20 Black Women Of Power & Influence

These African American female corporate executives are shaping the way business is done

Interactive Kitchen. Experienced cooks and novices alike can log onto the Web site for new monthly or holiday recipes. Her success driver: “I knew what I wanted from my career. Without a grand plan, you’re selling yourself short.”
–Cassandra Hayes

DOROTHY TERRELLPresident, Sun Express, SunMicrosystems
Dorothy Terrell has always had a penchant for people. As a former guidance counselor and social service administrator, she knows how to care
fully select, inspire and lead her staff of nearly 300 worldwide to new heights of customer service at SunExpress Inc. The Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based company is the after-marketing division of its parent, SunMicrosystems Inc., creator of Java technology and one of the world’s largest providers of network computing solutions.

Before becoming president of SunExpress Terrell, 52, headed Digital Equipment Corp.’s Application-Specific Interconnect and Packaging Group in Boston, a manufacturing division. Terrell’s operations and manufacturing background, combined with her keen ability to motivate people, impressed Sun’s president Scott McNealy. In 1991, he wooed the Florida A&M graduate to head Sun Express–a new unit developed by Mountain View, California-based SunMicrosystems to provide direct marketing and customer service to its business clients–a service it formerly outsourced.

The transition from manufacturing to operations was an easy one for Terrell, who has made SunExpress one of the parent company’s fastest growing operations, garnering over $300 million in sales last year.

By expanding the use of the Internet, the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, native has made SunExpress one of the primary sources of electronic commerce for SunMicrosystems. Not one to shy away from challenges, she wants to create “virtual geography” where customers can order Sun products via the Internet, clicking an icon to reach a telesales rep. “Our level of customer service is a way of differentiating ourselves. I like being able to make things happen.”
–Bevolyn Williams-Harold

6 WOMEN TO WATCH
These African American female executivesare shaping the way business is done
JERRI DEVARD
Age: 39
Company: Revlon, New York
Title: Vice President of Marketing, Nail Care Color and Grooming Aids
Education: M.B.A., Atlanta University School of Business; B.A. Spelman College
Duties: Since June 1996, responsible for all marketing activities related to nail enamel, nail care preparations and grooming aids. Vice president of Color Cosmetics, the product line for women of color, which had sales of $550 million in 1996.

Previous experience: Brand management, sports management and entertainment. The Pillsbury Co., Minnesota Vikings and Harrah’s Entertainment
Editor’s call: Savvy marketing genius with a carefully crafted and diverse resume. Brings a shoot-from-the-hip style and multiple skills to the table.

BRIDGETTE P. HELLER
Age: 35
Company: Gevalia Kaffe (Maxwell House/Kraft Foods) Tarrytown, New York
Title: Vice President and General Manager
Education: M.B.A., J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management; B.A., Northwestern University
Duties: Charged with the marketing and strategic vision for Gevalia Kaffe, the second largest brand of gourmet coffee sold in the U.S. and the largest direct marketing business in the country.

Previous experience: Brand management. During her 12 years at Kraft, she’s worked in various positions managing brands such as Post Raisin Brand, Nabisco Shredded Wheat and Shake’NBake.
Editor’s call: The buzz through the industry is “don’t blink” on this go-getter with a fresh perspective.

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