Congratulations to Gail Bruce, curator of the American Indian exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who will be honored for her brilliance and dedication to depicting a true historical portrait of the Native American.
Condolences to the family of the Rev. Keith Johnson, pastor of St. Phillips Church. Having been diagnosed with cancer for the first time only three weeks ago, Johnson passed away suddenly. He was 51 years old.
Johnson was given a prognosis of a couple years to live, but the good reverend must have asked the good Lord to end his suffering sooner than expected.
Regarding historical accounts, St. Phillips is the country’s oldest Black Episcopalian Church in the country. The search to find who would lead the church in its resurrection was long and hard. The congregation needs help in relaunching the search. For all of you Episcopalians out there, your help is needed more than ever. Attend Sunday mass, get involved, see what you can do.
Condolences also go out to the family of Desmond Maxwell, cousin to Bert Belasco, who passed away recently from bone cancer. It’s very sad as Maxwell was a relatively young man in his 60s, and his lovely daughter is planning to get married this month in Mexico. Belasco will step in for Des and give her away.
The good continue to die young as Dori J. Maynard, daughter of Robert C. Maynard, former owner of the Oakland Tribune, died at her home in Oakland, Calif. Dori Maynard was herself a journalist, having worked at various institutions across the country, including the Detroit Free Press, the Bakersfield Californian and the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation is set to honor Tyler Perry; Gerald Hassell, CEO of Bank of New York Mellon; and Don Thompson, retiring president and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation, for their humanitarian and entrepreneurial spirit at its annual awards dinner Monday, March 9, 2015 at the Waldorf Astoria. Now in its 42nd year, the event recognizes those who embody the ideals of the late Jackie Robinson by promoting social justice, excellence and human dignity.
Funds raised from the gala will benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s unique scholarship program that provides financial grants, mentoring and leadership training for minority college students, along with the Jackie Robinson Museum project. The evening will also feature dinner, dancing and a performance by Grammy Award-nominee Kem. I met his son David and his sister Sharon many years ago. They are beautiful people and deserve an award themselves, along with their mom, of course but of course. Not to mention Kem, I love him. Former recipients of the ROBIE Award include Spike Lee and Sean “Puff Daddy” Coombs.
Looking for a good read while waiting for spring? “Strategize to Win” by Carla A. Harris, author of “Expect to Win,” writes about “the new way to start out, step up or start over in your career.” Harris, a strong voice, speaks from her heart as she shares practical tips for getting your career on track, and once you get the job of your dreams, how to keep it. I could tell you all about it, but I think you should experience it for yourself.
Speaking on leadership, Harvard University professor Linda Hill has a few salient points to share on managing your career. She states, “Everyone has a slice of genius, it’s up to you to figure out what your genius is,” and go for it. You must first manage yourself by managing your network, focus on your priorities and manage your resources. Hill is the first Black women to become tenured at the Harvard Business School, where Harris received an AB magna cum laude from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Together, both women advise to take those leaps, saying that building bonds and relationships builds trust. Let people get to know you.
The pre-gala parties that I told you about last week are still happening. These types of events always make me think, like, any excuse to have a party. But anyway, this week a pre-gala kick-off cocktail party for the NYC Mission Society’s annual “Champions for Children” benefit, to be held April 1, took place. I am not going to bore you with who the gala committee co-chairs are because they’re no one that we know. However, we do know Elsie McCabe Thomson, president of the New York City Mission Society.
McCabe Thomson is an amazing woman. Speaking of careers, her resume reads something like this: She was former president of the Museum for African Art, where she oversaw the expansion and reinvigoration of its board of trustees, increased earned income by roughly 200 percent and, most significantly, initiated and led the planning for and construction of the new building, to be located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 110th Street, which is now complete.
Before joining the Museum for African Art, McCabe Thompson served as New York City Mayor David Dinkins’ chief of staff, overseeing the city’s nine Constituency Affairs offices; its city, state and federal Legislative Affairs offices; the Human Rights Commission; the U.N. Commission; and the Community Development Agency, among other areas.
In the private sector, McCabe Thompson was a senior litigator with Shearman & Sterling, where she specialized in commercial and banking litigation. During her tenure, she founded and ran a training and mentoring program for minority students, providing educational programs for more than 10,000 young people. She has served on the boards of a number of nonprofit and for-profit corporations, including the National Executive Service Corps, Union Theological Seminary, New York Cares, Harlem Day Charter School, International House and North General Hospital.
McCabe Thompson currently serves on the boards of the National Recreation Foundation, the Trinity School and the Learning Care Group. McCabe Thompson is a member of the Steering Committee of the Association for a Better New York, the Greater New York Hospital Association’s Diversity Committee and the Association of Art Museum Directors. She is a graduate of Barnard College and Harvard Law School—there’s something about those Harvard women—and best of all, she’s married to William Thompson, former New York City comptroller, and has two children. Thompson joined his wife at the event along with Sophia Bishop, Gayle Hawkins, Ike Ude, Valentino Carlotti, Allison Ecung and Shannon Hales. What a way to kick off Women’s History Month.
Until next week … kisses