The Advanced Leadership Institute Celebrates its Mentors Dedicated to Advancing Black Leaders

Isabella Moreland

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On October 4, 2022, The Advanced Leadership Institute (TALI) demonstrated its appreciation for its mentors through the TALI Mentor Recognition event, held at the Rivers Club in Oxford Centre (downtown Pittsburgh). TALI mentors play a critical role in the lives of cohort members selected to participate in the Executive Leadership Academy and Emerging Leaders Program. As cohort members enter a TALI leadership program, they are matched with a mentor. For TALI’s flagship program, the Executive Leadership Academy, business executives, and organizational leaders volunteer their time to serve as executive mentors. While for the Emerging Leaders Program, Executive Leadership Academy alumni pay it forward by serving as mentors. These mentors provide program participants with needed exposure, advocacy, and visibility—elements that support professional growth and also help make Pittsburgh more equitable for Black leaders.


“We are continuously grateful for the dedication we have seen from our mentors over the past four years, and this event was a great opportunity to thank them,” says Evan Frazier, President and CEO, The Advanced Leadership Institute. “These mentors have often become sponsors, and sponsorship is critical for professional advancement. We are ever grateful to our mentors for their willingness to serve and for their incredible impact.”


TALI invited current and previous mentor, Ken Spruill, and mentees, Holly Cundieff and Natalee Smith to speak about the importance of mentorship and its impact. Ken Spruill, Managing Director, Center for Family Philanthropy and Wealth Education, Glenmede Private Wealth, has served as an executive mentor since the inception of the Executive Leadership Academy in 2019. As a consecutive executive mentor, Spruill can speak to the value of the TALI mentoring model and how serving as a mentor brings him personal fulfillment. Holly Cundieff, Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, ARMADA, is a 2022 Executive Leadership Academy alumna that has been a mentee. Cundieff can speak to the impact mentorship had on her during her time in the program and beyond. Lastly, Natalee Smith, Technical Product Manager, Coatings & Adhesives, Covestro, is a 2022 Emerging Leaders Program alumna that has been a mentee. Smith represents the power of having an Executive Leadership Academy alum serve as a mentor during the Emerging Leaders Program.


TALI has an outstanding roster of mentors. View the  list of individuals who have served as TALI mentors here.