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Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

1999 Pigford v. Veneman settlement, which ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture discriminated against black farmers.

Earlier this year, Department of Justice attorney Michael Sitcov was investigated for working on the case with a suspended law license for two years. In late 2004, officials learned that Margaret O’Shea, a former DOJ lawyer, didn’t hold a law license when she handled settlement claims for the case.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) have led a series of hearings to investigate the allegations that claims were unfairly denied by the DOJ and that more than 60,000 black farmers were shut out of the settlement for filing late claims. A legal effort to reopen the settlement was dismissed by a federal judge in January.

A $13.5 billion merger between Symantec Corp. and VERITAS Software Corp. makes the data storage and security software company the fifth largest in the world. John W. Thompson, Symantec’s chief executive and last year’s BLACK ENTERPRISE Corporate Executive of the Year, serves as the head of the combined company as well as chairman of the company’s board of directors.

The merger was met with a significant amount of criticism, as many experts question how the two companies, which have different strategies and operate in different markets, will work together. “Our belief is that as we bring our two teams together, we’re not going to ask you to sacrifice the capabilities of either company,” Thompson said in a statement.

Thompson also sits on the board of directors of UPS, NiSource Inc., and Seagate. –Erinn R. Johnson

RS Information Systems Inc. (No. 12 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $321 million in sales) has added the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the Treasury Department to its list of about 100 federal information technology contracts. For five years, the Virginia-based company will provide network engineering, software development, high-end systems integration, help desk, and other technology services to TTB for $49.4 million.

“We chose RSIS because of their superb past performance coupled with their highly skilled and motivated staff,” says Mike Borland, assistant chief information officer for infrastructure for the TTB.

With 100% of the firm’s revenues coming from government contracts, Rodney Hunt, RSIS president and CEO, predicts that earnings could reach $375 million in 2005. TTB, established as a part of the 2002 Homeland Security Act, collects taxes and enforces regulations related to the production, labeling, advertising, and marketing of alcohol and tobacco. –Janelle A. Williams

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.