The below individuals were the beginning of a wonderful and innovative evolution among the black professional organizations of Northeast Ohio. They spearheaded the development of the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO). CAAO is the largest collaboration of black professionals in the State of Ohio and perhaps the country. The economic contribution of CAAO to the African American communities of Northeast Ohio during its first five years (2001 – 2006) has been over $15 million – a return of $25 for every $1 donated to CAAO – a fantastic productive domino effect spearheaded by CAAO’s founders.
Kevin A. Carter is the Director, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) for the Campbell Soup Co, founder of Inclusion Innovates and a blogger for Inclusion to Innovation and Building the Expo. With Campbell‘s, his current focus is D&I strategy development; managing the company’s Business Resource Affinity Networks; designing and facilitating D&I leading and learning sessions for organizational units on IDI (intercultural developmental inventory) and LIFO (Life Orientations); D&I HR integration and D&I reputation management. With Inclusion Innovates, his “disruptive inclusion” philosophy and inclusion innovation model reflects his belief that the integration of diversity, cultural competency and social technologies leads to breakthrough innovation and business value. Kevin is also the co-chair of the Conference Board Diversity Leadership Council and the chair of the Diversity Metrics Workgroup of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) Diversity Standards Taskforce. These committees are developing standards and the “new normal” in the diversity and inclusion field. Mr. Carter holds a BA, Cum Laude in Philosophy and Public Affairs from Vanderbilt University and an MBA in Finance from the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management. He has been recognized as one of Diversity MBA Magazine’s Top 100 Executives Under 50 and Crain’s Cleveland 40 under 40 Club; received fellowships from the German Marshall Memorial Fund and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is a recipient of the NBMBAA H. Naylor Fitzhugh Award of Excellence. Kevin has been married to Geraldine (Gigi) Carter for nearly thirteen years. Gigi serves as the Operations Manager for Eaton Corporation’s Hydraulic Systems Division – Jackson Plant and is a Six Sigma Black Belt. Kevin credits Gigi for having a significant impact on how he approaches the field of diversity. The couple has three Bull Terriers, Malcolm, Maya and Bree.
Frank Robinson, Jr.
Frank Robinson Jr. is deputy director of the Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He assists the department director with providing reliability, quality assurance and system safety management, and expertise to support Glenn technical divisions, project offices and contracted programs.
Throughout his quarter century career at NASA, Robinson has held multiple positions – some at the same time, such as when he was Chief of the Risk Management Office and the on-site Director for the NASA Assurance Technology Center (ATC), the predecessor to the new NASA Safety Center. He has also been Project Manager for the Thermal Energy Storage Reflight Experiment 2, which was launched on the Endeavor Shuttle in January 1996. His engineering team designed, developed, and tested hardware and software to provide data for understanding the long duration microgravity behavior of thermal energy storage lithium-floride salts that undergo repeated melting and freezing cycles. Another position he held was as Electrical, Electronic, and Electromagnetic (EEE) parts manager for the International Space Station’s Electrical Power System.
Robinson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University and received a Master of Science degree in industrial engineering, with a focus on engineering management, from Cleveland State University. He also completed a one-year executive training program.
He has received many awards from NASA including the Exceptional Service Honor Award Medal, the Equal Employment Opportunity Medal, and the Special Achievement Award. In 2009, he was given the Black Engineer of the year Award in Professional Achievement in Government. Robinson also holds the Space Flight Awareness Honoree Award, the James C. Jones Humanitarian Award, the USDA Graduate Leadership Academy’s Community Service Award, the Outstanding Young Men of America Award, and the YMCA’s President’s Award for Leadership and Service. He is an inductee into his John F. Kennedy High School’s Gallery of Excellence.
Robinson is active in the community. He is a past president of the National Technical Association and the founding chairperson of the Consortium of African American Organizations in Cleveland, Ohio. Robinson is also a co-founder of the New Approach to Self Achievement Project, which is a career awareness program for inner-city youth focused on science, tehcnology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
Deborah Bibb is the director of the Career and Student Life Center at the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland. Bibb says the close connection between student life, alumni, and career services, all of which she oversees, helps Weatherhead students maximize their job search.
Ms. Bibb is a native Clevelander and a graduate of Shaker Heights High School. She completed her undergraduate (Information Systems) and graduate (MBA) degrees at The Ohio State University. After spending some time in corporate America, with her capacity to listen and guide others and her overall understanding of business, she decided to take a position as Director of the Minority Assistance Program at Ohio State’s Fisher School of Business. Her success in this role led her to Case Western Reserve University and four promotions at the Weatherhead School of Management. Ms. Bibb’s most recent achievement is being named the Program Director for Specialty Graduate Programs. This includes program management of the Master of Science in Operations Research and Supply Chain Management, the Master of Positive and Organizational Development and Change, co-management of the Full-time MBA and new program initiatives. Ms. Bibb has been inducted into Kaleidoscope’s 40/40 and is a founding member of the Columbus Chapter of the National Black MBA Association, Immediate past President of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the National Black MBA Association and currently serves as its Corporate Relations Chairperson, is a founding member and serves as Vice Chair of the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO), and is the advisor to the Black MBA Student Association at the Weatherhead School of Management.
Ms. Ivory is a product of the Cleveland Public School system. While attending the Cleveland School of Science, her love of science and technology grew. She endeavored and persevered to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio University (Athens, Ohio), and later, a Master’s degree from The University of Akron, both in Mechanical Engineering. She is presently employed by the National College Access Network (NCAN) whose mission is to improve access to and success in postsecondary education for disadvantaged, underrepresented, and first-generation students. As the organization’s Technology Coordinator, she improves desktop hardware and software processes and supports critical business strategies by managing the development, installation, vendor selection, maintenance and repair of desktop and server equipment. She also provides technical and administrative support for over 600 internal and external users who utilize five main web-based applications. Betty Ivory has been a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (Northeast Ohio Alumni Extension Chapter – NEO NSBE AE) for 10 years. She had the honor of representing NSBE as one of the founding four member organizations of the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO) in 2001. As CAAO’s first Parliamentarian, and using the African American Business Consortium’s bylaws as a foundation, she proposed a completely revised version of CAAO’s bylaws that were adopted in 2003. She also developed and implemented the attendance and voting process for CAAO’s monthly meetings.
Mr. Mays is a native Clevelander who graduated from the “old” Glenville High School. He entered the US Army where he served for 20 years specializing in administration, military intelligence and computers. He was very instrumental in the development of the US Army’s first Computer Systems Security Program. During various assignments he attended several colleges and also began the national expansion of a BDPA. During service for his country, Norman received the Bronze Star that is one of the highest US decoration and the Cross of Gallantry the highest Vietnamese decoration. Norman established N.R Mays & Associates in 1996 to take advantage of his personal experiences in the network marketing industry where he tirelessly works with others to assist in the development of their own financial stability and wealth. During the mid-70s, he served as National Vice President of BDPA and as a two-term National President where he and others established the foundation for BDPA. In addition, he was the Founder of both the Washington, DC Chapter and his hometown Cleveland Chapter in 1980. Norman was also a Founding Member and the first Vice-Chairperson of CAAO (Consortium of African-American Organizations) in 2001. Today, he remains an active BDPA member providing sage advice and mentorship to many.
Mr. Williams is a life-long Clevelander and a graduate of the Cleveland Public School System, John Carroll University and Leadership Cleveland. George has an information technology and business career that spans 30 years with professional experience in marketing, sales and management within corporate, non-profit and civic organizations. Over a 15-year span, George has served as the Cleveland Chapter and National President of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) where he was responsible for establishing the vision and strategic direction for the 40+ Chapters and Board of Directors. Locally, he has actively served on the Boards of the Cleveland Education Fund, the Cuyahoga Community College Unified Technologies Center and the John Adams High School Vocational Education Advisory Group. George played a major role in the initial strategy and the five-year growth plan for the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO). He currently serves as a community advisor to the MetroHealth Hospital Institutional Review Board.
Mr. Taylor is the Accountant Consultant for United Black Fund. Lennon has been a member of the National Association of Black Accountants since 1997 and served as president of NABA from 2000 through 2005 as one of the founding member organizations of the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO). Lennon also served as Central Region Treasurer of NABA from 1999-2002. Lennon is currently an MBA student at Baldwin Wallace College and a volunteer speaker at Granville Academy of Cleveland.
Charles Burkett is a Client Manager at Huntington National Bank. Mr. Burkett has over 15 years of professional experience in economic development with expertise in event planning and project management. Charles received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College and his MBA from Case Western Reserve University. While serving as the Director of Economic Development and Diversity for Enterprise Development, Inc. (predecessor to JumpStart, Inc.), Charles initiated and developed strategies for encouraging entrepreneurship through outreach to black professional organizations culminating in the founding of the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO). Charles is very involved in the community as a board member and past president of the Ohio Venture Association, board president of Carlton House Condominium Association, Digital Photography Special Interest Group Leader for the Greater Cleveland PC User’s Group, board member and past president of Granville Academy, and a volunteer for E-City.