My vision is to help make the Wharton Club of the National Capital Region the best Wharton Club in America, and in doing so capture the lion’s share of the over 4,000 alumni that live in the Washington DC area. I attended the launch event for the National Capital Region and there was a lot of excitement and positive energy. Later I became a member. I envision the Club becoming the regional leader in creating a supportive environment for business owners and a leader in promoting global connectivity, a leader in supporting the Wharton start-up community, and a leader in helping alumni maximize their wealth base. It is assumed that when you graduate from a top business school like Wharton, you know how to create personal wealth. While I suspect most alumni have done very well financially relative to the overall population, many may still not have the financial protection that they desire. I envision the Club playing a vital role in providing access to education and connectivity in areas that are central to expanding personal wealth. I believe that unique and interesting programming and the ability to connect with like-minded people are the best ways to expand membership. People are busy with their own lives and have a lot of competing events. For the Club to be successful in attracting new members it should consider offering a combination of fun events that allow for greater personal connectivity and professional sharing, couple with topical learning opportunities that hit home (ex: preparing your family and business for the coronavirus). I believe that this combination will attract an increasing number of alumni to participate.
First, I am an African-American, from the Midwest who grew up in a low-income family. This background offers me the ability to reflect on issues the board may face from what some would consider a non-traditional background for Wharton. Second I bring diversity of professional experiences ranging from entrepreneurship to corporate to non-profit. This rich background of professional experiences would allow me to reflect on Wharton Club issues from a broader perspective. Finally, I bring a level of diversity in global experiences because while many people have traveled, few have lived on three continents and engaged the full range of people from these countries.
Special Skills, Qualifications & Previous Board Experience
Over the years, I have developed a variety of skills and qualifications. Professionally, the bulk of my career has been in the areas of business development, capital acquisition and individual financial management. I have launched, grew and subsequently sold an investment management practice and worked in senior positions for a number of financial services companies. I have led a federal government agency focused on the growth and global competitiveness of America’s minority-owned businesses as a Presidential Appointee, and served on the Board of Directors of a number of entities ranging from a Chile-based venture capital fund, to a global yoga company, to a nationally recognized museum. These experiences have offered me special expertise in global investment management, the intricacies of business development, a unique understanding of the role of government and politics in our lives and board governance. Finally, as my hobby is traveling, I bring the perspective of one who has visited over 70 countries and lived in three, which allows me to both understand and speak about global issues, particularly from the perspective of the poor.