Fortune 500 CEOs Celebrate Black Executives in Corporate America

Oct 17, 2013, 15:06 ET from The Executive Leadership Council

Black Senior Leaders Make a Business Case for Increasing Diversity in Global Corporate Enterprises

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), a national organization of black CEOs, board directors and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, will host their annual Recognition Gala to celebrate the business achievements of black executives and thought leaders who support diversity and inclusion in corporate America. This year's theme is "Igniting Innovation: Leadership for the Future," which speaks to the promising outlook for the organization and black leadership globally. The Gala will highlight the work of the Executive Leadership Foundation (ELF), which supports the ELC's community, pipeline and executive development programs.  The 2013 Recognition Gala, sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc., and AARP, will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2013, at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, MD, outside of Washington, DC.

The ELC will continue to make the business case for diversity and inclusion to corporate leaders, specifically that investing in diverse senior leadership teams leads to greater innovation, profitability and success for corporations. "It is no secret that diversity of thinking in senior leadership teams is critical to ongoing innovation and long-term success in global business. Diverse teams increase shareholder value by driving new and independent perspectives and better group performance," said Ronald C. Parker, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council and Foundation. "It's our goal to have an ongoing dialogue about the role women and minorities can play in the C-Suite and boardrooms in helping corporate America become stronger and more successful." The ELC also will announce its new plans to rebrand the organization and expand its membership to reflect the Fortune 1000 and global enterprises.

During the Gala, the ELC also will promote the work of its Foundation, which invests in education, leadership training and executive development programs, including providing scholarships and mentoring young people interested in corporate careers. In particular, the ELF will highlight its Community Impact Initiative, a national program to close the achievement gap for black high school and middle school students and prepare the next generation of corporate leaders through partnerships with INROADS, LEAD, A Better Chance and North Carolina Central University.

Gala Highlights

Honorees include:

  • Corporate Award winner Marriott International
  • Achievement Award winner Roger W. Ferguson, President & CEO, TIAA-CREF
  • Alvaro L. Martins Heritage Award winner The Honorable Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon and member of U.S. House of Representatives

Celebrity Guests include:

  • Actress Gabrielle Union, "Think Like A Man," "Bad Boys" and "Cadillac Records"
  • Kevin Frazier, Host of OMG! Insider

Media are invited to cover the event and speak with ELC leadership. For more information on the Executive Leadership Council and The Executive Leadership Foundation, visit

About The Executive Leadership Council
The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(6) corporation founded in 1986, comprised of current and former black CEOs, board directors and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies. For more than 25 years, the ELC has worked to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline. We empower black corporate leaders to make significant and impactful contributions in the global marketplace and their communities.

The ELC's related charitable organization, The Executive Leadership Foundation (ELF), focuses on improving local communities and helping disadvantaged groups within the broader society. The 501(c)(3) affiliate supports education programs and provides scholarships to deserving students interested in business and corporate careers. ELF programs develop future business leaders, filling the pipeline from the classroom to the boardroom. For more information about The Executive Leadership Council and Foundation, please visit

SOURCE The Executive Leadership Council