Johnnie B. Booker, Partner, The Booker Company

For more than 50 years, Johnnie B. Booker, has been a tireless advocate for women. Among Johnnie’s accomplishments, she is a lifetime member of the National Council of Negro Women, an organization established in 1935 to empower and advocate for women of African descent and their families and communities through social activism. She was also elected as a delegate to the 1995 United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China ― an event that marked a turning point in the global agenda for gender equality. That’s in addition to serving on the board of directors of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and working with the Georgia Women’s Business Council.

Professionally, Johnnie may be best known as the former global director of supplier diversity at The Coca-Cola Company, where she worked for ten years before stepping down in 2012. There, she developed and implemented the company’s supplier diversity initiatives, including a renowned mentoring program that provided women- and minority-owned firms with the tools and insight to secure competitive contracts at Coca-Cola, as well as other organizations.

Janice Bryant Howroyd, Founder and CEO, The Act 1 Group Inc.

A stellar example of perseverance, Janice Bryant Howroyd is founder and CEO of The Act 1 Group Inc., based in Torrance, California. The global firm was launched in 1978 and provides employment, workforce management and procurement solutions to some 17,000 Fortune 500 companies, local and mid-market companies and government agencies in 19 countries.

In addition to being the first African American woman to build and own a billion-dollar company, Janice was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the board of advisors for the White House initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Motivated by disparities of community economics and molded by the supportive home environment of her own youth, Janice encourages employees and fellow-entrepreneurs alike to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and relish challenges. She aids supplier diversity by investing in women-owned businesses and has been named a Woman of Distinction by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

Joan LaGrasse, Owner and CEO, Imagen LLC

Joan LaGrasse is the owner and CEO of Nashville, Tennessee-based Imagen LLC, a full-service design and fabrication firm that provides exhibits for trade shows, museums, visitor centers and corporate interiors. She had been an educator for many years, but in 2002, found a second passion as an entrepreneur when she acquired Imagen. The company has won numerous awards for its ability to create and execute compelling visual narratives for clients.

Joan is also the co-founder of The Collaborative, a cooperative organization she launched with fellow-WBE Sharon Reynolds earlier this year, bringing together a network of women-owned companies to provide businesses with personal protective equipment, sanitizing products and space dividers during the pandemic.

Teresa Lawrence, Owner and CEO, Delta Personnel Inc.

A flight to escape the grip of communism changed the trajectory of Teresa Lawrence’s life. She fled Cuba in 1973 with her mother, grandmother and brother, taking the last Freedom Flight out of the country and into the United States. They eventually settled in New Orleans, where Teresa grew up.

Fifteen years after arriving in the United States, Teresa married David Lawrence, whose father owned a 20-year-old staffing company called Delta Temporaries. When he became ill and could no longer run the company, Teresa became the majority owner and CEO and renamed it Delta Personnel Inc. Earlier this year, she became the majority owner and CEO of a new company, Delta Administrative Services LLC, which streamlines and supports human resource processes, such as safety training, benefits management and payroll administration.

Ruby McCleary, Senior Principal Supplier Diversity Advocate, Raytheon

As the senior principal supplier diversity advocate at Raytheon Technologies’ Dallas location, Ruby McCleary is responsible for working with the company’s supply chain managers to ensure that all suppliers are considered for opportunities. That work resulted in procurements worth $438 million in 2020 with women-owned companies.

Ruby is an advocate for all women-owned businesses and has a record of fostering WBE success. Ruby has served as a corporate board member and program committee chair for WBENC since 2008. She has lent her time and skills to the Women’s Business Development Center in Chicago, leading a team of professionals in creating best practices for driving economic impact and job creation.

Jayne Millard, Executive Chairman, Turtle and Hughes

Jayne Millard is the executive chairman of the board of Turtle & Hughes, an independent electrical and industrial distributor based in Linden, New Jersey. Founded by Jayne’s great-grandfather in 1923, Turtle & Hughes serves industrial, construction, commercial, electrical contracting, export and utility sectors across North America. Earlier this year, as COVID-afflicted patients filled New York City’s hospitals to capacity, Turtle & Hughes helped convert the Javits Center into a field hospital within five days.

As a strong advocate for women in business, Jayne provides expertise and coaching to her WBE peers through her participation in the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization and WBENC. At Turtle & Hughes, she created a senior-level mentorship program for diverse rising stars and instituted hiring practices that resulted in an 84% diverse workforce. She has also led the call for the advancement of women throughout the industry.

Retta Miller, Partner, Jackson Walker LLP

Retta Miller is a Dallas-based partner at Jackson Walker LLP, a law firm that provides comprehensive services in a broad range of practice areas. Retta has worked at Jackson Walker for 35 years, representing clients in civil litigation, arbitration and appeals. She specializes in banking, financial, insurance and securities matters and helps coordinate the firm’s diversity program.

She is a founding member of the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Women’s Initiative, where her leadership has helped countless women through all levels of business. She has served in a leadership role with the Women’s Business Council Southwest, helping women business owners become certified, enabling access to opportunities to do business with companies in the area, state and nation.

Retta’s involvement in her community extends to organizations that help women and families in many ways. She serves on the board of the North Texas Food bank and has served as president of the Dallas Women’s Foundation and the Komen for the Cure Dallas.

Phala K. Mire, President and CEO, Women’s Business Enterprise Council – South

Phala K. Mire has been the president and CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise Council – South for five years. Founded in 1995, the WBEC South is one of WBENC’s regional partner organizations, administering a nationally recognized women-owned business enterprise certification program and facilitating opportunities for emerging and established WBEs in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and the Florida Panhandle.
Known as a visionary, Phala has developed several initiatives to foster the success of women entrepreneurs. One of those initiatives is the WB Collective, a women’s collaborative workspace with locations in New Orleans and Nashville, each providing an interactive and inspiring environment where women business owners can pursue growth and network with other WBEs. The newest site, in Birmingham, Alabama, is scheduled to open in 2021.

Curt A. Morgan, President and CEO, Vistra Corporation

Since December 2016, Mr. Morgan has served as CEO of Irving, Texas-based Vistra Corporation, an integrated retail electricity and power generation company that provides 5 million residential and commercial customers with electricity and natural gas.

At Vistra, Curt chairs the company’s supply chain diversity advisory council and affirms that supplier diversity is an integral part of the company’s business strategy and success. Under Curt’s administration, Vistra and its family of companies has spent almost $6 billion with women-owned businesses and other diverse suppliers. The company sponsors many women’s business events and has been named by WBENC as one of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises. Vistra was also named one of the Best Corporations for veteran’s business enterprises by the National Veteran-Owned Business Association for hiring and advancing veterans, as well as contracting with veteran-owned firms.

Ann Ramakumaran, Founder and CEO, Ampcus Inc.

Ann Ramakumaran is CEO of Ampcus Inc., a global staffing, information technology and business consulting firm she founded in 2004. Headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia, Ampcus specializes in helping clients improve performance, cybersecurity and risk management by applying technology in innovative ways. Earlier this year, Ampcus acquired iTech Solutions Inc., a national IT staffing and services company.

Ann has leveraged her experience and success to provide guidance, mentoring and support to women as they pursue entrepreneurship. She is active in organizations that advocate for the growth and development of women-owned business enterprises, including the WBENC, for which she serves on the board of directors, as well as a mentor and sponsor for its student entrepreneur program. Ann also serves on the advisory board of Women’s Enterprise magazine.

Carol Roehrig, CEO and Owner, bkm Texas

Carol Roehrig is the CEO and owner of Dallas-based BKM Texas, a company that designs workspaces that blend Steelcase products with custom creations to integrate technology and furniture to increase efficiency, creativity, productivity and teamwork. She is recognized as a leading advisor in the Steelcase National Dealer Council and contract furniture industry, where she generously shares ideas to advance women, technology, processes and business practices.
Known as an advocate for women and their entrepreneurial success, Carol serves on the certification committee of the Women’s Business Council-Southwest and the professional women’s council of Ursuline Academy of Dallas, a college preparatory school for girls. She also won an Athena Award from the Dallas Regional Chamber for her accomplishments in business and leadership in the community.

Cassandra Sanford, Co-founder and CEO, KellyMitchell

Cassandra Sanford is co-founder and CEO of KellyMitchell, a technology consulting firm that helps companies achieve their IT, business and financial goals by providing a flexible and skilled workforce. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, the company has 18 locations nationwide. Since launching in 1998, KellyMitchell has grown from three employees to more than 2,500.

The company has been honored many times for its superior service with the Best of Staffing Client Diamond Award, which is presented only to companies that have won the award for at least five consecutive years. KellyMitchell has also been named one of the fastest-growing companies by Inc. Magazine 5000 and the Women Presidents’ Organization.

Tiera Kavanaugh Wayne, Founder and CEO, TKT & Associates

Tiera Kavanaugh Wayne died in April, but leaves behind a legacy of dynamic leadership, staunch support for diverse businesses and deep commitment to community development. In 2006, she founded TKT & Associates Inc., a Louisville, Kentucky-based company that specializes in workforce diversity management, recruitment and employee development.

A champion of women-owned businesses, Tierra served on the steering committee board for Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley and co-chaired the executive committee for the group’s Catch the Wave regional conference. She was a frequent sponsor and speaker for many WBE events.

Darcel Webb, District Manager, Business Diversity, Dallas Community College District

Helping qualified, innovative suppliers achieve their goals is all in a day’s work for Darcel Webb. She is the district manager for business diversity at Dallas College, where she provides a pathway for women- and minority-owned firms to pursue opportunities and provide goods and services. The educational institution was founded in 1965 and serves more than 70,000 students annually on seven main campuses.

Darcel Webb has more than 20 years of experience in the supplier diversity arena, working in both corporate America and public entities. She has worked in different industries ― from telecommunications to hospitality to the government sectors ― promoting and advocating for minority and women-owned businesses. At Dallas College, she collaborates with other public entities to provide workshops and certifications to diverse suppliers. She has also mentored businesswomen, coaching them on the fine arts of communicating, planning and partnering.