Introducing the 2023 ’30 Black Stars’ Shaping Corporate America

New York, NY–  August 16, 2023 – Black Stars, an initiative created by media company PanaGenius Inc. to foster a more inclusive and equitable workforce for Black professionals, has announced its prestigious annual list, the “30 Black Stars” for 2023. This exceptional lineup comprises trailblazing individuals who have demonstrated unparalleled success in their careers, standing out for their remarkable achievements, impact, and contributions within the corporate landscape.

Selected from an impressive pool of over 700 national nominees, the 30 Black Stars represent a distinctive group of exceptional leaders who are transforming the face of leadership. From visionary C-suite executives to rising stars across various industries such as tech, finance, healthcare, and law, these individuals are setting new standards of excellence, and paving the way for future generations. 

This year’s esteemed honorees include Elena Richards, a globally recognized leader in championing diversity in the finance industry, who currently serves as Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at KPMG. Elena will be receiving the prestigious Beacon Award, a distinction reserved for trailblazing C-Suite Leaders. Joining her on this illustrious list of corporate achievers are Aaron Aboagye, Managing Partner at McKinsey & Co, Dennis Williams, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility at Warner Bros. Discovery, Edwige Robinson, SVP of Engineering and Operations at T-Mobile, Dr. Evaristus Mainsah, VP of People Experience at Amazon, and more.  To see the full list of honorees, please click here.

Sandra Appiah Babu-Boateng, Co-founder of PanaGenius expressed her excitement about this year’s honorees, stating: 

 “We are thrilled about this year’s honorees, who are pioneering a new era of excellence across corporate America. The 30 Black Stars awards are not just about recognizing individual achievements; they represent a resounding affirmation of the abundance and boundless potential of Black talent across the nation. These individuals have overcome obstacles to chart successful career paths, breaking through ceilings and leaving indelible footprints for others to follow. By celebrating their success, we illuminate a path of inspiration and possibility for generations to come, dismantling barriers and forging a future where diversity thrives and equality prevails in every corner of the corporate landscape.”

The 2023 honorees will be celebrated at an awards gala during the Black Stars Summit, an immersive two-day event aimed at empowering and equipping black and diverse professionals for unparalleled career success. The Summit, which takes place in New York City, November 2-3, will bring together corporate executives, industry leaders, and experts to share knowledge, insights, and opportunities.

 This year’s lineup of speakers includes luminaries such as Sekou Kaalund, Head of Branch and Consumer Banking at US Bank, Doug Lankler, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Pfizer, among others.

For more information about the Black Stars Summit and Awards, including how to secure tickets or a table for your organization, please visit or email 

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Emeka Charles Chinwuba Joins Cahill’s New York Office as Corporate Partner

NEW YORK, January 12, 2023 – Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP announced today that Emeka C. Chinwuba has joined the firm as a partner in the corporate practice group, based in New York.

Mr. Chinwuba’s practice focuses on project development and financing transactions, particularly for renewable energy and infrastructure projects in the Americas and Sub-Saharan Africa. His practice also includes U.S. public-private partnerships for transportation and social infrastructure projects, as well as general bank finance transactions, including acquisition financings, investment grade financings and asset-based lending transactions.

“We are pleased to welcome Emeka Chinwuba to our partnership,” said William M. Hartnett, Cahill’s Executive Committee Chairman. “Emeka brings to Cahill a deep understanding of energy and project finance, allowing us to better service our clients in this space as well as grow this practice. He is a fantastic addition to our market-leading corporate team in New York.”

“Cahill’s reputation in the capital markets and banking space is unmatched – I am thrilled to join this talented team. The caliber of the firm’s lawyers, and the consistently strong results that Cahill achieves for clients, speak for themselves,” said Mr. Chinwuba regarding his arrival at Cahill.

Emeka Chinwuba received his LL.M. from Columbia Law School, his L.B. from Nigerian Law School and his LL.B. from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In 2019, he was named among the “30 Black Stars” by Face2Face Africa.

About Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

Cahill is among the most successful law firms in the world. With a history of legal innovation dating back to the firm’s founding in 1919, Cahill is trusted by market-leading financial institutions, companies and their boards to manage significant corporate transactions, litigation and regulatory matters. Based in New York, Cahill also has offices in London and Washington, D.C.

30 Black Star honoree (2019), Iesha Berry appointed first Chief Diversity and Engagement Officer at DocuSign

Iesha Berry, former Slalom, Bank of America & Microsoft executive with over brings 20 years experience in talent development and diversity, equity and inclusion was appointed as the first Chief Diversity and Engagement Officer at DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU)in March 2022.

DocuSign helps organizations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act on, and manage agreements. As part of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, DocuSign offers eSignature, the world’s #1 way to sign electronically on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time. Today, over a million  customers and more than a billion users in over 180 countries use the DocuSign Agreement Cloud to accelerate the process of doing business and to simplify people’s lives.

With more than 20 years of experience in diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIBs), Iesha will focus on accelerating DocuSign’s DIBs strategy and continuing to evolve DocuSign’s IMPACT and sustainability efforts. Iesha and her team will also be responsible for enhancing the employee experience at DocuSign, working to develop a more diverse and inclusive culture through supporting the impact of employee resource groups and overseeing inclusive talent development along with diverse pipeline sourcing and outreach. She will report directly to DocuSign chief people officer, Joan Burke.

What initially drew me to DocuSign was the clarity of its mission and purpose. The company is in such a unique place, in terms of both its business trajectory and in its position to be a leader in diversity, sustainability and social impact. Having a company with such a great foundation and reach, makes becoming its first CDEO an exciting prospect,” said Iesha. “I look forward to helping DocuSign set a new standard when it comes to diversity, inclusion, sustainability and impact efforts and supporting both our employees and customers on our journey with us.

Iesha began her career at Pfizer as an HR Rotational Associate, and has since held global roles across various companies and industries including Chief Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Officer at Slalom, Senior Vice President of Market and Site Human Resources at Bank of America and Senior Director, Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion Business Management and Client Engagement at Microsoft. She holds an M.A. in HR/Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, a B.A. in Psychology from Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and received a Diversity Practitioner/Advanced Practitioner certification from Cornell University.

As we reflected on our journey to become a more diverse, inclusive and sustainable company, it became clear we needed a new role to focus on the important work we are doing to enhance the DNA of DocuSign. Iesha brings the right balance of deep experience, fresh thinking and long-term vision to lead our journey and we’re excited to add her to our team,” said Joan Burke, Chief People Officer, DocuSign. “We know that we, along with every other company out there, have room to improve in regard to diversity, sustainability and impact, and Iesha will be a critical part of setting goals and holding ourselves accountable to achieve them.”

Source: PR Newswire