

Last Name

Talton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Gayle

Schools

Harvard Business School

Northern Illinois University

West High School

Rock Valley College

Roosevelt-Perry Elementary School

Franklin School

First Name

Sheila

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

TAL01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Vail, Colorado

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/12/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Vegetables

Short Description

Corporate executive Sheila Talton (1952 - ) had extensive global operations experience as a business leader and entrepreneur in the information technology industry. She founded Gray Matter Analytics in 2013.

Employment

Gray Matter Analytics, Inc.

Sterling Partners

Sgt, LTD. (Sheila Talton, LTD.)

CISCO Systems

EDS

CAP Gemini Ernst & Young

Unisource Network Services

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:1408,41:2368,65:3776,104:4288,114:14436,254:14684,259:15242,270:16110,290:17288,315:17660,322:17908,327:18466,337:19396,361:20202,377:20450,382:25129,424:34316,524:34564,529:34812,539:35060,544:37335,559:37860,565:38700,576:43364,599:46580,673:46982,680:47451,688:53848,793:65801,942:66206,948:68814,971:69402,978:69794,983:72984,1000:74010,1018:74442,1028:75036,1041:80358,1094:80939,1103:81769,1114:84176,1153:85006,1168:89268,1198:90128,1205:90816,1214:91418,1222:91762,1227:92192,1233:92536,1238:93310,1248:100019,1329:100383,1334:100747,1339:103650,1411:109752,1459:112064,1505:112336,1510:112948,1522:113288,1528:121971,1629:128060,1663:128448,1668:129030,1676:134508,1758:134910,1768:135848,1792:144490,1893:156948,1984:161040,2022:161680,2032:163290,2041:163898,2050:165190,2083:172410,2184:173488,2201:181386,2312:184410,2416:185970,2426$0,0:27542,75:28018,80:31350,116:39069,157:39504,163:58102,308:58708,316:63270,364:76926,524:77664,536:80134,552:86875,629:87215,634:87810,642:98514,732:103844,822:107105,836:109270,850:109985,864:110245,869:113880,905:114810,918:117946,936:119206,959:119710,968:120298,976:125312,1045:135348,1188:136076,1197:138748,1237:140856,1311:144862,1358:151595,1491:151855,1496:152245,1503:152570,1509:155854,1539:156253,1548:169940,1788:185360,1968:186140,1975:190890,2009:193378,2036:213020,2166:215380,2172:218250,2268:226000,2320:226360,2326:231540,2581:270180,2993:271800,3027:272250,3034:272700,3040:284610,3180
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651583">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sheila Talton's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651584">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651585">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton describes her mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651586">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton describes her father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651587">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton describes her mother's personality and education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651588">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton talks about her father's personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651589">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton lists her father's siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651590">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton remembers her parents' divorce</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651591">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton describes her earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651592">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sheila Talton recalls living in Louisville, Kentucky</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651593">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sheila Talton remembers Perry Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651594">Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Sheila Talton describes her home life in Louisville, Kentucky, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651595">Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Sheila Talton describes her home life in Louisville, Kentucky, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651596">Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Sheila Talton remembers the holidays</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651597">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton describes her family life in Cleveland, Ohio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651598">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton describes the Hough neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651599">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton recalls visits from her father after her parents' divorce</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651600">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton remembers moving to Rockford, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651601">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton remembers the Franklin School in Rockford, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651602">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton remembers her parents' relationship</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651603">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton talks about the African American community in Rockford, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651604">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton remembers reconnecting with her father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651605">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton recalls her involvement in the Black Power movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651606">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton remembers her teenage years</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651607">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton describes her experiences at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651608">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton talks about the Black Panther Party in Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651609">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton recalls her decision to attend Northern Illinois University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651610">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton remembers leaving Northern Illinois University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651611">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton remembers entering the secretarial workforce</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651612">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton recalls her return to Northern Illinois University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651613">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton remembers studying business administration at Northern Illinois University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651614">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton describes her motivation for completing her college education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651615">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton remembers joining the NCR Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651616">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton recalls her decision to leave the NCR Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651617">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton talks about her technological aptitude and training</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651618">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton describes her salesmanship skills</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651619">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton remembers her role at Data Group Systems</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651620">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton remembers working for Applied Data Research</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651621">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton remembers her prejudiced manager at Applied Data Research</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651622">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton remembers founding Unisource Network Services</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651623">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton describes what she learned at Applied Data Research</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651624">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton remembers her divorce</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651625">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton talks about her daughter</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651626">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton remembers running Unisource Network Services</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651627">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton remembers leaving Unisource Network Services</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651628">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton describes her role at Ernst and Young</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651629">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton remembers working at Ernst and Young</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651630">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton describes her civic involvement in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651631">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton recalls her transition from Capgemini SE to Electronic Data Systems</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651632">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Sheila Talton talks about the importance of community service</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651633">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton talks about her role as a mentor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651634">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton remembers her second marriage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651635">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton remembers being hired at Cisco Systems, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651636">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton recalls working for Cisco Systems, Inc. in China</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651637">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton talks about challenges for African Americans in Silicon Valley</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651638">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton remembers working for Cisco Systems, Inc. in Mexico</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651639">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton remembers working for Cisco Systems, Inc. in Brazil and Chile</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651640">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton talks about her interest in big data</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651641">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton remembers founding Gray Matter Analytics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651642">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton describes the workplace culture at Sterling Partners</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651643">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton describes her business plan for Gray Matter Analytics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651644">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton describes her hopes for Gray Matter Analytics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651645">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton reflects upon her values</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651646">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton shares her advice to young people</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651647">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton reflects upon her life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651648">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton reflects upon her legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651649">Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton talks about her plans for the future</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651650">Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton reflects upon her parents' lessons</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651651">Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Sheila Talton narrates her photographs</a>

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Sheila Talton remembers founding Gray Matter Analytics
Sheila Talton recalls her return to Northern Illinois University
Transcript
And when I went back out there I started looking around, who was investing in all the big data and then where the money was going, and it was pretty much going all in software; and I thought to myself, hm, that's probably not a good thing 'cause I think that there's an opportunity for the services piece, which is really more important because it's having the people that can read what the data's telling them. I ended up landing at a private equity firm here [Sterling Partners] that had not done a lot in technology but they said that they wanted to, and quite frankly, I believe because of the discrimination in those firms, I didn't have a lot of options. I mean, I wasn't getting firms, "Oh, yeah, Sheila [HistoryMaker Sheila Talton], come on in, come on in," but there was an African American principal at this firm and he wanted me to come into this firm. So I did. I joined the firm as, what they call an executive in residence, which means that, you're not making much money but you're looking to invest where you might end up running the new entity that they invested in. So, I wrote an investment thesis, spent about eight months doing that and I was becoming very, very bored and then I probably brought them about four different deals. They didn't like any of them.$$Right.$$And I went back out to California this past March and met with some old Cisco [Cisco Systems, Inc.] colleagues, met with some venture funds and told them all about this investment thesis I wrote and how I know that this is the sweet spot in big data, where there's a void. Consistently, I got asked, "So why aren't you launching the company?" I said, I don't know. Came back to Chicago [Illinois], thought about that, went skiing out in Vail [Colorado] with a couple of friends, talked to them about my investment thesis and they said, "So why aren't you launching it?" And I said, you know, I think I will. So, I came back to Chicago and started Gray Matter Analytics and we're nine people now, office in Silicon Valley, office in Chicago, thinking about whether we need one on the East Coast because right now our biggest customer is out there on the East Coast.$$Okay.$$I sit on a couple of public company boards and still on the Northwestern Memorial Hospital [Chicago, Illinois] board, Chicago Urban League board and the Shakespeare Theatre [Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago, Illinois] board, so I've got a full life.$Then in, let's see, 1975, 1975, I met my husband--maybe '74 [1974]. And we were married and he was a machinist at a factory in Belvidere, Illinois and I was still working at the printing place, and then I became pregnant and I had my daughter. And when I had my daughter, life changed for me. I did not go back to work at the printing place, I went to work at a place called Allis-Chalmers [Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company], they manufactured forklifts and I was a clerk there. And my daughter was young, a baby, and there was a salesman there, first name Greg [ph.], I cannot think of his last name, white guy, and I had been working there for about, say maybe a year or so, and he says to me one day, he says, "Why are you working here?" And me being as militant as I am, I'm thinking, and why are you asking me that? And he said, "You're capable of so much more, why is it that you're a clerk here at this showroom?" And I said, "Well, I have to work, my husband works, we have a daughter." And he says, "Well, why didn't you go to college?" I said, "Oh, I did." I said, "That didn't work so well." He says, "What do you mean?" And I said, "Oh, I partied a lot, I was on academic probation." He says, "Why don't you go back?" I said, "Well they're not going to take me back." He says, "They would take you back." And I said, "What do you mean they would take me back?" He says, "Well, if you would go to a junior college and you take calculus and quantitative analysis, some really tough classes and ace those, they'd take you back at Northern [Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois]." And I said, (makes sound), I said, "Well, you know, I've never been really good at math." He says, "Well, I'll tutor you." So I took his advice. I went and enrolled in classes at Rock Valley junior college [Rock Valley College, Rockford, Illinois] and he kept his word. I would go to his house, his wife and he, and he would tutor me. I ended up taking about, I don't know, twelve hours there and then I reapplied back at Northern. I had a young child at this time. They accepted me back. I quit that job. I got a loan and a scholarship, a grant from Sundstrand [Sundstrand Corporation; UTC Aerospace Systems], it was one of them where I had worked as a secretary, and I was on the dean's list every semester.$$Can we hold that for a minute 'cause you're, you're going to where I'm going to be in a few minutes, but let's back up just a hair. You ended up getting married in 1970--$$I think we got married, my daughter was born in '77 [1977], so we must have got married maybe in '74 [1974], '75 [1975].$$Okay, and your husband's name?$$Henry [Henry Talton].$$Henry, thank you, and your daughter's name?$$Shannel [Shannel Talton].$$Shannel, thank you. These are important details, I want to make sure I get them.$$Ex-husband.$$Ex-husband, okay, no, I can deal with then-husband, later on, ex-husband. And this salesman, I'm sorry, what was his name?$$Greg was his first name. I wish I, I actually wish I could find him, but Greg was his first name.$$All right, and he just, so he took you under, under his wing (unclear)?$$Right.$$He's white?$$Um-hm.