History in Action Series: TALI Trailblazers Demonstrating the Power of Community

Isabella Moreland

Pittsburgh, PA – February 29, 2024. In honor of Black History Month, TALI celebrated some of the country’s current changemakers and trailblazers shaping the future with our History In Action Series and acknowledged how their critical work reflects four of our five values: excellence, integrity, leadership, and innovation. As an organization committed to cultivating Black executive leadership to strengthen companies, institutions, and communities, these values are grounded in everything we do. However, the fifth value, community, helps us drive our mission and vision forward and contribute to making Black History. At TALI, we believe community means “demonstrating and expanding a strong connected and diverse network where all members are valued.” So, to demonstrate the importance and power of community, we spoke with members of the TALI family to talk about how they are helping TALI uplift the communities we serve.

Kevin Walker – President and CEO, Duquesne Light Holdings | TALI Board Member

Kevin Walker, the first Black man and person of color to be president and CEO of Duquesne Light Holdings (DLH), plays a leading role in the Pittsburgh region’s clean energy transition. As head of a company that has powered our local communities for more than 100 years, Kevin is driving DLH’s vision of a clean energy future for all through community engagement, superior customer service and critical investments in people, processes, and technology.

He officially joined TALI’s board of directors in July 2023. Prior to that, he supported the organization as a Corporate CEO Council member for a few years.

How is TALI helping to shape Black History? “TALI has set a new standard for creating a more diverse, thriving workforce, from the C-suite to those just beginning their career. They continue to make significant progress in empowering the next wave of Black leaders, showing how we can all work together to support emerging and executive-level Black professionals as they reach for their highest potential. A brighter future is ahead of us, and I’m privileged to contribute to this pioneering work and help our communities continue finding success.” – Kevin Walker

Dr. Latika Davis Jones – Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Commonwealth of Pennsylvania | TALI Advisory Board Member & TALI Alumna

Dr. Latika Davis-Jones, the first Black woman appointed by Governor Josh Shapiro to serve as Pennsylvania’s Secretary for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), was a part of our inaugural Executive Leadership Academy cohort. Since completing the program, Dr. Davis-Jones has been an engaged TALI alumna by serving on our Advisory Board. This is a trail-blazing moment and an opportunity that she will use to pave the way for future Black women and men.

How is TALI helping to shape Black History?  “As an alumna, I understand firsthand how unique a program like TALI is. TALI’s emphasis on world-class education, sponsorship, mentorship, and executive coaching is crucial to preparing the next generation of leaders. Now, more than ever, we need organizations like TALI to ensure Black professionals get the support they need to achieve executive advancement. As an advisory board member, I am honored to have the opportunity to guide the organization on how we can achieve that.” – Dr. Latika Davis Jones

Dionne Wallace Oakley – Senior Vice President – Chief Human Resources Officer, Freddie Mac | TALI CHRO Council Member

Dionne is the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Freddie Mac and has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services and insurance industries. She launched her career by earning a paid minority internship with State Farm while attending the HBCU Delaware State University. She serves on our CHRO Council.

How is TALI helping to shape Black History? “TALI builds community. They connect Black leaders with a community of professionals that provides fellowship, encouragement, and wisdom to prepare for what’s next. As a CHRO Council member, I am honored to be a part of the community providing insight and best practices I’ve gained throughout my career and watching the community of leaders grow and thrive on their own journeys.”

Derrick Maultsby Jr., Esq. – Senior Associate Attorney, Frost Brown Todd LLC. | TALI Alumnus 

Derrick has led a successful legal career and is committed to paying it forward. In 2022, he established the Maultsby Diversity in the Law scholarship at his alma mater, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The scholarship supports Black pre-law students from Allegheny County by providing financial support and mentorship. In 2023, Derrick also established the Derrick Maultsby Jr. Startup Micro-Grant at Robert Morris University where he is an Executive in Residence. The grant program provides non-dilutive capital to students across the RMU campus to support their early-stage ventures. Since completing the Emerging Leaders Program, Derrick has remained an engaged alumnus.

How is TALI helping to shape Black History? “TALI’s commitment to helping Black leaders achieve professional and personal success during programming and beyond is important. As a first-generation lawyer, opportunities to learn from other Black business professionals who have walked a similar path to the one I am on is invaluable. Mentorship and education are key aspects of success, but we are not always given those opportunities in our careers. We need organizations like TALI to change this.”

We thank Kevin, Dr. Latika, Dionne, and Derrick for their contributions to making a positive impact in their own communities and the TALI family! We also thank our entire TALI family for helping us uphold our values. Black History is being made every day, and together we believe we can continue to make the future brighter.