D.A. Abrams was named chief diversity and inclusion officer of the United States Tennis Association. Prior to this, he served as the executive director of the U.S.T.A.’s Eastern Section, where his leadership helped garner 20 percent growth. Before that, he was the director of outreach at the U.S.T.A.’s national office in White Plains, N.Y. A longtime tennis enthusiast, Abrams began his U.S.T.A. career in 1993 as a national coordinator for the New Jersey Tennis League program. He served as executive director of U.S.T.A.’s Missouri Valley section, becoming the first African-American in that position at a U.S.T.A. regional office. In his
new role, Abrams is charged with bringing innovation to the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. He earned a master’s degree from Metropolitan State Uni-
versity in Minneapolis.
Rosalind Brewer was named president and CEO of Sam’s Club, making her the first African-American CEO at one of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s business units. Before this, she ran Wal-Mart’s East business unit. Prior to Sam’s Club, she held various positions at Kimberly-Clark Corp. As a scientist in the product development department, Brewer grew sales figures by more than 30 percent. Shortly after, she became president of one of the corporation’s major sectors. Brewer serves on the board of directors at Lockheed Martin Corp. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and also attended the advanced management program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Lawrence D. Ivory was named chairman of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. To this post, he brings 32 years of experience in business, 26 of them spent in finance. Before joining the NBCC, he served as executive vice president at State Wide Financial Planning. Earlier in his career, Ivory was vice president at brokerage firms Merrill Lynch and Salomon Smith Barney. He also held the title of general partner at the African Opportunity Fund, a hedge fund known for investing in the African Stock Exchange. Currently, Ivory is a business consultant. An original member of the NBCC, he cultivated Illinois into 23 active chapters, from the Peoria Black Chamber of Commerce to the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce. During his undergraduate studies, Ivory majored in international business.
Richard C.Y. Porter, Esq., was named regional vice president and external annuity wholesaler at Prudential Financial. The appointment makes him the youngest and one of the few African-Americans to hold this title. In this role, he will continue to manage the company’s offices throughout the Louisiana, southern Mississippi and southern Alabama markets. During his tenure with the company, Porter has been credited with increasing market share to 27 percent from 17 percent. Prior to joining Prudential, he worked in annuity sales at John Hancock where he was named Annuity Sales Rookie of the Year. Before he entered the insurance industry, Porter was an attorney at Greenbaum Doll & McDonald L.L.P., where he assisted with corporate restructuring. He earned both a J.D. and a bachelor’s degree at from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.
The Executive Leadership Council, an organization that represents African-American Fortune 500 senior executives, named Bernard Tyson as its new chairman. He replaces Jessica Isaacs, who served in the role from 2009 to 2011. Tyson is president and chief operating officer of Kaiser Permanente, a leading provider of high-quality health care, where he and his team of senior executives are responsible for overseeing the organization’s operations and improving the health care of the network’s community of 8.9 million members. He has been recognized as one of the 25 most influential African-Americans in health care by Black Health magazine. Tyson sits on the boards of both the American Heart Association and Occidental College in Los Angeles. He received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration from Golden Gate University in California.
Elise Wright was named vice president of marketing and digital messaging at VZillion. Prior to joining VZillion, Wright held several top positions at Universal Republic Group, the most recent being senior vice president of marketing, digital and artist development. During her 15-year tenure at Universal, she managed projects for performers Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, India Arie and other well-known artists. Before that, she was the vice president of video promotions at Motown Records. As a publicist, she has worked on high-profile events such as the BET Award performances and the VH1, MTV and Grammy awards programs. In her new role, she will focus on content development and marketing and digital campaigns. Wright studied at both Spelman College and Cornell University.