Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY. Profession: Insurance, finance and operations. Organization: Highmark Health. Title: Vice President, Clinical Strategy Execution & Business Operations. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Alma mater: Hofstra University (B.B.A.); New York Institute of Technology (M.B.A.), Capella University (M.S.Ed., Ph.D.), Carnegie Mellon University (Executive Leadership Academy of the Advanced Leadership Initiative).
Current project: Working on a book anthology titled “Letters to My Corporate Sisters: Stories of Endurance, Elevation, and Encouragement” to be published in March 2023. Recent recognition: Recognized by the New Pittsburgh Courier as one of 50 Women of Excellence in 2021. Latest contribution to others: Board member and treasurer for two nonprofit organizations in Pittsburgh, Gwen’s Girls and Silver Eye Photograph. What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Completing my Ph.D. It took seven years, but I was determined and resilient. Hobbies: Collecting chess sets. I love to find unique sets when traveling abroad. Last book read: Black Faces in High Places, by Randal Pinkett and Jeffrey Robinson.
Personality profile: Very high introvert. Moral compass: What would my father say? What is your greatest fear? Dying alone and nobody knowing for weeks. How do you relieve stress? Turn on music and dance. What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Warm weather.
What was your first paying job? Delivering the local newspaper. What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Barbie doll. What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? My diplomas and awards. What’s the best advice you received growing up? Get an education. The knowledge that you have acquired will provide you with the means to recover from any setback or loss. What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? My parents’ divorce, which led me to ensure my own complete independence.
My mission is to ‘Break the Eight’, which refers to the percentage of African Americans holding managerial roles in corporate America.
What message do you want to send out into the world? Don’t judge a book by its cover. The interior is where the magic is. What mega-trend most concerns you? Driverless cars and, particularly, the possibility of hackers taking control of the vehicle.
What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Viola Davis. People say I sound like her. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A lawyer. What advice would you give your younger self? Keep your credit score and bank account balance as high as possible. What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? My undergraduate years.
Personal mission: Providing insight and tools for more professionals of color to move up into the leadership ranks. Personal motto: Be visible, vocal, and valued. Favorite quote: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb” (Nelson Mandela).