The Advanced Leadership Institute and Carnegie Mellon University Celebrate the Graduation of the 2023 Executive Leadership Academy Cohort

Isabella Moreland

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On Friday, July 21, 2023, 26 impressive Black leaders will graduate from The Advanced Leadership Institute’s (TALI) Executive Leadership Academy. The Executive Leadership Academy, delivered in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business (CMU), is TALI’s signature program. This seven-module program includes instruction from renowned academic and industry experts, executive coaching, and executive mentoring where each participant is paired with a distinguished executive for hands-on guidance throughout the Academy.

The graduating cohort will celebrate this milestone alongside members from the TALI and CMU families. Dionne Wallace Oakley, TALI CHRO Council Member and Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Freddie Mac, will deliver the keynote address. Additionally, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will offer special remarks.

“The graduation of the 2023 Executive Leadership Academy cohort marks five successful years of our signature program,” says Evan Frazier, President and CEO, The Advanced Leadership Institute, “Every year, we are encouraged and inspired by the wealth of Black talent that comes through TALI. The men and women that participated in the program represent some of our region’s top leaders and demonstrate that there is strong diverse talent in our companies and institutions. Congratulations to this year’s impressive graduates!”

“As TALI’s academic partner since its inception, we are proud that we have been able to continue delivering a world-class executive education through the Executive Leadership Academy,” remarked Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean and Professor of Finance, Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business. “We congratulate the graduates on this exciting achievement and wish them continued success with their professional journeys!”

Congratulations to the 26 Executive Leadership Academy 2023 graduates!

Dr. Julius E. Abia, Internal Audit Manager – Projects, Wabtec Corporation

Joel Acie, Deputy Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh

Will Carpenter, Regional Security Manager, VP, BNY Mellon

Tricina Cash, Executive Vice President, Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council

Michael A. Cherry, Vice President of Human Resources, Dollar Bank, FSB

Samantha Custard, Senior Corporate Counsel, Giant Eagle, Inc.

Anthony (Tony) DaBreo, Regional Vice President, Northeast Region, Erie Insurance

Laura C. Duncan, MHA, MHI, VP, Ambulatory and Home Care Operations, Cincinnati’s Children Hospital and Medical Center

Dr. Tinamarie Estes-Washington, DNP, RN, PCCN, Director of Nursing, Equity Officer, Allegheny Health Network, Forbes Hospital

Samantha Hartzman, Sr. Manager, ESG & Corporate Giving, Duquesne Light Company

Della Hollins, SVP, Risk and Control Manager, Senior, PNC

Elizabeth L. Hughes, Senior Associate Counsel, UPMC

Russell Ivey, Head of Finance, Architectural Coatings US, PPG

Calvin Jackson, Senior Technical Project Manager, B-Yond

Ardana Jefferson, Chief Executive Officer, Homeless Children’s Education Fund

Bobbie Jean Johnson, Senior Vice President / Director, Retail Technology Operations, PNC

Danitra Mason, Controller, The Pittsburgh Foundation

Delvina L. Morrow, Vice President, Community Affairs & DEI, Pittsburgh Penguins

Michelle Porter, Director, One Northside, Buhl Foundation

Angela Reid-James, Director, Workforce Operations, Highmark, Inc.

Andrea Robinson, President, ARCLS Corp

Shernell Smith, Associate Dean & Executive Director for the Center of Student Diversity & Inclusion, Carnegie Mellon University

Patti Solomon, Sr. Human Resources Business Partner, Giant Eagle, Inc.

Sonya Tilghman, Executive Director, Hazelwood Initiative, Inc.

Wendy Walker-Graham, Director, Quality Assurance and Operational Integrity, UPMC Health Plan

Kellie Ware, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Allegheny County Bar Association


About The Advanced Leadership Institute (TALI)

The mission of The Advanced Leadership Institute is to cultivate Black executive leadership to strengthen companies, institutions, and communities. It is facilitated through an educational partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and is supported by major corporations and foundations in the Pittsburgh region, including Founding Underwriters: BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Highmark Foundation, and Richard King Mellon Foundation; Excellence Partners: Henry L. Hillman Foundation and Highmark; Lead Contributors: BNY Mellon, Eden Hall Foundation, and The Heinz Endowments. Presenting Sponsors: FHLBank Pittsburgh, Giant Eagle, Highmark Health, PNC, and UPMC. Gold Sponsors: American Eagle Outfitters, Bank of America, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, The Buhl Foundation, CNX, Covestro, Duquesne Light Company, Dollar Bank, Erie Insurance, Koppers, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Pittsburgh Penguins, PPG, and Wabtec Corporation; Silver Sponsors: Highmark Wholecare, Northwestern Mutual, and Pittsburgh Legal Diversity and Inclusion Coalition; and Bronze Sponsors, which can be found on TALI’s website.