Power Moves: Stanley Black & Decker appointed a new chief diversity officer

Plus, Laureate Education has a new CFO and AsclepiX Therapeutics appointed a new CEO.

Joe Simms. (Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Tell us:

Stanley Black & Decker has appointed Morgan State University alum Joe Simms as chief diversity officer.

Simms was formerly the VP of human resources for the manufacturing company’s $10 billion global tools and storage business. He began at Stanley Black & Decker in 2013 in that same VP role for U.S. sales and marketing and has had along career in HR with Fortune 500 companies, including PepsiCo.

Simms also co-chairs the company’s African Ancestry Network and contributed to its “10 Commitments to Racial Equity and Social Justice” framework.

Stanley Black & Decker is one of the 20 largest employers in Baltimore. A renewed dedication to diversity and inclusion under this new leadership could be a boon to a majority Black city with an unemployment rate that’s consistently higher than the surrounding counties.

P.S. Here’s an explainer on what a chief diversity officer does.


Rick Buskirk is the new SVP and chief financial officer at Laureate Education, the Harbor East-based company that went public in 2017, as of April 1.

Buskirk formerly lead financial planning and analysis efforts before his new role, replacing Jean-Jacques Charhon, at the edtech company. He was previously a CPA with EY and an investment banker with Deutsche Bank.

“Rick Buskirk will continue to be a key member of our leadership team as Laureate moves forward with a smaller footprint and focus on operations in Mexico and Peru,” said Eilif Serck-Hanssen, president and CEO of Laureate Education, in a statement. “Following his initial assignment with Laureate leading our Financial Planning and Analysis efforts, he has played an integral role in managing our strategic review process and overall portfolio optimization strategies. Over the past three years, Rick oversaw more than $5 billion in divestiture transactions, which has resulted in significant shareholder value creation.”

Rick Buskirk. (Photo via LinkedIn)


AsclepiX Therapeutics, Inc. has appointed Robert J. Dempsey as chief executive officer and president.  The biopharmaceutical company hopes Dempseys track record of success with medical companies will continue with it.

Dempsey was previously the CEO of TearClear where he led a successful Series B round and FDA engagements. For its part, AsclepiX closed $35 million in a Series A last year.

“I am eager to implement a proven value creation playbook that will achieve sustainable growth and create long-term shareholder value by bringing to market a new standard of care that may be more efficacious and durable while reducing the treatment burden for both patients and physicians,” Dempsey said in a statement.

Robert Dempsey. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 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 Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: Stanley Black & Decker
Series: Power Moves

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