Arlenis Almonte is a Merchandise Buyer for Target Corporation, focusing on Target.com. During her time at Fuqua she served as an Admissions Co-Director of the Black and Latino MBA Organization, Admissions Fellow, Special Events Director of the Luxury Brand and Retail Club, and Ambassador of the Leadership Cohort Experience. She dedicated most of her time to connecting with and recruiting diverse students to Fuqua's community. In addition to her involvement at Fuqua, Arlenis is a Management Leadership for Tomorrow MBA Prep 2011 Fellow, Forté Foundation Fellow, and a member of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA).
Prior to Fuqua, Arlenis was a part of MetLife's Global Brand and Marketing Services division playing active roles within Advertising & Brand Management and Creative Services teams. She was instrumental in safeguarding the MetLife brand domestically and internationally, as well as implementing brand activation and engagement programs throughout the organization.
Arlenis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She enjoys cultural travel, cooking, running and training for endurance events.
Mia Barnes currently works as an analyst for the Department of Justice where she manages contracts, technical resources, budgets, and creates efficiencies in current practices employed by the agency. Mia received her undergraduate degree in Information Technology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters of Management Studies degree from Duke University. During her time at these institutions, Mia held leadership positions in various campus and community organizations. While pursuing her Masters, Mia worked at SAS Institute as a technical student where she helped write and test code on several language platforms. Mia continues to stay active within her local community as a member of the Zeta Chi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Fairfax Volunteers for Change, and as a Suicide Hotline Counselor.
Rico Beans is 2012 graduate of the Daytime MBA program. He is currently an Associate Marketing Manager for Walmart Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas. He is also an Advisory Board Member for the Creating Nothing Other Than Excellence (C.N.O.T.E) Foundation, a non-profit with the goal of closing the achievement gap within the under-represented minority community. During his time at Fuqua, Rico served as Co-President of Black and Latino MBA Organization, Center of Leadership and Ethics Fellow, and member of the Marketing Club.
Before Fuqua, Rico was a Supply Chain Supervisor for the Commercial Distibution Business Unit of Eaton Corporation. He also served as an officer in the United States Air Force, where he deployed to Bagram Afghanistan. Rico received his bachelors degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. Rico enjoys traveling, painting, and southern barbecue.
Daman Blakeney is a Director in Brown Capital Management’s Large/Mid Investment Team, which actively invests in domestic large-cap and mid-cap equity securities. Prior to Brown Capital, Daman worked as an Equity Research Analyst with Voyageur Asset Management, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois and as an Equity Research Analyst with Victory Capital Management Inc. in New York City, New York and Cleveland, OH. He is a member of the CFA Institute.
Outside of work, Daman is a member of the Pratt Contemporaries, a group that aims to raise the awareness of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. He is also an advisory board member of Higher Achievement – Baltimore, an afterschool and summer academic program that provides middle school youth with a learning environment which will enable them to advance to top academic high schools. Daman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He resides in Baltimore, where he enjoys being a member of both The Rams Club and the Iron Dukes.
After living most of her life along the East Coast and a few years in Spain, Christina moved to Austin, TX in 2009 to assume the role of Chief Marketing Officer for New York Life's Long-Term Care division. She energetically drives an incredibly talented team to grow sales within an Agency distribution channel. Her team develops B2B and B2C tools designed to engage a rapidly aging population. Their messages are broadcast through traditional methods such as brochures and direct mail letters, in addition to embracing more modern digital marketing techniques such as social media outlets and web advertisements.
During her eleven-year career with New York Life, Christina has been intimately engaged in one strategic growth initiative after another. She's enjoyed cultivating opportunities within an expanse of target markets including but not limited to Retirees, Young-Families, Small-Businesses, Middle Market, LGBT, Health Aware, Women and several cultural markets (Hispanic, Asian-Indian, Korean and African-American).
Prior to joining New York Life, she was a Latin American Sovereign Analyst at Bankers Trust and then a Sell-Side Telecom Associate for Deutsche Bank. She worked on Wall Street during many major economic shifts including the Mexican Tequila Crisis, when Brazil's inflation easily topped 300% a year, and when the Argentinean Peso was pegged to the U.S. dollar. At that time, she was very astute in estimating many consumer behaviors, such as how many minutes the average person spoke on their cell phone each month (by country).
Christina acquired these technical skills when pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Business-Government from Franklin and Marshall College, and later acquiring her MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Christina enjoys many outdoor activities such as running, kayaking and mountain biking. Her true passion however is surfing and traveling to the far reaches of this earth.
Kareem Cook is a Founder and Managing Director at Towerview Capital Management (TCM), a private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts of middle-market companies focused on preventative medicine, healthier products and healthier lifestyles. Having recently acquired Naturade, a leading nutraceutical company which sells vitamins and supplements, he has assumed the position of Chief Operating Officer within the company.
Prior to founding TCM, Kareem co-founded Healthy Body Products (HBP), a healthy beverage and snack distribution company based in Los Angeles. HBP was the first company to place vending machines which exclusively serve healthy snacks and beverages in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). HBP was instrumental in the banning of "junk food" in LAUSD and later in banning the sale of junk food in the state of California. Within two years of the company's founding, HBP was awarded the contract to supply all of the high schools and middle schools in Los Angeles, totaling over 130 schools. He and his partner were invited by President Bill Clinton and Governor Mike Huckabee to present to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in Arkansas on HBP's story and best practices.
Kareem earned his BA from Duke University and his MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. In addition to serving on the Fuqua Minority Alumni Board, he is also Vice President of the Duke Club in Los Angeles and serves on the American Heart Association Health Equity Task Force.
KC Copeland is currently a VP at Morgan Stanley directing a central control process spanning the bank's enterprise that entails an annual outlay of $50M to enhance key processes between the Front and Back Offices. She is also involved in the recruiting and mentoring of interns. Prior to Morgan Stanley, KC worked at PwC focusing on Capital Market clients' strategies to rebuild core practices post the Great Recession. She also worked at Merrill Lynch in its Fixed Income Division in proprietary mortgage trading directly after attending Fuqua's Daytime MBA Program.
KC earned Dual Degrees in Engineering from Spelman College and Georgia Tech. While at Fuqua, she served on the Board of Visitors and received the Dean's Recognition for Exemplary Service. In addition to serving on the Fuqua Minority Alumni Board, she is veteran mentor in the New York Chapter of the Wall Street Financial and Scholastic Training Program which teaches business acumen and capital market concepts to high school students who will pursue degrees in business or finance.
William Crowder is an active early stage investor, enthusiastic startup advisor, and spearheads efforts to create new opportunities for talented tech entrepreneurs across the country. He leads the investing activities of the $20 million Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund that invests in diverse entrepreneurs and tech startups with the potential to become industry leaders. Since arriving at Comcast Ventures, William has been responsible for investments in a number of high growth startups including: AptDeco, Cuyana, Maker’s Row, and Partpic.
William also serves as a partner at Dreamit, the global startup accelerator and pre-seed venture fund. Since joining Dreamit in 2011 William has worked with over 100 early stage startups focusing most of his time on ensuring a more diverse population of entrepreneurs receive the benefit of a top-tier accelerator experience.
Crystal Hardie Langston is a principal in Vanguard Corporate Strategy, responsible for supporting Vanguard's corporate and business line strategy. Prior to this role, she was a principal in Vanguard Financial Advisor Services and was responsible for the internal sales team across all channels - including banks, registered investment advisors, and broker-dealers. Her previous Vanguard roles include leading the Relationship Management team in Vanguard Financial Advisor Services and serving as chief of staff for the Institutional Division. Ms. Hardie started her Vanguard career as a relationship manager for institutional retirement plan sponsors. Prior to joining Vanguard, Ms. Hardie was an analyst in Banc of America Securities' Debt Capital Markets department.
Ms. Hardie is a co-founder and leader of the Vanguard Black Professional Network. She is also a board member for Urban Tree Connection, an organization focused on community-based urban greening in Philadelphia.
Ms. Hardie earned her B.S. from the University of Virginia and her M.B.A. at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
A Georgia native, Ms. Hardie loves spending time with family and friends and is passionate about international travel and trying new restaurants.
Jacqueline Hodge is a Senior Client Manager with Xerox Financial Services Group responsible for client-facing relationships with national and international financial institutions. Since joining Xerox, Jackie has led enterprise-wide programs for Xerox payments division and was responsible for the largest data transfer and systems migrations in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Xerox, Jackie held senior level positions at US Bank, JPM Chase and Cardinal Health. She is the former director of investor relations for Bank One and was the principal voice to domestic and institutional investors and advisors.
Jackie holds a BS degree in chemical engineering (ChE) from the University of Southern California and a MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. She is a certified project management professional (PMP). Prior to Fuqua, Jackie worked as a project manager in the nuclear power division at Bechtel Power Corporation focused on building the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station located in Arizona.
Jackie is registered member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, located in Dulce, New Mexico. As a tribal member, she served on the board of directors of the Jicarilla Apache Energy Corporation (JAECO) where she was solely responsible for leading an $8.6 million oil and gas credit facility backed by the U.S. Department of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, This was the first transaction of its type and became the model for future lending for other tribal nations. She is an active speaker and presenter in Native American Energy and Financial conferences focused on emerging issues in Indian country. In 2010, Jackie was named a Sequoyah Fellow with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and remains active with the mentoring and coaching of Native American students.
Mr. Melton is the Managing Director of Sterling Gabriel, Inc., a business and real estate consulting and investment banking firm that serves small and middle market business clients. He received his Masters in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance and General Management from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Accounting from the Bryan School of Business and Economics, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Melton received a certificate from the University of Shopping Centers on the campus of the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a certificate on 'Dealing with an Angry Public', a Program on Negotiation, at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr. Melton is active with several local and regional community and educational Boards. Mr. Melton is also approved as a Part-time Instructor in the Department of Finance at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia. He lives in Smyrna, Georgia and is married to Tamara and has three children: Ckalib, Logan and Olivia. Mr. Melton enjoys tennis, golf and traveling with his family.
Ms. Robinson is a marketing executive with over 15 years experience across a variety of industries. Currently she is a Vice President of Global Marketing at Clinique, the largest prestige beauty brand in the world.
Prior to Clinique, Ms. Robinson held Sr. level positions at Johnson & Johnson on KORRES, a prestige homeopathic Greek beauty brand and on Neutrogena, a leading Mass beauty brand.
Before Johnson & Johnson, she held various positions at L'Oreal and Avon in the Color Cosmetics, Skincare, and Haircare segments.
Ms. Robinson began her career at Kraft Foods where she worked on the venerable Maxwell House coffee brand and from there went on to work at Capital One Financial, where she launched the first "What's in Your Wallet?" campaign.
She holds a B.A. degree in Spanish from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from Duke University.
Ms. Robinson enjoys training and competing in Olympic distance Triathlons as well as Century distance bike rides.
Marcus Shaw is the Director of Business Development for Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT). MLT prepares high potential diverse talent to meet the bar for high performance at leading companies and helps its corporate partners improve their diversity recruitment and retention outcomes. Mr. Shaw is responsible for sourcing and closing partnerships with organizations that recruit MLT Fellows.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Shaw spent 10 years in equity research and asset management, with both sell-side and buy-side firms. Most recently, Mr. Shaw was the Head of Tech, Media, and Telecom research at a broker-dealer in Washington DC focused on policy and regulated industries. Prior to that he was a Managing Analyst at Piedmont Investment Advisors in Durham, NC. His career in finance began with Bank of America, as an associate on the Telecom equity research team. Mr. Shaw started his career with IBM as an engineer in the Data Networking Practice.
Marcus earned his MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He earned a BS in Mathematics from Morehouse College and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Marcus lives in the Washington DC area with his wife, Maren, and their two children.
Michael Smith is currently the Vice President, Strategy Development, for The Coca-Cola Company. Smith current responsiblity is to lead the organization in the development of group level growth strategies, in support of our delivering their near and long term growth objectives. Specific responsibilities fall into three main areas, but not limited to:
Prior to the most recently spent last 2 years as VP Portfolio Strategy for Still Beverages and 48 months leading long term growth strategy, business planning, and marketplace intelligence and performance management for the North American Business Unit in direct support for the Group President.
Prior to that Michael spent 2.5 years as VP Healthy Living, leading efforts for the North America system in developing consumer and constituent programs and consumer and opinion leader messaging designed to demonstrate The Coca-Cola Company's commitment to the societal issues on obesity and in offering quality products that meet the needs of consumers. Other efforts include the development of transformative category growth strategies designed to reposition the image of sparkling beverages with consumers and to ensure that we had best positioned portfolio to lead beverage industry in wellness driven growth.
Prior to that, Michael spent 18 months in Coca-Cola's corporate marketing as Executive Assistant & VP, Global Strategic Initiatives working directly for the CMO; prior to that he held various strategy development leadership roles in Coca-Cola North America including Group Director, Strategic Initiatives and Director, Strategic Planning for CCNA Retail Division and later for the CCNA Group. Michael started his Coca-Cola career in the North American Foodservice division in 1994 where he was Executive Assistant to VP Fountain Operations, lead a region commercial operations capability, and where he also interned while at Fuqua School of Business.
Michael has been with TCCC 20 years in various positions of increasing responsibility. Before that he work with BellSouth Mobile Data as an International Marketing and Business Development Director for 3 years, where he was an integral part of new business startups in Australia, The Netherlands, and Belgium holding leadership roles in the areas of sales, marketing and business development.
Prior to BellSouth, Michael spent over 6 years with Hewlett-Packard in their National Account Sales group in Atlanta. Michael also worked for Corning Glass thru Georgia Tech's co-operative education program.
Chair, Minority Alumni Advisory Board
Tyrone Thomas is a Managing Director and the North America Head of Loan Sales at Citi. Mr. Thomas and his sales team are responsible for providing sales coverage to leveraged loan institutional investors for primary market issuance and secondary market trading. His clients include Apollo, Eaton Vance, GSO/Blackstone, and PIMCO, among others.
Mr. Thomas received an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He began his career as a CPA at Ernst & Young LLP where he was a Senior Auditor in the Financial Services Group. At Ernst & Young, he primarily focused on providing audit services to private equity and hedge fund clients.
He resides in South Orange, NJ with his wife and two children. In addition to his professional experiences, Mr. Thomas enjoys traveling, participating in various sports and organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Newark, NJ.
Vice Chair, Minority Alumni Advisory Board
Anne Sempowski Ward is a business strategy, operations, marketing and branding executive who has spent nearly two decades in corporate leadership at major companies such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Johnson Publishing Company.
Mrs. Ward has consistently spearheaded strategic innovation and organizational efficiency and is especially adept at developing winning operational models. Her career has been defined by her ability to successfully lead business turnarounds, high-profile acquisitions, classic re-branding efforts, corporate reorganization and restructuring, and multicultural marketing.
A native of Detroit, Mrs. Ward has a bachelor's of science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Duke University. She also earned a Global MBA from Duke's Fuqua School of Business.
She stays active in the civic and business communities and has been recognized for her business leadership by the YMCA and YWCA. Mrs. Ward's achievements have been written about in numerous magazines and The Go-Getter Girl's Guide: Get What You Want in Work and Life and she has appeared on many esteemed business panels.
Tony Wicks is currently a Principal with IMS Consulting Group. Previously Tony served as a Vice President of Strategic Account Management for Lash Group, a division of AmerisourceBergen Corporation. Tony assumed this role after the sale of his company Premier Source, LLC to AmerisourceBergen in 2011.
Tony co-founded Premier Source, a boutique provider of strategic consulting, reimbursement, and commercial support services to life sciences manufacturers worldwide. Premier Source targets biopharma and diagnostic companies developing novel solutions in the rare disease and molecular diagnostic markets. Premier Source is considered the leading provider of reimbursement and support services to molecular diagnostic manufacturers. Since founding the company in 2004, Tony and his business partner successfully grew Premier Source into a multi-million dollar enterprise with over 150 employees and offices in San Mateo, California and Portland, Oregon. This culminated in the sale of Premier Source to AmerisourceBergen, a Fortune 30 health service company.
Prior to launching Premier Source, Tony spent over 12 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including five years as a management consultant in the Life Sciences practice of Cap Gemini (formerly Ernst & Young) Management Consulting Services. Tony also held positions in finance and marketing at Abbott Laboratories and Merck & Co.
Tony earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Tony resides in Oakland, California, with his wife, Carla, and three children, Kaden, Colin, and Kendall. He is an avid wine collector, loves to travel, and enjoys coaching baseball and basketball.
Paul Williams is the National Sales Vice President for Aetna International's Faith Based and Not for Profit vertical. Paul is responsible for leading the sales efforts and executing the overall growth strategy for International volunteers, missionaries and employees. This includes collaborating with Sales Executives, Account Managers and Account Service Representatives, Underwriting, Network, Marketing, Product and Operations teams to ensure that Aetna International has the right combination of products, services, promotional tools and price points for this unique segment.
He started his career with Aetna in 2003 in New York where he sold more than $50M in domestic medical, dental and group insurance premiums. He then left Aetna to pursue graduate studies and returned as a member of the Enterprise Leadership Development Program where he completed assignments in Investor Relations and Enterprise Strategy. Paul then joined Aetna International as an expat in the Hong Kong office, where he spent a year as a Business Development Director and Head of Sales. During this assignment Paul redesigned the sales process and worked with the Hong Kong sales team to win its largest case and double its annual membership production. Most recently, Paul has been leading the strategy for the U.S. Government vertical developing our market and product strategy and the Aetna brand presence with embassies, consulates and diplomatic intermediaries.
His current role with the Faith Based and Not for Profit customers ties back to Paul's 20 year commitment to charitable giving and community service with Kiwanis International. Paul was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. He graduated from Wesleyan University with his B.A. in Economics and Duke University with an M.B.A. in Finance.
Randy Zeno is a proven senior executive in the consumer products industry at both public and private equity held companies ranging in size from $20MM to $1B+. Currently, Mr. Zeno serves as CEO of Urban Therapy, owners of Twisted Sista, a multi-cultural hair care company, acquired in 2014 by Wexford Capital and Scarlett Investments. Previously, Mr. Zeno was CEO of Dr. Miracle’s – a Catterton Partners portfolio company which Randy swiftly transformed into a multi-cultural hair care company. Dr. Miracle’s was successfully merged with a Dallas based hair care company in 2013.
Over a span of 28 years, Mr. Zeno has held increasingly visible leadership and executive positions within leading portfolio companies of Rank Group (Reynolds Consumer Products), Vestar (Birds Eye Foods) and Metropoulos Group (International Home Foods). His roots in consumer products began early in his career with organizations such as Nabisco, Cadbury-Schweppes and Kraft General Foods. Mr. Zeno holds an MBA and BA from Duke University.
Mr. Zeno serves on the Board for Strive International. Previous board roles include Glory Foods, a manufacturer of specialty canned vegetables, Junior Achievement Fairfield County and Garth Fagan Dance Company. He is the father of a daughter, a 2015 graduate of Duke University and a son in his sophomore year at St. Johns University.