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.
Brian Bell is a Manager in Sales Operations for Texas Instruments, specializing in business analytics. In his four years at TI, he has also held positions in the areas of Finance, Logistics, and Capacity Planning. He began his career as a Chemical Engineer in Research and Development for Frito-Lay before returning to Duke to obtain his MBA in Finance. He was the 2005 recipient of the Fuqua Dean's Recognition Award for Exemplary Service. He is currently a member of the National Black MBA Association, Inc.
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.
Yvette is a collaborative, customer focused, and metric driven leader, practitioner and scholar in the areas of business and leadership. She is president of Bonaparte Consulting, Inc, a consulting practice that assists clients in the areas of strategic marketing and communications, change management, diversity and inclusion and leadership training/development.
Since starting her career as a brand assistant at Procter and Gamble, Yvette and her teams have successfully launched and managed products and programs targeting various audiences. She has led and participated in corporate initiatives in the areas of diversity and inclusion, and leadership effectiveness. Yvette’s appreciation for diversity and inclusion is in part the result of her international work experience where she was responsible for new products and leading global teams within the pharmaceutical industry.
In addition to earning her MBA degree with a concentration in marketing from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Yvette earned her BA degree from Brandeis University where she graduated cum laude and with honors in economics. In 2013, Yvette earned her Ph.D. degree in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University. Parts of her dissertation which was entitled Transformative African American Women Leaders in the Pharmaceutical Industry, have been submitted for publication.
In addition to the Fuqua Minority Alumni Advisory Board, her current professional associations include the National Black MBA Association, the Academy of Management and the International Leadership Association.
Ken Burton is the Sales Performance & Support Executive for Specialized Industries within Bank of America's Global Commercial Bank. In this role, he is responsible for collaborating with market leadership to improve sales effectiveness, deliver world-class support and drive our client teams to delight specialized industries clients in the healthcare, not-for-profit, higher education and sports sectors.
Prior to his current position, Burton worked in Corporate Treasury as the Governance & Control Senior Manager, where he was responsible for ensuring appropriate oversight of all critical Treasury functions in the following areas: Transaction Management, Guarantee Management and Liquidity Risk and Control. He previously served as the Senior Manager of Securities Administration, where he supported the domestic and international capital raising activities of Bank of America Corporation and Bank of America, N.A. Burton also spent eight years in Bank of America's Global Corporate Investment Bank.
Prior to joining Bank of America, Burton worked at GE Aerospace and Lockheed Martin.
Ken Burton graduated summa cum laude from North Carolina A&T State University and later earned a master's degree in business administration from Duke University.
Burton is affiliated with several organizations within the Charlotte community including the Stratford-Richardson YMCA Board of Managers, the Reeder Memorial Baptist Church and the Pi Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Burton resides in Charlotte with his wife, Aneta, and their three children Kayla, Kamryn and Trey.
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.
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.
Jacqueline D. Neal is an experienced business professional with 20 plus years of management experience working across multiple disciplines. Her strategic skills and accomplishments include company restructuring for maximum value, board development and management, developing margin enhancement strategies, developing integrated strategic business and marketing plans, idea generation, implementing quantitative and qualitative analytical tools, and leadership team evaluation.
Neal was recruited by a private equity firm to serve as President of Glory Foods, Inc. and played a critical role in shoring up the company for sale to maximize shareholders' returns. She has strategic marketing experience across multiple categories within a number of Fortune 100 consumer package goods companies, e.g. M&M/Mars, Quaker Oats, Heinz, Nabisco, and Kraft.
She is President of J. Neal Consulting, LLC, a consulting firm that helps businesses develop growth strategies and secure external capital.
Neal earned a bachelor's degree in Finance from Howard University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Currently a board member of Mansion Day School and Cancer Support Community, she also serves at her church, New Salem Baptist Church.
Ms. Robinson is a marketing executive with over 15 years experience across a variety of industries. Currently she is the Vice President of Global Marketing, Makeup and Fragrance for Clinique.
Prior to Clinique, Ms. Robinson held Sr. level positions at Johnson & Johnson on KORRES, a prestige homeopathic Greek beauty brand and Neutrogena, a leading Mass beauty brand.
Before Johnson & Johnson, she held positions as both the Executive Director for Color Cosmetics, as well as for Skincare at Avon Products, Inc, the world's largest beauty direct seller
Ms. Robinson's beauty experience is rounded out by several years at L'Oreal where she was the Assistant Vice President of Marketing for the L'Oreal Paris Haircare division.
Ms. Robinson also held positions at Capital One Financial, where she launched the first "What's in Your Wallet?" campaign, and at Kraft Foods where she worked on the venerable Maxwell House coffee brand, among others.
She holds a B.A. degree in Spanish Language and Culture 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.
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 Vice President in Credit Sales and Trading at Citi. Mr. Thomas is responsible for providing sales coverage to high yield and distressed bond and leveraged loan institutional investors for primary market issuance and secondary market trading. He is Series 7, Series 63 and Series 3 licensed and holds a Certified Public Accountant designation.
Prior to Citi, Mr. Thomas received an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. While at Fuqua, Mr. Thomas served as the Diversity Chair of the Finance Club and studied abroad at the University of the Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He also earned a merit based JP Morgan Scholarship and the Dean's Recognition Award for outstanding service to the student body.
Prior to Duke, Mr. Thomas worked for Ernst & Young LLP in New York as 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. His clients included Credit Suisse Asset Management, Amerada Hess Corporation and the National Basketball Association.
In addition to his professional experiences, Mr. Thomas enjoys traveling, running marathons and participating in organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Newark, New Jersey, and NextGen Network.
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 a Vice President of Strategic Account Management for Lash Group, a division of AmerisourceBergen Corporation that provides reimbursement, patient, and provider support services to biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, and medical device manufacturers. 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.
Mark Williams is a Managing Director in Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Private Placements Group. He is responsible primarily for structuring and marketing private corporate bond offerings in North America, Australia, and Europe. During his 17 years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mark has been involved in the execution of more than 250 transactions aggregating in excess of $40 billion. Prior to joining the Private Placements Group, Mark worked in Bank of America's Atlanta Corporate Finance Group as well as the Procter & Gamble Company and IBM.
Outside of work, Mark has served on several boards, including the National Advisory Board for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Urban Health Initiative. He also is a United States-Japan Leadership Program fellow. Mark earned a BSE in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University and an MBA at Duke's Fuqua School of Business. He and his wife, Stacey, reside in Chicago with their son, Mark Jr., and daughter, Gabrielle.