Roger O. Crockett
Co-founder and Principal
Roger created this company with co-founder, Donna Gaines, to emphasize “next practices” in diversity and inclusion. He formed the firm after years of experience as an award-winning business journalist and trusted advisor to senior leaders, and as President of R.O. Crockett Leadership Advisory, a consulting firm based in Chicago, Illinois. Presently, Roger arms senior leaders with intellectual capital tools—the new currency for business development. He has worked with C-suite leaders at several global companies, including Motorola Solutions, Heidrick & Struggles, BAE Systems and Procter & Gamble, to develop customized solutions designed to advance their thought leadership in the marketplace and drive business growth. Read More
A specialist in business leadership and inclusion, Roger has anchored and co-produced the innovative video series Leadership in the Field, which explores corporate leadership topics with CEOs and Chairmen of Fortune 500 companies. He is editor of In The Lead, an award winning e-magazine, providing insight and advice about business and the power of inclusive leadership to influential business leaders across the nation and the world. He also has written about the intersection of leadership and diversity for Harvard Business Review online.
Previously, Roger was the Chicago deputy bureau chief for BusinessWeek magazine. During his 13-plus years at BusinessWeek, he wrote several award-winning articles about global companies, top executives, and transformational business trends. For example, in 2003, Mr. Crockett earned national recognition by the Association of Black Journalists for his insightful analysis of the black economy, “Progress Without Parity.” In 2007, Mr. Crockett won a Peter Lisagor award for his leading-edge coverage of Motorola under the leadership of Ed Zander and Greg Brown. In 2009, Mr. Crockett introduced the world to newly appointed Xerox CEO, Ursula Burns, the first African-American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. Roger’s trusted insight on business and leadership makes him a regular analyst on TV news shows, and a sought after moderator, panelist and speaker on the business community’s conference circuit.
Roger is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Saint Xavier University, he serves on the Board of Governors of the Metropolitan Club of Chicago, and he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Sinfonietta, a non-profit dedicated to inclusion and innovation. He is a graduate of UCLA and earned a Master’s degree with honors from New York’s Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
Donna M. Gaines
Co-founder and Principal
Donna created this company with co-founder, Roger Crockett, to emphasize “next practices” in diversity and inclusion. She formed the firm after years of successful entrepreneurial experience and business expertise as the president of Donna M. Gaines, Ltd., a business innovation and change management consulting firm that works with corporations, government entities, and non-profits on strategies to enhance and expand their business and service opportunities. With over thirty years of successful entrepreneurial experience providing customized solutions in the education and healthcare arena, Donna has developed specific expertise in the design, development and execution of business development, stakeholder relations, and diversity, inclusion and engagement strategies. Read More
Recognizing that entrepreneurship and economic empowerment are critical to the country’s economy, Donna served in previous leadership roles with the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (ABLE), where as President & CEO, she developed and executed strategies designed to create opportunities for business development for minority and women-owned businesses in the corporate community. In addition to cultivating partnerships with C-suite executives in a variety of multi-national corporations, she represented ABLE in discussions on small business development with members of the Public Liaisons Office of President-elect Obama’s Transition Team, and was in attendance at the White House for President Obama’s announcement of the formation of the Middle Class Task Force for Working Families. Presently, she participates in briefings for African American leaders hosted by the Presidential Personnel Office.
Donna’s advocacy work also includes her tenure as the National Director of the International Trade Bureau for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition where she coordinated the business development activities of Rainbow’s national satellite offices and provided strategic business coaching for over 200 women and minority-owned businesses. In addition to advocating for these companies domestically, Donna served as the business development liaison with embassy officials and designees from Venezuela, Mexico, Ghana and London.
Donna’s board involvement has included the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and The Primo Center for Women and Children, and she currently serves on boards for Roosevelt University’s Heller College of Business, Moneythink, Village Leadership Academy, and the Tabernacle Senior Citizen Project. A national speaker on business development, social entrepreneurship, and diversity, inclusion and engagement strategies, she has received several awards and citations for her work. Donna is a graduate of Roosevelt University, and earned a certificate in Change Management Leadership from Cornell University in 2012. As the commencement speaker for Robert Morris University Illinois, she received an honorary degree in June, 2011.