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Annual Summit in Greenville, North Carolina May 8 and 9, 2014

Clemson University


LaSonya Berry has an exceptional track record of helping businesses and individuals achieve their full potential. A dynamic human resource executive, she has lent her expertise to a wide array of government agencies, nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies such as IBM and General Electric for over 18 years. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson, Berry & Associates (McPherson|Berry), a multifaceted consulting firm dedicated to providing first-class HR consulting, leadership development, performance and talent management solutions. Since being at the helm of her firm, the company was recognized with the coveted Trailblazer Award by GWBC, a region of the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). She has been awarded one of the 25 Most Powerful Minority Women in Business, one of the Charleston Business Journal’s Forty Under 40, and a WBENC Business Star. She frequently writes human resources content and publications, is featured in magazines, conference speaker, and she is a Performance Coach. LaSonya authored “101 Power Tips for the Workplace”.

Rashid Ferrod Davis is the Founding Principal of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) who has more than 17 years of experience working in the New York City Department of Education as a teacher, assistant principal, and, most recently, the Principal of Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy (BETA). Under his leadership, BETA received silver medal recognition from US News and World Report, rose to #143 on the Newsweek list of 1,500 Top American High Schools, and received accolades from Good Morning America and BBC. P-TECH is a collaborative effort of the New York City Department of Education, City University of New York, the New York City College of Technology, and IBM. Davis refers to P-TECH as a hollege (a combination of high school and two years of college).  

Lynn Mann currently serves a dual role as the Program Director at A. J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering and as the Executive Director of the Greenville County Schools Foundation. In each role, she seeks to create positive partnerships between the business community and schools to drive improvement in the quality of public education in Greenville County.

Susan Lasser is the Director of the Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) Office in the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University, a position she created and has held since 1987.  PEER is the minority student support network, and features a variety of award-winning recruitment and retention efforts.  Clemson consistently ranks among the top 20 in the nation in the number of African American engineers graduated every year. She is one of the first winners of the national Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, and has also received a Noel-Levitz Retention Excellence Award and various Clemson awards.tional competition in Germany.   



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