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Cheryl Mayberry McKissack

Founder, CEO and president of Nia Enterprises L.L.C., Cheryl Mayberry McKissack was born on June 24, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. Born the middle child and only girl to Thelma and Donald Mayberry, McKissack attended Seattle’s Dunlap Elementary School and graduated from Franklin High School. She went on to earn her B.S. degree in political science in two and a half years from Seattle University in 1976.

After graduating from Seattle University, McKissack began a career with the IBM Corporation as a sales and marketing executive. While fulfilling her duties at IBM, McKissack decided to continue her education by enrolling at the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. After graduating with her M.B.A in 1989, McKissack became the Western Area Branch Manager for the IBM Corporation in San Francisco, California, where she served until 1992. Afterwards, McKissack became Vice President of Sales and a founding member of the Network Systems Division at 3Com. In 1997, she served as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Open Port Technologies, Inc.

In 2000, McKissack founded Nia Enterprises L.L.C., a Chicago based marketing data solutions firm designed to provide companies with direct access to the consumer habits of African American families, particularly focusing on African American women. Nia Enterprises L.L.C. functions through various outlets including NiaOnline and Nia Access. McKissack has been featured in several publications and is the co-editor of a series of books including The Nia Guide For Black Women: Balancing Work and Life and The Nia Guide For Black Women: Achieving Career Success On Your Terms. McKissack has been recognized for her entrepreneurial achievements and has received many honors including the Marketing Opportunities in Business and Entertainment’s (MOBE) “Influencers and Innovators of the Internet and Technology” Award and the Chicago United People of Color Leadership Award. In 2006, she was named by The Network Journal as one of the 25 Influential Top Women, and in 2007, McKissack was awarded the State Farm Phenomenal Woman Award-Business Entrepreneur.

McKissack and her husband, Eric, live in Chicago, Illinois.

Photo courtesy of Victor Powell

Accession Number

A2008.015

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/7/2008

12/17/2008

Last Name

McKissack

Maker Category
Middle Name

Mayberry

Occupation
Schools

Franklin High School

Dunlap Elementary School

Seattle University

University of Washington

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business

Rainier Beach High School

First Name

Cheryl

Birth City, State, Country

Seattle

HM ID

MCK13

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Washington

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

We Have To Do What We Need To Do Now So That We Can Do What We Want To Do In The Future.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/24/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Entrepreneur and marketing executive Cheryl Mayberry McKissack (1955 - ) founded Nia Enterprises L.L.C., a Chicago based marketing data solutions firm designed to provide companies with direct access to the consumer habits of African American families, particularly focusing on African American women.

Employment

International Business Machines (IBM)

One Moment in Time

U.S. Robotics Corporation

Open Port Technology, Inc.

Nia Enterpresises

Kellogg School of Management

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610696">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Cheryl Mayberry McKissack's interview, session 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610697">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack lists her favorites, session 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610698">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her mother's family background, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610699">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her mother's family background, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610700">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers her maternal great-grandmother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610701">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610702">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her parents' move to Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610703">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610704">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her childhood in Coffeyville, Kansas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610705">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers her paternal grandfather's church, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610706">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers her paternal grandfather's church, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610707">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610708">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers celebrating Christmas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610709">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about segregation in Wichita, Kansas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610710">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers moving from Kansas to Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610711">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls the Central neighborhood in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610712">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610713">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack reflects upon her family's move to a majority-white neighborhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610714">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls her school environment in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610715">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers Rainier Beach Junior Senior High School in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610716">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls her experiences of bullying at Rainier Beach Junior Senior High School in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610717">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers how she coped with bullying</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610718">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls transferring to Franklin High School in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610719">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about the racial atmosphere of Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610720">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes the racial demographics of Franklin High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610721">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls her experiences at Franklin High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610722">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes the political activism at Franklin High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610723">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610724">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls Seattle University in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610725">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers her parents' divorce</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610726">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about the demographic changes in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610727">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers graduating from Seattle University in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610728">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls political activism at Seattle colleges</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610729">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her college coursework</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610730">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers her trip to Europe</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610731">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her career at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610732">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about the workplace culture at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610733">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes lessons from her time at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610734">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about diversity at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610735">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls how she came to study at the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610736">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls becoming a branch manager at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610737">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her M.B.A. degree program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610738">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610739">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her personal life during her career at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610740">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes the technological advancements at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610741">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers her formalwear rental business, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610742">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers her formalwear rental business, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610743">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Cheryl Mayberry McKissack's interview, session 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610744">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack lists her favorites, session 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610745">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her father's upbringing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610746">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls her early experiences in Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610747">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her mother's move to New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610748">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her likeness to her parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610749">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her earliest childhood memories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610750">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls attending a Baptist church in Wichita, Kansas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610751">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her mother's move to Seattle, Washington, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610752">Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers returning with her family to Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610753">Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610754">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her mother's move to Seattle, Washington, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610755">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls moving to Rainier Beach in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610756">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about Dunlap Elementary School in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610757">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers the holidays</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610758">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her experiences of school integration</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610759">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls her transition to Franklin High School in Seattle, Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610760">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers her parents' divorce</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610761">Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her aspiration to attend college</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610762">Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her college education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610763">Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers backpacking in Europe</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610764">Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her backpacking experiences in Europe</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610765">Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls lessons from her trip to Europe</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610766">Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes the discrimination against black women at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610767">Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about the training programs at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610768">Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about the products of IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610769">Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes the office environment at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610770">Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her career at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610771">Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about the lack of black executives at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610772">Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her interest in sales</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610773">Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls her move to Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610774">Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls her decision to attend the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610775">Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her program at the Kellogg School of Management</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610776">Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her decision to leave IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610777">Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls the early personal computing market</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610778">Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls the opposition to affinity groups at IBM</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610779">Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her first entrepreneurial venture</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610780">Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her early success as an entrepreneur</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610781">Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers joining the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610782">Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls her interview at the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610783">Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes the mission of the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610784">Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her role at the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610785">Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes the growth of the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610786">Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her colleagues at the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610787">Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls her experiences at the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610788">Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her daily activities at the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610789">Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about the national expansion of the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610790">Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers the sale of the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610791">Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls lessons from her time at the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610792">Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls leaving the U.S. Robotics Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610793">Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her lack of corporate role models</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610794">Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes Open Port Technology, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610795">Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recalls the closure of Open Port Technology, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610796">Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers founding Nia Enterprises, LLC</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610797">Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes Nia Enterprises, LLC</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610798">Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes the changes at Nia Enterprises, LLC</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610799">Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her corporate board memberships, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610800">Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her corporate board memberships, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610801">Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her civic activities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610802">Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about teaching at Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610803">Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack shares her advice to future businesspeople</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610804">Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about the election of President Barack Obama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610805">Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack reflects upon contemporary racism in the United States, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610806">Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack reflects upon contemporary racism in the United States, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610807">Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack reflects upon her generation's legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610808">Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes her hopes and concerns for young African Americans</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610809">Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack talks about her husband</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/610810">Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Cheryl Mayberry McKissack reflects upon her legacy</a>

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DATitle
Cheryl Mayberry McKissack describes Nia Enterprises, LLC
Cheryl Mayberry McKissack remembers joining the U.S. Robotics Corporation
Transcript
And what we decided to do was that we would, we would take--first of all, we'd build a community. This was back before Facebook [Facebook, Inc.] and all of these other kinds of things. And, and we wanted to take the African American people that were online and bring them together. And, and our primary focus was African American women. We wanted to have African American women kind of be our, our gateway, if you will, into the African American family. And so we, we started out by building a, a community site where we would provide them information that would help them with their families. And after a period of time, we would then go to them and ask them if they'd like to be a part of our consumer advisory panel. And the whole objective was to build this, build the largest consumer advisory panel, which we did, where we could have easy access to get into the minds and insights of African American families, and be able to provide that information in a research format to corporations so that they would have better information in the products that they were putting into our communities. And we were especially interested in areas like healthcare, because we ultimately wrote a book on, on choosing health and wellness. And the book was really all about African Americans really choosing to live healthier lives because we found out that we index at the top levels of every major disease, you know, you name it. Whether it's cancer or heart disease, African Americans lead the chart in every one of those disease and, and primarily African American women, and men also. So we, we could see by that there was this really--you know, a lot of disparities in the healthcare. So our thought was, well, you know, if corporations could have a better understanding of what African Americans thought they needed in these areas, they could put some of these things into products, or have us be involved more in the testing phases before it gets into, you know, your local, you know, drugstore, 'cause by that time it's a little late. And as we did some of our research, we found that African Americans had, had some, you know, had some issues with research. You know, they, they still--you know, even though some of them had an experience, that they had heard stories about the, you know, Tuskegee days [Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male] and you know, being used kind of as guinea pigs or whatever, and they just, they didn't have a, a trust level as to what were you gonna do with that information? How are you gonna use it? How is it gonna impact our community? How is it gonna better my life or the life of my family? And so we found that we had to, to build this whole what we call trusted dialogue first before they would give up the information.$$Okay. Now what were the steps along the way? Because I remember you starting--really, you wanted to be--look at Essence and being, you know, somewhere--$$No.$$--not, not at--$$No.$$--Essence online?$$No, because Essence wasn't--Essence didn't have an online--$$They were thinking--$$--at that time.$$--about an on--$$Yeah.$$--but they didn't want you to start. Was that it?$$Yeah, they, they--well, no, they, they--we, we just--they were print, and they were definitely print, and, and that was their business. And, but they were gonna get into the online business. And we met early on with one of the founders. He had actually summoned us to New York [New York] to meet with him, with the idea that we might be able to do something together. But, you know, that just didn't work out because of what our objectives were and, and what, you know, he expressed as their objectives. But, but their primary business was always, you know, to--$$Right.$$--to do print. And certainly they've expanded and evolved into online now, because, you know, that's just the way of the world. I mean you, you can't--$$That's right. That's right.$$--really have a business today without having an online component. But, but our focus really was to build the community first, get people comfortable that we were gonna offer them something of value, and then once they were comfortable, ask them if they would be a part of our, our panel so that we could do this research on a, on a regular basis.$$So (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That was really kind of it.$$So--$So what happened to U.S. Robotics [U.S. Robotics Corporation] then? How did (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well--$$--that come about?$$Well, what happened was, is that we were, we [Mayberry McKissack and Bonita Coleman Stewart]--I--we had both left IBM [International Business Machines Corporation].$$IBM.$$And we were both working in the business [One Moment in Time] full time. And we really had come to the conclusion that for us, we had objectives about what we wanted to do. And we--it was very clear to us that for us to meet the objectives that we wanted to do, instead of having three stores, we would need a hundred. You know, literally, we would need to have stores in just about every state, you know, in order to be able to, to get the economies and scales to achieve the kind of objectives that we have. And we found that something my mother [Thelma Roberson Arnold] told me very early on, that, you know, just because you like clothes and, and, and like fashion, doesn't mean you own--need to own a retail store. And so we, we, you know, we found that out and decided, actually decided pretty much at the same time that we wanted to both get back into, to business. We--it was a great, you know, opportunity, and we were able to sell off, you know, the assets of the business, but we decided that it wasn't something that we probably wanted to do long term. And right about that time, right before that, a good friend of mine here in Chicago [Illinois] was talking to a, a search firm, a friend of hers who was heading up a search firm. And they were looking for someone with a strong sales management background to, to work in this very entrepreneurial high, high, you know, growth entrepreneurial company here in Chicago called U.S. Robotics, which was really responsible for modem technology with the PC [personal computer] environment. But, but really what was prompting this business and made it just go crazy was the, was the advent of the Internet. And so she called me, 'cause, you know, I think I had been out with her a few weeks before and probably was commiserating about, you know, all of my, you know, money that I had earned at IBM was now, you know, being poured into this entrepreneurial business and, and how I wanted to, you know, get back to making money again. And so she said to me, she said to me, you know, "Would you ever be interested in doing that?" And I said, "Oh, I don't think so," but, but I, I, I, I had a little bit of interest. And I went home and, and actually--I wasn't married at the time, but my, my husband [Eric McKissack], who was my boyfriend at the time, told him about it. And he says, "Well, you might want to think about that. You know, that sounds like something would be right up your alley," and so I went up and, and interviewed with them. And, and the reason why I decided to do it is because it was really the perfect merger of, of what I wanted to do in my life. It was very entrepreneurial, had huge growth, was back in my core business, which was technology, and they were, they had lots of plans and ideas of new, creative things that they wanted to do. And I could use all of the, the training and skills and experience that I had, both from my entrepreneurial background and my corporate background, and apply those to some new ideas that, that were very exciting. And so that's why I decided to do it.$$What was the company you found, though? What was the U.S. Robotics you found when you joined it? How large was it?$$Well, U.S. Robotics when, when I joined it was about $80 million sales. Five years later, when it was sold to 3Com [3Com Corporation], it was about $2.2 billion in sales. And it was sold for just a little bit over 7 billion. It was one of the largest technology sales, company sales at that time in the industry.