Celebrated every February since 1976, Black History Month is a time to honor and recognize the achievements and contributions made by African Americans throughout U.S. history. Notable African Americans from Texas include Bessie Coleman, who was the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license, Grammy Award-winning singer Barry White, two-time heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman and Barbara Jordan, who was the first woman ever elected to the Texas Senate.
To honor Black History Month, TXU Energy hosted a luncheon and panel discussion to examine the qualities that our next generation of leaders will need to succeed and contribute to tomorrow’s dynamic business environment. The panel included:
- Adrian Barfield, president, Medallion Healthcare
- Tamiyah Fletcher, executive director, I Am Works Association (Guest Speaker)
- Mary Gano, moderator, TXU Energy
- Ravi Malick, vice president of business technology, TXU Energy
- Vince Puente, president of sales and marketing, Southwest Office Systems
- Janann Williams, vice president of people, McLane Company
- Valencia Woodard, interviewer, TXU Energy
Many of the recurring themes that came up during the panel discussion included building strong relationships, embracing and remaining flexible to change, cultivating communication skills and nurturing curiosity.
Key takeaways from our panelists and guest speaker:
“Build a core competency. Build relationships. Keep a balanced lifestyle. Do not compromise your core values.”
“Make memories with the organizations you’re involved with and use social media to share those memories with your communities.”
“Spend time understanding finance, understanding how the numbers work. The common language among any company and any business is finance – dollars and cents.”
“Never stop learning, whether that is about the specific duties you have, learning about what the other people are doing around you, learning about what your boss does. Continue to read and expand your knowledge. It’s always time to be learning. Always be the sponge that’s absorbing.”
“If you have the courage and the initiative to make change and to grow – to see beyond where you currently are – that’s what the path of opportunity is all about. You have got to be flexible. You have got to be able to make changes in your life.”