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BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:22am October 03, 2019,

Meet the 2019 ’30 Black Stars’- America’s distinguished business and professional achievers

Face2Face Africa is proud to introduce the inaugural list of its “30 Black Stars” – a new initiative launched earlier this year to highlight and celebrate African, African-American, and Caribbean business and professional leaders in the United States.

The company received hundreds of nominations from members of the business community and the 30 finalists were chosen by a Selection Committee led by Dorinda Walker, CEO of Cultural Solutions Group, based on their outstanding professional achievements, impact and contributions to the African-American community.

The 30 Black Stars initiative seeks to help advance diversity and inclusion, and foster meaningful dialogue on how corporations can harness the full potential of minority professionals and business leaders for innovation and global competitiveness.

“We are proud to have such a dynamic group of honorees who together represent over 15 nationalities including USA, Haiti, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Liberia, Zimbabwe and more. They have all distinguished themselves in the business and professional world, are transforming industries, and paving a way for other minorities through a commitment to excellence,” said Sandra Appiah, CEO of Face2Face Africa.

Conference & Awards Gala

The 30 Black Stars Conference is scheduled for November 15, 2019 from 9am-12pm and will facilitate empowering discussions around diversity and inclusion. It will empower attendees with the tools and resources they need to increase their capacity, and examine what companies are doing to cultivate a more inclusive culture to harness the strengths and full potential of professionals within ethnic communities.

Later in the evening, the 30 Black Stars will be honored and celebrated at an awards gala. Both the conference and awards gala will be at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston.

To attend the 30 Black Stars Conference and Awards, visit 30blackstars.com for registration and more information.

Below, meet the 30 Black Stars for 2019:


EVP, Worldwide Television Licensing and Operations
Paramount Pictures

Michael D. Armstrong joined Paramount Pictures as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Television Licensing and Operations in September 2018. In this newly created role, Armstrong’s responsibilities include leading third-party series distribution efforts with studio partners; managing – in partnership with Paramount Television – distribution efforts on local language productions; and overseeing Paramount’s digital monetization team.


EVP and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
RWJBarnabas Health

Michellene Davis serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of RWJBarnabas Health. Ms. Davis leads Social Impact and Community Investment across the System. She oversees the areas of Policy Development and Governmental and External Affairs, Healthy Living and Community and Employee Wellness and Engagement, and Global Health.


Head of Product Inclusion, Research and Activation

Annie Jean-Baptiste is the Head of Product Inclusion, Research and Activation at Google. She leads Product Inclusion strategy across the company, including consultation, communications, scale and research.


Managing Director
JPMorgan Chase

Sekou Kaalund is Head of Advancing Black Pathways, a JPMorgan Chase initiative designed to have a sustainable impact on the economic success and empowerment of black communities. Prior to this role, Kaalund served for 11 years in JPMorgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank in numerous leadership positions – including as Head of U.S. Pension Fund Coverage and as a senior relationship manager for some of the firm’s largest clients.


Vice President
Goldman Sachs

Sabina Dankwa is a Vice President/Executive Director at Goldman Sachs. She currently oversees the Marketing and Communications function for the Engineering Division. Prior to this role, she was responsible for technology risk governance programs, focused on policies and standards, as well as regulatory and audit controls for the firm’s information and cyber security infrastructure.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: October 3, 2019


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