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Challis Lowe

Corporate executive Challis Lowe was born on July 21, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois to Clotilde Waller and Abner Waller. She graduated from Parker High School in 1962, and received her B.A. degree in communications from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1966. She later earned her M.B.A. degree in finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management University in 1978.

Lowe began her career at the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago. In 1972, she was named the first African American female vice president of the Continental Bank, at the time, the fifth largest bank in the U.S. She was senior vice president of Illinois Leasing Corporation, a subsidiary focused on domestic lease and debt financing transactions, when Continental Bank sold this business unit to Sanwa Bank, Ltd. of Japan in 1984. Lowe remained in Chicago as senior vice president of administrative services for the newly formed Sanwa Business Credit Corporation. In 1993, she became the executive vice president of human resources for the Walter E. Heller International Corporation. In 1997, Lowe moved into a similar role at the Beneficial Corporation, then the nation’s second largest consumer finance company. When Beneficial merged with Household International, Inc. in 1998, Lowe served as a consultant. In 2000, she moved to Florida, where she worked as the executive vice president of human resources, corporate communications and public affairs for Ryder System, Inc. Four years later, Lowe was hired as executive vice president of human resources of Dollar General where she remained until the acquisition of Dollar General by KKR & Co. L.P., a private equity company. In 2009, Lowe was recruited to serve as the senior vice president of organization development and human resources for Ascension Health, Inc., a position she held until her retirement in 2013.

In 1997, Lowe joined the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation board as a financial specialist to chair its newly formed Investment Committee; and in 2000, she became a trustee of the Kenwood Growth and Income Fund in Chicago. Upon relocating to Florida, she served on the Florida Memorial College Board of Directors in 2001, and the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Board of Trustees in 2003, which she later chaired. In 2005, Lowe was elected as a board member and treasurer of the Executive Leadership Council. Lowe joined the Fisk University Board of Trustees in 2013, and was named to the board of directors of the Seaway Bank and Trust Company in 2014. In 2016, Lowe was named to the board of Catholic Health Initiatives where she chaired the Retirement Committee and served on its Audit Committee.

Challis Lowe was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 30, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.138

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/30/2018

4/11/2019

Last Name

Lowe

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Park Manor Elementary School

Charles S. Deneen Elementary School

Francis W. Parker High School

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Southern Illinois University

Northwestern University

First Name

Challis

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

LOW07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa, China, and Paris

Favorite Quote

Just Do It

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/21/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Vegetables

Short Description

Corporate executive Challis Lowe (1945 - ) held various executive administrative positions at Walter E. Heller International Corporation, the Beneficial Corporation, Ryder System, Inc., the Dollar General Corporation, and Ascension Health, Inc.

Employment

Continental Illinois Leasing Corporation and Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago

Sanwa Business Credit Corporation

Walter E. Heller International Corporation

Beneficial Corporation

Ryder System, Inc.

Dollar General Corporation

Ascension Health, Inc.

Favorite Color

Red

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.

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

Short Description

Corporate executive Samuel Howard (1939 - ) 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

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Samuel Howard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard remembers his mother's Christian faith

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard talks about the African American community in Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard remembers his home life in Lawton, Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Samuel Howard describes his neighborhood in Lawton, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard remembers segregation in Lawton, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard describes the black business district in Lawton, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard describes his employment during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard remembers his teachers at the Douglass School in Lawton, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard remembers his start at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard remembers paying for his education at Oklahoma State University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard remembers his experiences at Oklahoma State University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard talks about race relations in Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard remembers his activities at Oklahoma State University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard talks about his success at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard recalls his graduate studies at Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard remembers his courtship with his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard remembers his computer training at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard describes the White House Fellows program

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard remembers being selected for the White House Fellows program

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard talks about his wife's money management

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard recalls his experiences as a White House Fellow, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard recalls his experiences as a White House Fellow, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard talks about President Lyndon Baines Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard reflects upon his experiences as a White House Fellow

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard recalls his work as director of computer services at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard remembers his work with TAW International Leasing, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard talks about his radio station investments, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard talks about his radio station investments, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard recalls his work at Meharry Medical College and the Insurance Company of North America

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard remembers filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard recalls serving as vice president and treasurer of the Hospital Corporation of America

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard remembers founding a Medicaid HMO in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard remembers the allegations against his Medicaid HMO

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard recalls his exoneration from criminal charges

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard talks about his financial losses

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard describes his recent business ventures

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard describes his proposed changes to the Medicare system

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard talks about his community engagement in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard talks about his work with the Urban League of Middle Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard talks about his employees

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard describes his children

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard talks about the separation between his family life and business

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard describes his service with the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard talks about his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard talks about his and his siblings' independence

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard describes how he would like to be remembered

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.