Friday, February 27, 2015

E-Magnify Salutes Business Women in Black History: Rosalind Brewer

Name: Rosalind “Roz” Brewer 

Age: 52

Role: President & CEO

Business: Sam’s Club

Industry: Retail

What Makes Her Historic: 

As president and CEO of Sam’s Club starting in 2006, the members-only warehouse club channel subsidiary of Walmart stores, Rosalind "Roz" Brewer was the first woman and first African-American to lead a Walmart. She held responsibility for over 110,000 associates, 620 clubs, and revenues of $56 billion (FY 2013). Brewer rose from regional vice president for Georgia operations to Southeast division president and president of Walmart East. Her expertise in strategy, global manufacturing operations, research and development, marketing and strategic business unit leadership combined with a strong sense of teams, mentoring, and communities helped to shape her career success. 

Before her Walmart career, this trained chemist worked at Kimberly-Clark Corporation for 22 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Spelman College and also attended The Wharton School’s advanced management program and Chicago School of Business/Stanford School of Law’s Director’s College. Brewer has received numerous accolades, including recognition by Forbes as 2013 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Most Powerful Women of 2013; Working Mother’s Most Powerful Working Moms, and repeat recognition as Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.  She serves on the board of Lockheed Martin and is a trustee board chair at Spelman College. Brewer is married and has two children.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

E-Magnify Salutes Business Women in Black History: Folorunso Alakija

Name: Folorunso Alakija

Age: 64

Role: Founder, Executive Vice Chairman

Business: Famfa Oil Limited

Industry: Oil, Printing, Fashion

What Makes Her Historic: 
Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian-born author and entrepreneur who amassed her fortune in the oil, printing, and fashion industries. According to Forbes, this pioneer and self-made billionaire’s net worth exceeds that of Oprah Winfrey, making her the world’s richest black woman. Alakija was born into a wealthy Nigerian family and educated in Nigeria and London, where she later worked in the 1970’s as a secretary for the International Merchant Bank of Nigeria. She left that post to study fashion design at the American College, London and the Central School of Fashion, where she later founded the highly successful Rose of Sharon House of Fashion and earned Nigeria’s honor as Best Designer in 1986. By 1993, she had leveraged this role to purchase an Oil Processing license and formed Famfa Oil. Alakija is also known for her philanthropy. In 2008, she created the Rose of Sharon Foundation, which has assisted more than 2,760 widows by offering financial support, scholarships for their children, and start-up capital in the form of interest free loans. Alakija lives in Lagos, Nigeria, with her husband of 38 years, their four sons, and their grandchildren. 

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Monday, February 23, 2015

E-Magnify Salutes Business Women in Black History: Donna Michelle Baxter

Name: Donna Michelle Baxter 

Age: 46

Role: CEO & Founder

Business: Soul Pitt Media

Industry: Media, Entertainment

What Makes Her Historic: 

A former rap artist turned author, speaker, and digital consultant, this self-proclaimed “cool nerd” built a multi-media enterprise to connect Western PA to all things Soulful. Baxter seeks to empower and encourage minority and women entrepreneurs with technology to “Get Online or Get Left Behind!” and to embrace the power of the Internet.

She launched in 2000, combining her talents in entertainment, web and graphic design, and integrated networks to build an award-winning multi-media enterprise: The Soul Blast, Soul Pitt Quarterly Magazine and Soul Pitt Xtra Radio.

Baxter transformed her hobby into a six-figure business that showcases the energy and uniqueness of Pittsburgh’s melting pot of communities that attracts corporate and small business advertisers. Now 15 years later, she has over half a million views per month throughout Western PA, Ohio, and West VA and is the recipient of numerous awards for her community website, print magazine and Internet podcast radio show. Most notable: 2008 Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40, The New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Women of Influence (2004), and president of NAWBO of Greater Pittsburgh’s chapter.

A Johnstown, PA, native, Baxter earned a bachelor’s degree in Media Communications, University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in Instructional Technology, AIU.

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Content and Photo Courtesy of Donna M. Baxter © 2015

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.