College of Business and Economics

Executive Advisory Council

The Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics (COBE) Executive Advisory Council (EAC) is comprised of senior executives, entrepreneurs and industry leaders from a wide variety of organizations from the corporate and non-profit sectors. These professionals serve as advisors to the administrative and academic leadership of the college.

EAC members – many of whom are North Carolina A&T alumni – are also ambassadors and advocates for Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics and strongly support students in their academic and professional endeavors by donating to scholarships, serving as guest speakers, and hosting networking and mentorship opportunities.


Deirdre Allen is SVP, Operations at Synchrony and serves as the site leader for our Charlotte, N.C. location. In this role, Deirdre focuses on delivering a great customer experience in alignment with client commitments; and championing a great work environment (culture) for our employees.
Prior to her current role, Deirdre led the Workforce Planning Operations team providing forecasting, scheduling, call routing, and real-time service level management services for several of the business teams in Operations. 

Deirdre joined Synchrony in 2010 after a planned career break at the end of a 19 years' journey with American Express. She has been a strong promoter and influencer of diversity at the company as a member of several diversity networks, and has held named positions in African American Network over the course of her eight years’ tenure with Synchrony. Currently, she serves as the company’s network leader for the African American Network.
Deirdre holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Phoenix and completed a leadership program at Wharton’s School of Business at University of Pennsylvania. Deirdre resides in Charlotte where she indulges in her love of art and professional sporting events.


Ernst & Young, LLP
Ken Bouyer is responsible for developing and implementing the global EY organization’s recruiting strategy to build and attract diverse and inclusive talent pools for member firms in the Americas. The organization strives to reflect the changes in world demographics, taking into account the new mix of cultures and individual characteristics that build its talent pool. Prior to his current role, Bouyer was a Director in the firm’s Advisory Services practice, supporting various global internal audit clients. Additionally, Bouyer is currently the Chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion; and a Board Member and the Chair of the Audit Committee for the American Accounting Association. He is a lifetime member of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and the ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting) organization. Bouyer has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York. He is a Certified Internal Auditor and AICPA member. He currently resides in New Jersey with his wife, Shorn, and their daughter, Kelsie.


Retired – Ford Motor Company
During the 90s, Brown was an Executive Director, leading purchasing logistics for QMS then United Technologies. In 1999, he joined the Ford Motor Co. From 1999 until retiring in 2013, Brown held various purchasing management and executive positions. Most recently he was group vice president of global purchasing for Ford.During the 90s, he held various leadership positions at Digital Equipment Corporation. He currently serves on the board of 3M Corporation, ConAgra Foods, and Tower International Inc.and is a board member of the National Park Foundation. Brown has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from American Int’l College.


Microsoft Corporation
Janet Chess serves as Global Alliance Leader for one of Microsoft’s 18 strategic partners. She is responsible for driving market growth through digital transformation leveraging Microsoft Cloud and Artificial Intelligence. Janet leads a cross-organization, cross-company team to deliver benchmark outcomes for partners and clients impacting a $3.6B relationship. 
Prior to this role, Chess held positions within Microsoft leading channel marketing and readiness, strategy, corporate responsibility and global operations.
Before relocating to the Pacific Northwest to join Microsoft, Chess spent 25 years with Xerox Corporation. Her tenure with the technology company, turned BPO-provider was highlighted by senior leadership roles in consulting, sales and marketing, strategy and Diversity & Inclusion.

Chess holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Joseph E. Pogue Merit Scholar. She has achieved executive certification from the London Business School, and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.
Janet currently serves on the board of the Seattle Nativity School and the community board at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding. Past board service includes work with the Boys & Girls Club of Fulton County, Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, and the advisory board for the Carolina Breast Cancer Study for UNC Gillings School – Global Public Health. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


Clausell & Associates, CPA’s, P.C.
James Clausell is the managing principal of Clausell & Associates, CPA’s, P.C. with its main office located in Atlanta, Georgia. The firm is a full service firm specializing in auditing, forensic services, accounting, tax advisory, management consulting and financial services in the Southeast and Midwest USA. He also serves as a business advisor to many clients in industries such as colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, employee benefit plans and tax planning for professionals. He serves on a number of board of directors and board of advisors (including BB&T, The Institute of Student Financial Aid and Administrative Services, Inc., Clausell Developers and Contractors, Inc., G.B.E. LLC, etc.). He is also an active peer reviewer of other certified public accounting firms and is currently serving on the AICPA Executive Peer Review Committee in the State of Georgia.

He has a Masters of Business Administration (emphasis in Finance, Forensic Accounting and strategic planning) and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting (summa cum laude). He is a practicing CPA in the Southeast and Midwest. He is one of few Certified Forensic Accountants in the USA. He is a Diplomat and “Fellow Member” of the American College of Forensic Examiners, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia and Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants.


Sam’s Club
Mr. Lance de la Rosa’s career began in 1987 with Walmart Stores, Inc., and he is a recognized retail leader and innovator. Lance progressively grew his skills and leadership roles within the organization with accolades based on his exceptional contributions and diverse portfolio of experiences within the broader corporation. In 1999, Lance joined the International division of Walmart, working for two years in Germany as District Manager Advisor. In 2001, he returned to the corporate office in Bentonville, Arkansas and assumed the position of Divisional Manager for the Optical division. No surprise that Lance would continue to grow his career, and in 2011 Lance assumed his current role as Senior Vice President of Operations for Sam’s Club, responsible for the eastern division, covering 333 Clubs in 23 states and Puerto Rico, overseeing millions of Business and Household Members and tens of billions of dollars in revenue.


Merck & Company, Inc.
Willie Deese is the former Executive Vice President and President of the Merck Manufacturing Division, with responsibility for Merck’s worldwide manufacturing operations. He oversaw 85 manufacturing and distribution sites in over 25 countries around the world with 26,000 people reporting to him and with an operating budget of $9 billion. He was also responsible for Merck’s global procurement organization.

Mr. Deese serves as a member of Merck’s Executive Committee.


Philanthropic Practice Group
Chenae is a member of the Philanthropic Practice Group and focuses primarily on Endowment and Foundation clients. She is recognized as an asset allocation specialist and serves on NEPC’s Asset Allocation Committee, which oversees the development of asset class assumptions and general client actions for the firm. Chenae authored the white paper, Nonprofit Organizations: Annual Audit Survival Guide, focused on equipping nonprofit finance professionals with tools to prepare for their annual financial statement audits. She also co-chairs the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Network. 

Prior to joining NEPC in 2013, Chenae worked at Goldman Sachs in Private Wealth Management and at Sovereign’s Capital as an Analyst focused on investments in frontier markets. Chenae also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Senior Associate in the Financial Services Audit Practice where she focused on the banking and asset management industries. 
Chenae holds an M.B.A. from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a B.S. from North Carolina A&T State University. She is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in North Carolina and a Level III CFA candidate. Chenae serves as the co-chair, Tuck Association of Diverse Alumni and as an Executive Advisory Committee member for the School of Business and Economics at North Carolina A&T. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and serves as a board member of the Boston Pearl Foundation


Bank of America
Tiffany Eubanks-Saunders is a Senior Vice President and Enterprise Services Executive. In this role, Ms. Eubanks-Saunders leads a team that drives global commodity purchasing, operations and vendor management strategies for portfolio in excess of $10 Billion. She also serves as Bank of America’s Supplier Diversity and Development Executive. In this role, she leads a team responsible for achieving Bank of America’s corporate commitment to spending $10 billion over five years with small, medium, and diverse suppliers.


Melanie Glover is a Director within the Risk Assurance practice of PwC, where she specializes in assisting clients with internal controls assessments, regulatory and contractual compliance attestations, third-party assurance and information technology audits. She holds Bachelors of Science degrees in Accounting and Business Administration - Management Information Systems, from North Carolina A&T State University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She is a Certified Public Accountant, in the state of North Carolina, and a Certified Information Systems Auditor.

Ta-Nikka Harrison

Cisco Systems, Inc.

A 20-year veteran at Cisco, Ta-Nikka Harrison has led teams in a variety of roles and businesses across the company. Ta-Nikka is a Director of Supply Chain Operations where she is responsible for the end-to-end product lifecycle management (PLM) across all Cisco branded products. Ta-Nikka manages the development and implementation of policies, processes, and platform infrastructure to support new product launches and product transitions through end-of-life across the portfolio. Her role at Cisco will continue to help increase customer and business value through driving quality, cost and delivery across Cisco’s Supply Chain.
Ta-Nikka has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Ta-Nikka is a long-standing volunteer, supporting the Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina organization. Ta-Nikka resides in Apex, North Carolina, with her husband, Chris, and two children (Sydney and Bryce).


Dixon Huges Goodman, LLP
Christina brings nearly 15 years of accounting and business consulting knowledge to Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP’s clients in the market, including a proven track record serving the Risk Advisory industry’s largest public and private companies. She is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in North Carolina and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants. She is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. Christina is a graduate of the University of Virginia (Masters in Accountancy) and a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University (Bachelors of Science in Accounting and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish).


ACT-1 Group
Janice Bryant Howroyd is the Chairman and CEO of the Act•1 Group, a global leader in the staffing and human resources industry. Building on an international scope and resources, her company creates and implements innovative technologies and business services that allow firms to optimize their talent pools and bottom line through optimal/innovative resource management. Her expertise on the subjects of workforce optimization and entrepreneurship has made her a much sought-after speaker. She is also the author of The Art of Work: How to Make Work, Work for You!, in which she distills over 30 years of experience into a work/life balance guide for individuals wishing to further their personal and professional success.


Wells Fargo Retirement
Mr. Gary Kersey is a Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for the Retirement line of business within Wealth, Brokerage & Retirement (WBR) for Wells Fargo Bank. He is an executive with over 35 years of broad financial services business and risk management experience; including consumer banking, commercial lending, wealth management, private banking, personal trust, institutional trust, ERISA, investment management, insurance, and reinsurance. Gary has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (Management) from North Carolina A&T State University and has graduated from the University of NC at Chapel Hill in the School of Banking Program and Young Executive Program. He is also a graduate of the Duke University Leadership Program.


Deloitte & Touche, LLP
Antoinette (Tonie) Leatherberry is a Principal in Deloitte’s Risk and Financial Advisory practice. Tonie has had a distinguished career with the firm, spanning over 26 years. She serves Fortune 100 Manufacturing, Retail and Consumer Business clients. She is responsible for supporting her key accounts across Strategy, Enterprise Risk, Human Capital and Technology services. A recognized leader, she is well respected by her clients and peers and is regularly tapped for her perspective and expertise.
Tonie is the Board Relations Leader for the Risk and Financial Advisory practice. In this role, she is responsible for marketplace positioning and opportunities through innovation, thought leadership and engagement that address the needs of Corporate Board Directors and senior executives.
Ms. Leatherberry has received numerous accolades, most notably as one of the top 25 consultants by Consulting Magazine and by Black Enterprise as one of the Most Powerful Women in Business. Tonie has also been recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s Top 50 Women in Business, The Network Journal’s annual list of 25 Influential Black Women in Business, Savoy magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America and one of the Top 100 under 50 Leader by Diversity MBA Magazine.
Tonie holds an M.B.A. in Operations from Northeastern University and a B.S.M.E. with a concentration in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University.


KPMG Foundation
Bernie Milano is president and a member of the boards of directors of three nonprofit organizations: the KPMG Foundation, the KPMG Disaster Relief Fund and The PhD Project. He joined KPMG (then Peat Marwick Mitchell &Co.) following his graduation from Temple University in 1961. He held positions of National Partner in Charge of University Relations followed by National Partner in Charge of Human Resources. He holds two honorary doctorates, one of which is from North Carolina A&T State University.


VF Corporation
Reginald J. Miller serves as the Head of Global Inclusion and Diversity at VF Corporation where he directs, develops and operationalizes VF’s global I&D strategy with a focus on transformational change. Throughout his career, he has worked in a variety of different disciplines including supply chain, merchandising, project management, and several fields within human resources. Prior to joining VF, Reggie served as Director, Diversity Strategy and Support, responsible for the D&I strategy, reporting, and consultation for all Walmart stores in the US and also was a recruiting and D&I leader at Tyson Foods. A US Army Veteran, he served as a Supply Sergeant with deployments to Germany, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan. In addition, he holds a B.S., Education - HR Development and a M.S., Education - Workforce Development from the University of Arkansas. He also holds an M.B.A. from Webster University. Reggie and his wife, Jennifer, have three children: RJ II – 7 years old – and their 3-year-old twins, Malia and Olivia. 


Attorney at Law

Fenita Moore most recently served as Senior Counsel at Independence Blue Cross, the largest health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Independence, Fenita held the position of Associate General Counsel for a U.S. based subsidiary of the largest global industrial gas company, where she advised the production, specialty gas and real estate businesses of the company, as well as provided legal support for the company’s major capital projects. Fenita is a former partner with Dilworth Paxson, LLP in Philadelphia, where she concentrated her practice in a wide variety of business and corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, complex commercial transactions, private equity offerings, entity formation and corporate governance issues, and served on the firm’s Hiring and Diversity Committees. Fenita is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University (B.S., Accounting, summa cum laude, 2001), and William & Mary School of Law (J.D., 2004). She is a native of Philadelphia and is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.


3M Industrial & Transportation Business Services
Scott Morris is the National Manager for 3M Design Solutions and a Global Key Account Leader for 3M’s Appliance Market initiative. In addition to managing a U.S. based team, he has developed the strategic vision, solutions process, and metrics for this new 3M Business Model, which is being replicated globally. This motivational leader has created and is certified to teach an array of sales, leadership, and personal equity workshops. Morris sits on the 3M African American Network Leadership Council.


Industrial Packaging the Americas
Bathsheba joined the forest products industry over 37 years ago after graduating from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. She has held various positions in engineering, manufacturing, business and corporate human resources.
Bathsheba is currently Vice President Human Resources, Industrial Packaging the Americas, at International Paper Company. 
Ms. Sams is an alumni of Leadership Memphis, 2004. She is the 2016 recipient of the Girls Inc. SMART award and was recognized in 2017 by the Memphis Business Journal as a “Super Woman in Business." She currently serves as chair of the board for NEXUS (mentoring leadership organization), executive board member for the National Civil Rights Museum, board member for Memphis in May and Memphis Tourism, North Carolina A&T Business School Executive Advisory Board, University of South Carolina MHR Program Strategic Advisory Board, University of Mississippi Engineering Advisory Board, and University of Mississippi Alumni Association Board of Directors.


GE Asset Management

Dmitri Stockton’s career spanned a total of 30 years with GE Company where he was one of ~20 Senior Vice Presidents and a member of the Corporate Executive Council. After spending over five years as Chairman, President and CEO of GE’s $120 billion asset management arm, he successfully sold the business in 2016 and became a Special Advisor within GE until his retirement in 2017. While at the company, Stockton held a series of escalating leadership positions including working abroad as a CEO for a decade. In his final assignment outside the US, he architected the restructuring of GE Capital’s 40,000 employee global banking unit during the financial crisis—restoring the business to stability and delivering record profitability in 2010 of $1.85 billion. Previously, he was President & CEO of GE Consumer Finance in Eastern Europe where he led the expansion of the platform’s earnings more than four-fold. 
Stockton has served extensively on both public and private boards across several industry sectors, including his current director roles at Deere & Company, Target Corporation, Stanley Black and Decker, and Ryder Systems. He is formerly a Board Member of American Family Insurance, Synchrony Financial and Garanti Bank.  Currently, Stockton is also an Advisor in private equity with Pine Brook Road Partners and The Vistria Group. He earned a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University in Accounting in 1986 and began his career with Arthur Andersen. 


Dow Chemical Company
Jeff Tate is vice president and business finance director for the $20 billion Packaging and Specialty Plastics segment of The Dow Chemical Company. In this role, he directs and oversees all global finance activities to provide strategic and financial counsel for the businesses. He is a member of the Financial Executives International, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. Jeff is a CPA and serves on the Board of Directors of Chemical Financial Corporation, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Standing Advisory Group, and the Corporate Advisory Boards of both Consortium and National Association of Black Accountants.


Envision Business Management Group 
Jini Thornton is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Envision Business Management Group, which is located in Atlanta, Georgia. Envision has been in business for 19 years and provides accounting, tax, financial planning, tour accounting and logistics, and other financial related services to individuals and businesses in the entertainment industry. She created and served as the host of the award winning Money Talks, a financial commentary segment, which aired Monday through Friday on the Atlanta Radio One station WHTA-FM, Hot 107.9 and the Macon station WFXM-FM Foxie 107.1 for over eight years. Jini frequently contributes to the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley Morning Show providing financial advice to listeners throughout the Southern United States. Jini attended North Carolina A&T State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1991 and received her Master of Science in Taxation from the University of Illinois of Urbana Champaign in 1993.


Streamline, a Union Pacific subsidiary
Marcus Tyrance is a Sr. Business Director in the Marketing & Sales Department, where he leads the Commercial Team for Streamline, a Union Pacific subsidiary that provides door-to-door intermodal services. Marcus holds a B.A. in Journalism and an M.S.M. in Transportation and Business Logistics. Immediately after college, Marcus was a production assistant at a small talk radio station. Prior to joining the railroad, he was also an Operations Manager at a third party logistics company and a dispatcher at a small trucking company.
In 2006, Marcus graduated from the M.S.M. program at N.C. A&T and joined Union Pacific Railroad as an Account Representative at the Market Development and Sales Center in Omaha, NE. In that position, Marcus managed the commercial relationship between Union Pacific and several small Intermodal Marketing Companies. Marcus subsequently held several roles with increasing responsibilities in the Marketing & Sales department in Omaha, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.