Top Corporate Exec Brews New Success - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Virgis W. Colbert, executive vice president of worldwide operations for Milwaukee-based Miller Brewing Co., announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31. One of BLACK ENTERPRISE’S 75 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America, Colbert headed a world-respected operations division that is focused on productivity, efficiency, quality, and exceptional customer service.

In 1979, Colbert left Chrysler for Miller in search of greater opportunities for career advancement. At Miller, he rose through the ranks to the position of vice president. “I thrive on challenges and realized early on the importance operations had to the entire system, including vendor partners and the distributor network,” says Colbert.

“Virgis has a no-nonsense leadership style,” says Norman Adami, president and chief executive officer of Miller. “Because he’s a winner, he has been a pillar of leadership to Miller for 26 years and has played an instrumental role in the turnaround of this company.”

Colbert will remain on the board of directors and will serve as a senior adviser to the company. “I look forward to having the continued benefit of his insight long after his retirement,” says Adami. “Virgis has been one of my most trusted advisers since I came to Miller two and a half years ago.”

Aside from enjoying more family time, Colbert will continue to provide civic service for organizations such as the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, where he is the chairman emeritus.

Retirement will also include time spent with Production Stamping Corp., which Colbert purchased 52% of in November 2004. The metal stamping company accrued approximately $10 million in 2004 revenues and specializes in deep-draw, MIG, TIG, and robotic welding. Since then, the company, which services the lawn and garden, truck, and industrial manufacturing industries, has doubled employees and revenues. PSC recently purchased Excellent Manufacturing Inc., allowing it to expand into manufacturing and assembly of seating components for automobiles. “Our goal is to maintain a balanced portfolio of products [so that] we aren’t totally dependent on one industry,” says Colbert.

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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.