Chief Operating Officer and President of Johnson Publishing Company, Digital
Cheryl Mayberry McKissack is the Chief Operating Officer and President of JPC Digital for Johnson Publishing Company (JPC) which is best known for its flagship publication, Ebony. Over the past two years, she has been responsible for many of the transformational initiatives at JPC including a new, fair-market pricing model for advertising sales, and the migration of the iconic, 64 year-old publishing brand, Jet, from print to digital. She also spearheaded the construction of a digital ecosystem for future growth including Ebony Moments, Ebony Collections and the Ebony/Jet Store. Prior to joining JPC in 2014, Ms. McKissack was the Founder, President and CEO of Nia Enterprises, LLC, a Chicago-based online research, marketing and digital consulting firm.
Ms. McKissack is a native of Seattle, Washington. She received her B.S. degree from Seattle University, completing the four-year program in less than three years. Ms. McKissack also received her M.B.A. from the Northwestern J.L. Kellogg School of Management. In 2005, Ms. McKissack was named an Associate Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School.
Ms. McKissack is an innovative business and entrepreneurial leader as evidenced by her receipt of numerous awards and citations. In 2012, she was recognized as one of the “17 Black Internet Pioneers” by ROOT.com, a division of The Washington Post. In August 2015, she was recognized by Directors & Boards magazine as one of the 2015 “Directors to Watch”. A published author, Ms. McKissack’s next book, Entrepreneurial Selling: Mastering Selling Skills for Growth, is scheduled for distribution in 2016.
Amy Hilliard, a native of Detroit and graduate of Howard University and the Harvard Business School, joined Johnson Publishing Company as President of Fashion Fair Cosmetics in 2014. Started in 1973 in an effort to address the lack of cosmetic products on the market for women of color, Fashion Fair is the largest Black-owned cosmetics company in the world. The brand is dedicated to offering products, services, and education that address the unique complexion needs for women with deeper skin tones. The line can be found in department stores around the world and online.
Prior to joining Fashion Fair, Ms. Hilliard was Founder/CEO of Chicago’s ComfortCake® Company. Now run by her daughter, ComfortCake® produces a gourmet pound cake mix and Sugarless Sweetness®, a patent-pending proprietary sugar substitute. Launched in 2001, ComfortCake® customers have included Walmart, Safeway, and Home Shopping Network among others.
A former buyer for Bloomingdale’s and senior marketing executive with Fortune 500 corporations, including Gillette, Pillsbury and L’Oreal, Ms. Hilliard is the author of TAP Into Your Juice – Find Your Gifts, Lose Your Fears and Build Your Dreams – a motivational book endorsed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Ms. Hilliard was the first African-American elected to the board of the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade and she currently sits on the Board of Trustees of Howard University, as well as the LeanIn.org Advisory Board with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Ms. Hilliard has been profiled in numerous publications including Fortune, Essence, The Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur magazines, and has also been featured on CNN, AOL, NPR, and other national programs.
Martin Nesbitt serves as Co-CEO of The Vistria Group, LLC, a Chicago-based investment company focused on education, healthcare and financial services industries. Prior to co-founding Vistria, Mr. Nesbitt served as CEO of The Parking Spot, an owner and operator of off-airport parking facilities. Mr. Nesbitt conceptualized and co-founded The Parking Spot and was responsible for running all strategic and operational aspects of the company. Mr. Nesbitt sold the company in 2011 for $370 million. Prior to launching The Parking Spot, Mr. Nesbitt was an officer of the Pritzker Realty Group, L.P.
In his various leadership capacities, Mr. Nesbitt has been successful at guiding executive teams toward the achievement of goals established to maximize returns on investments. Mr. Nesbitt’s approach to the off-airport parking business was heralded by industry insiders as extremely innovative and has been recognized in national publications like The New York Times, USA Today, Entrepreneur magazine, and Fortune Small Business magazine.
Mr. Nesbitt currently serves on the Board of Directors of Jones Lang LaSalle and Norfolk Southern Corporation. He is a Trustee of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and serves as Chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation. He is former Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Housing Authority and a former board member of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee. Mr. Nesbitt served as Treasurer of President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
Mr. Nesbitt has an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.S. and honorary doctorate from Albion College in Albion, Michigan.
Anise Wiley-Little currently serves as Chief Human Capital and Diversity Officer of the Kellogg School of Management. Mrs. Wiley-Little has more than 25 years of experience in developing and executing human resources and diversity and inclusion strategies. She has provided strategic counsel to Fortune 100 organizations and non-profits and has written and spoken extensively on the topics of HR, diversity and work life. Recent leadership positions include serving as Corporate Vice President of Human Resources and the first Chief Diversity Officer for Allstate Insurance Company. In these roles, Mrs. Wiley-Little was responsible for orchestrating Allstate’s enterprise-wide diversity business strategies including supplier diversity certification for all underrepresented categories. She also re-engineered the corporate diversity strategy to focus on profitable diversity and economic inclusion. Supplier diversity increased by $32M within the first six months of this assignment and the overall total has since increased to $1B, making Allstate world-class in diversity spend. Under her leadership, Allstate was recognized numerous times for its diversity efforts by many notable organizations.
In addition, Mrs. Wiley-Little has authored the book Profitable Diversity: How Economic Inclusion Can Lead to Success, is the Chair of “Stars Who Mean Business Awards” for Diversity Woman Magazine and named by the Society for Human Resource Management as one to the top 100 global diversity and inclusion thought leaders. Mrs. Wiley-Little holds an M.P.A. from the University of Illinois and a B.A. from Illinois State University.