As the founder of Black MBA Women, Daria Burke is striving to build a strong network of professional women.
Burke, who is a graduate of the New York University Stern School of Business, left her position as director of makeup marketing for Estée Lauder to launch an organization that focused on connecting women who hailed from the nation’s top tier business schools.
While enrolled at NYU, Burke was one of nine Black women in a class of 411 students. Post-MBA, Burke built a marketing career in the beauty industry. Over the years, the Detroit native spent a significant amount of time interacting with young women and talking to them about the value of obtaining an MBA.
When Burke first formed Black MBA Women in April 2012, she tapped into her personal network of about 60 women and reached out MBA student organizations. Since its inception, Black MBA Women has grown to a network of 500 women from across the country, primarily through grassroots efforts and social media.
“Most of these women are coming to this organization because they want to connect with each other, and they want to swap stories about what their career experiences have been like,” said Burke who is based in New York.
Burke says about 65 percent of the women who are in the network are post-MBA, while the remaining 35 are currently enrolled in business school.
Burke says those who are pursuing their MBAs can tap into networking opportunities as they search for internships and jobs, while those who are post-MBA can use the network to help build their clientele base and business contacts.
Women have also turned to the network as a place where they can make new friends.
“For me it’s been really rewarding, because I initially launched into this thinking that it was going to be all career and professional development and I think the women in the network look for personal development and personal connections just as much as they want that career piece of it,” Burke said.
For spring 2013, Burke is launching a Web series titled “Conversations in the C-Suite” where women will share their stories about how they built a successful career.
“There are a lot of Black women out there who have incredible careers and they go unrecognized. No one is telling their stories. No one is putting the spotlight on them,” Burke said.
She wants to inspire the next generation of Black women business leaders.
“It’s so important for young girls to see the bigger range of our stories. When you look at us in the portrayal of the media our stories are so underrepresented,” she says.
To that end, the network’s website blackmbawomen.com highlights women executives such as Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO, Xerox; Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam’s Club and Pamela Edwards, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Victoria’s Secret.
The women who are a part of the network must be alumni of/or enrolled in one the nation’s top 25 business schools.
One question that Burke often hears is why membership in Black MBA Women is currently open to only those who were educated in top-tier schools.
“I want to challenge our definition and our idea of excellence. I think that we need to be willing to challenge ourselves and think about what it means to be excellent,” Burke said.
“So when I’m looking to inspire the next generation of Black women who are going to business school, I want them to go to the best school they can,” she said noting that Fortune 100 and 500 companies often recruit from top-tier institutions.
“I want them to have access to the best career opportunities, the best network and the most influential network and be poised to have the highest salaries. Whether people like it or not, you have to go to a top school to be able to achieve that. I’m not excluding or eliminating people but I want to challenge our definition of what it means to be excellent and strive for that.
Burke has worked in brand management at L’Oreal USA on the Lancome and Yves Saint Laurent Beauté brands, developing and implementing strategic brand positioning of the beauty and fragrance categories. She sits on the Stern Alumni Council and serves as chair of the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students (AHBBS) Alumni Group. She is a member of Cosmetic Executive Women and the Step Up Women’s Network in New York.
Small businesses in the Philadelphia region will be bolstered by an initiative aimed at creating jobs and stimulating economic growth.
The city of Philadelphia and Goldman Sachs have launched the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative — a $500 million program that will unlock the growth and job creation potential of 10,000 small businesses across the United States through greater access to business education, financial capital and business support services. Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation are committing $20 million to the program in the greater Philadelphia area.
“I am very excited about the launch of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in Philadelphia,” Mayor Michael Nutter said in a release.
“This program is the latest in a series of economic development initiatives to help businesses start, stay and grow in this city. Small business owners will be able to take advantage of new capital and support services that will aid growth. I want to thank Goldman Sachs for choosing to invest in Philadelphia and all of the partner organizations making this initiative possible.”
The 10,000 Small Businesses program is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to this combination of education, capital and support services best addresses barriers to growth for small businesses. The program is currently operating in Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Salt Lake City and will continue to expand to communities across the country.
“10,000 Small Businesses is a good fit for Philadelphia because of the city’s strong local leadership, engaged partners and economic need in the small business sector,” said John F.W. Rogers, executive vice president of Goldman Sachs and the firm’s chief of staff.
“We are pleased to work with our partners to help create jobs and drive growth that will ultimately benefit the economy of the greater Philadelphia area.”
Community College of Philadelphia will deliver the educational portion of the program, and will work with partners and local organizations to encourage small businesses to apply for the education and/or capital program components and to provide technical assistance to program participants. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Urban League of Philadelphia will help with the recruitment of small business owners and entrepreneurs in Philadelphia and providing outreach and business support services.
“Philadelphia is a city of vibrant neighborhoods, where small companies and firms serve as an important economic engine,” said Community College of Philadelphia President Stephen M. Curtis.
“Through the new partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the college will strengthen this sector and assist the legions of small companies and budding entrepreneurs. Since small businesses today employ half of all private sector workers, they are a strategic partner for us as well as a potential employer for students. The 10,000 Small Businesses program is a natural extension of the support services, customized training and workshops already provided through our Corporate Solutions team and the Small Business Center for Education, Growth and Training.”
Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and Community First Fund will originate loans to small businesses.
PIDC, a nonprofit, public-private partnership between the city of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, targets the city of Philadelphia. Community First Fund’s target market consists of 13 counties in central Pennsylvania.
“The loan capital provided through this partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses will allow us to offer more loans across our entire multi-county region, especially for growth-oriented businesses working in our downtowns and neighborhoods,” said Community First Fund President and CEO Daniel Betancourt.
“This loan fund investment is the largest in our 20-year history. We are excited that this program will support our existing clients and new borrowers, especially businesses owned by low income individuals, persons of color and women, with loans averaging $200,000, as well as providing access to valuable business education resources.”
The program will begin in May. Applications for the education component of the program are being accepted immediately and can be downloaded at www.ccp.edu/10KSB. PIDC and Community First Fund can be contacted directly about the lending application process.
James Ervin Staggs, also known as “Erv,” advocated for people with drug and alcohol addictions and ex-offenders.
Staggs died Sunday, Dec. 29, 2012. He was 64.
He was born Sept. 1, 1948, to the late Hettie Burgess-Staggs and Edward Staggs Sr. in Philadelphia. He was educated in the Philadelphia public school system and received his high school diploma from Thomas Edison High School in 1996. As a skillful athlete, Staggs gained recognition as a High School All-American and Philadelphia Player of the Year. After graduation he attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Cheyney University.
In 1969, Staggs was drafted into the American Basketball Association to play with the Miami Floridians. He played with the team during the 1969–1970 season. He also played for the New Orleans Buccaneers and San Diego Conquistadors.
After his career in the ABA, Staggs met and married his wife of 37 years, Sharlene Grisby.
He joined the church at an early age. He was a member of World’s Harvest Christian and Ray Hope Outreach Ministries, Inc.
Staggs was always an advocate for people with drug and alcohol addictions throughout his professional career. He was employed by Eagleville Drug and Alcohol Center, Elywn; Diagnostic Rehab Center, Men’s Shelter on Ridge Avenue and Fishers of Men.
In addition to his professional career, Staggs remained tied closely to his passion for basketball. In 2002, he began his own basketball league titled Philly Ball. The purpose of this league was to enhance lives through sports.
“Erv was compassionate, loving, an encourager and a motivator,” his family said.
“He was always full of laughter and chose to find the good in everyone.”
In addition to his parents, Staggs was preceded in death by his brother, James Staggs.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, Ervin Staggs Jr. and Sharif Staggs; daughter, Tanisha Staggs; grandchildren, Ameer Staggs, Aaron Staggs, Soleil La’Jour Staggs and Breanna Staggs; sister, Dorothy Riddick (Haywood); brothers, Edward Staggs Jr. and Melvin Staggs (Geraline); and other relatives and friends.
Catherine R. Baker was a longtime member of New Jerusalem Baptist Church.
Baker died Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. She was 87.
She was born Jan. 8, 1925, in Manchester, N.C., to Alexander and Maggie McGregor.
As a child, she was a member of Bethel AME Zion Church in Manchester, N.C. She was educated in the Cumberland County School System where she graduated from the Anne Chestnut High School.
After graduating, she worked at the post exchange at the Fort Bragg military base. In 1947, she met and married her husband, the late Alonza Baker Sr., who preceded her in death after 50 years of marriage. The couple had five children.
In 1956, the family relocated to Philadelphia where Baker joined the New Jerusalem Baptist Church. At New Jerusalem, she was a member of the Missionary Society, Ella Ford Thompson Youth Council and served on the usher board, as the pastor’s aide and mother of the Church. Baker served faithfully for 57 years until her health declined.
“Our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend lived a spirited, yet spiritual life,” her family said.
She loved watching soap operas and “America’s Got Talent,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “American Idol” and “Jeopardy.”
In addition to her husband and parents, Baker was preceded in death by her grandson, Lindell and sister, Ann Margaret.
She is survived by her children: Alonza, Jr., Gloria, Samuel W., Terry and Bayne; daughter-in-laws: Pauline, her devoted and loving caregiver, Linda and Rochelle; grandchildren, Terry, Kevin, Ann Catherine, Toya, Timothy and Lauren; great-grandchildren, Tavar, Taron, Taniya, Chynna, Sadie, Cameron, RayRay and Nia, and other relatives and friends.
The first viewing will be held Jan. 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Powell Mortuary Services, 2432-34 North 27th St. The second viewing will be held Jan. 12 at 9 a.m. at New Jerusalem Baptist Church, 2119 W. Diamond St. Services will follow at 11 a.m.
Burial will be in Mt. Peace Cemetery.
Franklin B. Salley, also known as “Frank,” spent more than 40 years in military and law enforcement.
Salley died Monday, Dec. 29, 2012. He was 74. For the past 18 years, he had been battling Lewy Body dementia.
He was born Oct. 31, 1938, in Elloree, S.C., to the late Rev. Bradley Anderson-Salley and Franklin (Frankie) Lee Anderson-Salley.
He relocated with his family from South Carolina to North Philadelphia in 1946.
Salley was educated in the South Carolina and Philadelphia public school systems. He graduated at the age of 16 in 1955 from Benjamin Franklin High School with academic honors. He enlisted in the United States Navy where he served on the destroyer USS Daly DD519. His home port was Newport, R.I., and his tour of duty included Central America, Southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He was honorably discharged in 1961 as a machinist mate 2nd class petty officer.
After the military, Salley studied at Temple University where he earned a certificate in police science and administration, an associate’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting.
In 1963, he married his childhood friend, Sarah Clementine Johnson. They relocated to West Oak Lane in 1968 and resided there until she passed in 2007.
Salley was committed to the professionalism of law enforcement. He joined the Fairmount Park Guard before its merging with the Philadelphia Police Department. During the Civil Rights era, Salley was a member of the historical study groups which were specifically formed by African Americans for the advancement of African Americans in the Philadelphia Police Department.
Salley’s family said he viewed himself as a “peace officer.”
“He strongly believed that force was unavoidable in many situations and that force was a very last resort,” his family said.
“He prided himself in never having to fire his weapon.”
Throughout his years with the police department, Salley’s various appointments included commanding officer of the 92nd District, commanding officer of the Traffic Court, commanding officer of the Detention Unit at the Police Administration Building, administrative lieutenant in the Ethics Accountability Division. Before he retired, Salley served as the administrative lieutenant at the Police Academy and as the commanding officer of the new recruits.
His career was marked with several commendatory letters and with letters of merit associated with affecting felonious matters and saving lives.
He was regarded as a leader on urban law enforcement. He completed certifications at Harvard and served on rank review boards across the country.
After retiring from the police department, Salley became second in command with the Drexel University Police.
He was one of the original leaders of the National Office of Black Law Enforcement and was affiliated with Concerned Black Men.
“He was a man’s man and a mentor who was constantly driven by a personal philosophy that echoed throughout all aspects of his life, ‘always do the right thing, and treat people right,’” his family said.
“He was naturally kind, extremely giving and mentored many, especially those who genuinely sought sound guidance and wisdom.”
In addition to his parents, Salley was preceded in death by his siblings, Ruth Patricia Salley-Griffith, Henry Salley and Willian Nelson Salley; sisters-in-law, Arthene Johnson and Roberta Davis-Salley; in-laws, Clarence B. Johnson, Walter W. Johnson (Louise Fabian-Johnson), Ollie Lee Johnson, Irene Johnson and Ronald Mckelvey.
He is survived by his children, Frank (Regina) Salley, Lisa Salley and Patricia (Troy) Salley-Holland; six grandchildren, Sydney S. Salley, Myles R. Salley-Holland, Chandler S. Salley, Kaelin Salley, Franklin X. Salley and Qynne A. Salley-Holland; brothers-in-law, Robert B. (Marcelene Johnson), Harold J. Johnson, Charles E. Griffith and Mary E. Mckelvey; one special nephew, Paul A. Johnson; caregivers, Ursula John, Latisha Sturgis, Shaquana Johnson, Natoya Reed, Nicole Aiken, Latavia Rogers and Torrie Johnson; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held January 11 at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, 280 West Coulter Street. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m.
Baker Funeral Home handled the arrangements.