Professional Development

Meet the 2023 class of TALI’s Emerging Leaders Program

The professional development program gives early-career Black professionals a chance to network and hone their organizational skills.

Members of TALI Emerging Leadership Program's 2023 cohort. (Courtesy photo)

The Advanced Leadership Institute, aka TALI, has announced the participants for the Emerging Leaders Program’s second cohort.

Launched in 2021, the professional development program is designed to give “high potential” Black professionals in Pittsburgh a chance to advance their careers and receive mentorship, all while developing a sense of community with one another. The goal: Keep them in Pittsburgh for the long haul. During their time in the program cohort, members will hone their negotiation strategy skills, learn about managerial effectiveness, and develop other tools to sharpen their leadership skills.

The Advanced Leadership Institute also offers an Executive Leadership Academy, which focuses on the development of Black leaders with at least 10 years of professional work experience.

The Emerging Leaders Program operates through a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. University of Pittsburgh, Robert Morris University and Duquesne University lend their faculty to the program so that they can provide their expertise to participants.

“Through the program, we have the distinct pleasure of providing the region’s rising Black leaders with a world-class executive education,” said Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, a professor of finance at Tepper, in a statement. “We congratulate the fine individuals who have been accepted into this year’s Emerging Leaders Program and hope this experience positively impacts their professional and personal development.”

The Emerging Leadership Program looks for cohort members who have three to five years of professional experience, be that in the nonprofit world, the private sector or local government. Last year’s cohort members came from industries ranging from grocery store management all the way to startup founders.

For its 2022-2023 programming year, the 26 individuals who made the grade come from health care companies, banks, a few of the partner universities and beyond. Meet them below:

  • Darla Brown — Manager of Patient Experience, Allegheny Health Network
  • Quinten Brown — Executive Administrator, Carnegie Mellon University, Office of the Provost
  • Ebonie Chestnut — Financial Analyst, Wabtec Corporation
  • Arthur Chileshe — Distribution Engineering Manager, Duquesne Light
  • John Cunningham — Internal Business System Consultant, Highmark Health
  • Courtney Davenport — Senior Analyst/Community Impact Program Administrator, BNY Mellon
  • LaNee Davis — Procurement Manager, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh
  • Denise Hughes —  Senior Manager, Public Relations, UPMC
  • Miguelina Javier — SR Analyst- International Support, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
  • Sharlene Lewis — Process Chemistry Expert, Covestro LLC
  • Juanita Lomax — Enterprise Change Delivery, Readiness and Change Consultant, Highmark Inc.
  • Tami Mack — Assistant General Counsel – Innovation and Business Development, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
  • Derrick L. Maultsby Jr., Esq. — Associate Attorney, Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • Jordon McMichael — Branch and Business Center Manager, PNC
  • Ariel Meadows — Credit Analyst, Bridgeway Capital
  • BreAnne Middleton — Human Resources Business Partner II, Giant Eagle
  • Babatunde (Tunde) Ogunjobi — Lead Geoscientist, CNX Resources
  • Oluwaropo (Abbey) Omodunbi — Senior Economist, PNC Financial Services
  • Audia Robinson — Operational Support Analyst, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh
  • LaToya Sawyer-Ndizeye — Counsel, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
  • Veronique Scullion — Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual
  • Shana Shields — User Experience Designer, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
  • Monique Smith — Faculty Affairs Manager, University of Pittsburgh
  • Ashten Walker — Executive Store Leader, Giant Eagle
  • LaNita Whittle — Manager, Aerospace Project Management Office, PPG
  • Eria Young — Accounting and Administrative Manager, Koppers
Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: Allegheny Health Network / Highmark Health / UPMC / Duquesne University / PNC Financial Services / University of Pittsburgh / Carnegie Mellon University

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