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Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni Association's October 2020 Digest

Coca Cola’s Fred Clark III (Spring 2009) Drew On

Kilts Center Resources To Make The Leap

From Finance To Marketing — For One Of The World's Most Recognizable Brands

by LeeAnn Shelton

When Fred Clark, ’20, landed an internship and then a full-time role at renowned Atlanta-based beverage maker Coca-Cola, he knew he had a marketer’s dream job. With a storied legacy to draw upon, the iconic brand and its focus on storytelling provided a plethora of inspiration and opportunity for the recent graduate. But Clark also brings to the role his own profound passion: a focus on multicultural marketing.

“I’m passionate about multicultural marketing because I want minority communities to be able to benefit from the marketing that targets our strong buying power and cultural influence,” said Clark, a Houston native. He’s driven to become a marketer who not only considers multicultural demographics, but also serves as a good steward of the marketing that reaches those communities. “By investing dollars with vendors and creatives in our minority communities,” said Clark, “we will be able to influence change related to systemic issues that still have an impact today.”

Clark’s introduction to marketing came from a company he launched with classmates as an undergraduate at Morehouse College. The group would curate fun events, primarily in nightlife and entertainment, which they advertised to fellow college students across Atlanta. “We turned it into a viable business—brands started to come to us and ask us to market for them at our events,” Clark remembered. “I always did it on the side, but I had an itch to explore it in a greater capacity.”

Graduating with a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance, Clark took a job in the oil industry and spent eight years working in finance at Shell. But he felt something pulling him back to marketing, so he enrolled in the Full-Time MBA Program at Booth. He found his MBA classes gave him a foundational understanding of marketing, as well as an appreciation for both the art and the science of the field.

In classes such as Data-Driven Marketing, taught by Kilts Family Professor of Marketing Günter J. Hitsch, Clark learned that the old-school, Mad Men-esque idea that “whoever has the most creative idea wins” is a thing of the past. “In this new age of technology and data, marketing is understanding consumer markets and being able to be predictive in your way of thought,” Clark said. “Classes like Data Driven Marketing gave me the tools to be able draw insights from a dataset and make informed marketing decisions to drive revenue.”

He also found support from the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing at Booth, which introduced him to programs and resources, and helped him further build connections with marketing professors. “All of the Speaker Series that the Kilts Center offered were very helpful in putting myself in a mindset of marketing, whereas my whole career I had been focused on the dollars and cents of finance,” he said.

Outside of the classroom, Clark participated in student-led groups, serving as the co-chair of Booth’s African American MBA Association (AAMBAA) and as a member of the Dean’s Marketing Advisory Committee (DMAC). He enjoyed building deep relationships with his classmates through various school programming and class trips.

"This year has also allowed me to build relationships with those willing to have the uncomfortable conversations. As an African American man, I was rightfully disturbed by the constant images of police brutality and racial injustice in the media," he said. "I was pleasantly surprised by a few of my classmates who reached out to express allyship and better educate themselves on critical issues facing the Black community."

For his summer internship between his first and second year at Booth, Clark landed a coveted role at Coca-Cola, working on the Diet Coke brand. His job was to build out a three-year strategy in the convenience retail channel, and he enjoyed working with creative agencies to see the visual components come together.

“Being able to sit down with creative agencies and tech companies to see the full potential of marketing/branding in the CPG industry was huge for me,” Clark said.

Clark ended up pitching a strategic campaign as the capstone of his internship, and was offered a job post-graduation as an associate brand manager for the company’s Gold Peak Tea line. In the first months of this new role, he’s excited to lead its social media and digital efforts.

With his Booth experience still so fresh in his memory, Clark has a keen awareness of how that business school community helped propel him to a critical role in the marketing department of an esteemed global brand. “I had such a strong appreciation for the level of intelligence and just the caliber of classmates that I had when I got into Booth,” said Clark. “Everybody was very welcoming, friendly. They all had unique backgrounds, and that helped me to grow and stretch my comfort zone.”

And as he begins his career in marketing, Clark is dedicating himself to making the kind of impact he wants to see in the world, especially in the realm of multicultural marketing. “I truly just want to use my position and influence to drive change and positive growth in our minority communities.”

“In this new age of technology and data, marketing is understanding consumer markets and being able to be predictive in your way of thought.” Fred Clark, '20 reflects on a career switch from finance to marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, the ongoing critical importance of multi-cultural marketing, and the support the Kilts Center offered via programs and relationship building. At the core of Fred's drive is making the impact he wants to see in the world. “I truly just want to use my position and influence to drive change and positive growth in our minority communities.”

Brand management professional focused on value optimization and strategic marketing. Adept at identifying areas of value leakage/opportunities and working with cross-functional teams to increase P&L performance. Proven record of leadership and ability to deliver results that directly impact the bottom-line.

Founded in 1999, the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing advances marketing at Chicago Booth by facilitating faculty research, supporting innovations in the marketing curriculum, funding scholarships for MBA students, and creating engaging programs aimed at enhancing the careers of students and alumni.


Brother Wesley L. White (Spring 2002)

Named 2020 “Rising Star” By Super Lawyers


Reichman Jorgensen Associate Wesley White has been recognized as a 2020 “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers. The Rising Stars directory is comprised of the top up-and-coming attorneys who are under 40 years of age or have been in practice for less than a decade. Only 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected for inclusion. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from 70+ practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition & professional achievement.

Wesley is a trial attorney in Reichman Jorgensen’s New York office who represents both plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes patent disputes. Earlier this year, he played a key role in helping the firm secure a $236 million patent infringement verdict for Densify against tech giant VMware. The verdict was announced on January 24, 2020, following a nine-day jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, where jurors found that VMware willfully infringed two Densify patents which cover virtualization technology.

Wesley’s contributions to the Densify trial team were many. As case manager, Wesley was responsible for the herculean task of managing an accelerated trial schedule (the case was set for trial only five months after a preliminary injunction hearing), including managing deadlines, resourcing, and interfacing with the client, among other duties. He led discovery efforts, including written discovery, document collection, handling briefing of discovery disputes/motions, and assisting with drafting expert materials/reports. Wesley was also extensively involved in taking depositions, including deposing VMware’s technical expert and defending the deposition of Densify’s key technical expert. 

In particular, Wes conducted the pivotal rebuttal examination of his client’s technical expert at trial. This was the last witness called before the case was sent to the jury. It was a huge responsibility for a fifth-year associate, but as lead counsel Courtland Reichman explains “Wes did a truly masterful job throughout the entire Densify trial. He is the perfect example of that rare young talent you come across, who is mature beyond their years and has the instincts and high acumen to really shine in the courtroom. He’s a bonafide star.” 

Wesley is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was the Business & Bluebook Chair on the Harvard Law Review. He also earned joint degrees in applied physics and electrical engineering from Morehouse College and Georgia Tech. Before embarking on his legal career, Wesley worked in the financial services industry as an associate with Goldman Sachs in New York and Chicago.


Pictured Above: Kelvin J. Taylor, who joined Midwest BankCentre in November 2019 as executive vice president-chief information officer, remains in that role while also serving as managing director of Rising Analytics.

‘Rising’ Black star (Brother Kelvin J. Taylor -- Spring 1985) at Midwest BankCentre, Inc. Region’s only Black-led bank acquires Black-led data analytics firm

By Chris King Of The St. Louis American

Midwest BankCentre, Inc. is getting more analytical – and adding yet more Black leadership in the financial sector.

The parent company of Midwest BankCentre, the only regional bank led by an African American, it has now acquired Taylored Analytics to launch a new subsidiary, Rising Analytics. Founded in October 2007 by the husband-wife team of Kelvin and Tamila “Tammy” Taylor, the firm helps small to mid-sized businesses harness their data to drive business strategy and processes. It has worked with Fortune 500 companies in the financial, retail, restaurant, utility and telecommunications sectors. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Kelvin Taylor joined Midwest BankCentre in November 2019 as executive vice president-chief information officer. He remains in that role, while also serving as managing director of Rising Analytics. “Kelvin’s strengths in the application of data analytics provide a tremendous advantage to businesses and organizations that want to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of their sales and marketing decisions,” said Orvin T. Kimbrough, chairman and CEO of Midwest BankCentre.

“He is passionate about equipping business leaders to effectively translate their financial goals into well-informed business strategies and actions. We’re excited to make this practical expertise readily accessible to Midwest BankCentre’s clients and other small to mid-sized businesses and nonprofits.”

Kelvin Taylor earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and mathematics at Morehouse College and completed post-graduate studies in economics at University of Maryland, College Park. He has served locally on the United Way and Urban League boards of directors. He and his wife, Tamila Taylor, annually host a charity golf tournament to fund scholarships to Morehouse College, the nation’s top producer of Black males who continue their education and receive doctorates.

Kelvin Taylor said the acquisition is timely and strategic. “It’s estimated that 90% of all the data in the world has been generated in the last two years. That explosive growth in customer, financial and operational data has changed the way businesses can achieve their goals,” Taylor said. “But the majority of data projects fail when the data science team is unable to translate ‘geek speak’ to business language or when overly complex models fail to deliver one source of truth within organizations.”

Rising Analytics’ seven-member team focuses on capturing and using reliable data to help small to mid-sized business owners, franchises and nonprofits gain customer insights and automate routine tasks. “We apply the skills and insights used by industry giants to develop data strategies that deliver actionable insights through advanced analytics,” Taylor said. “Our implementation roadmaps, customer segmentation analyses, sales pipeline scoring and customer profitability analyses help organizational leaders better plan and communicate their priorities, concentrate their brainpower and create stronger futures.”

Midwest BankCentre’s assets exceed $2 billion and deposits total more than $1.5 billion. The bank employs a staff of about 280 working at 18 bank locations in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles counties in Missouri and St. Clair County in Illinois. The bank is a local leader in the St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition (formerly the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force) and its Bank-On Save-Up St. Louis initiative.


Brother Sean A. Haley Ph.D. (Spring 1987) Joins Board Of Directors Of Houston, Texas-based Patient Care Intervention Center


Patient Care Intervention Center (PCIC) is proud to introduce Dr. Sean A. Haley, Ph.D. to its board of directors. Dr. Haley is an executive consultant and educational leader who focuses on organizational efficiency, equity and individual and community empowerment. As a strategist, thought partner, facilitator, developer, and executive coach, he has impacted outcomes in diverse communities, while working with hundreds of community leaders, stakeholders, and educators nationally. His diverse array of experiences and leadership roles in the education and public health sectors will bring a refreshing perspective to the PCIC team.

PCIC is a nonprofit organization that leverages technology, health data sharing, and public health best practices to empower patients and providers to achieve enduring health outcomes and financial sustainability. We work with local governments, hospital systems, health plans, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and social service agencies to streamline care coordination and patient data sharing.

Sean is an executive consultant and educational leader who focuses on organizational efficiency, equity and individual and community empowerment. As a strategist, thought partner, facilitator, developer, and executive coach, he has impacted outcomes in diverse communities, while working with hundreds of community leaders, stakeholders, and educators nationally. He is President of the Haley Responsive Education Corporation (HREC) which he founded in 2008.

While in this position Sean has served as a consultant on high-impact projects for the: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement, International Center for Leadership in Education, Institute for Public School Initiatives, Texas Charter Schools Association, Engage2Learn, and National CARES Mentoring Movement. In the field of education, Sean has developed successful schools and tools that empower educators and students. In total, his educational consulting work has taken him across 15 states and 1 U.S. Territory where he has provided direct school improvement and transformation support to leaders and teachers at all levels (Pre-Kindergarten through 12).