UBR Spotlight: Women’s History Maker Laurel J. Richie

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, just in time for Women’s History Month, UBR contributor Renita D. Young speaks with women’s history maker Laurel J. Richie, president of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the first African American to lead a national professional sports league.

Unlike previous WNBA presidents, Richie brings business and marketing expertise, not a sports management background, to the role. Named to her current position last May, she had previously built an illustrious 30-year track record of success in consumer marketing, corporate branding, public relations and executive management. She began her career at Ogilvy and Mather, where she spent more than two decades overseeing campaigns for accounts including American Express, Huggies and Pepperidge Farm. She currently serves on the advisory board of the advertising agency. Immediately prior to joining the WNBA, Richie served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Girl Scouts of America.

Since taking over leadership of the WNBA, Richie has gone beyond confirming her place as a Women’s History Month pioneer, using her vision, leadership and marketing acumen to propel the league to new heights. For example, she orchestrated a landmark multi-year partnership for the league with the cellular phone company Boost Mobile. Richie has also earned the YMCA’s Black Achiever Award and the Black Girls Rock Shot Caller Award. Richie joins the Roundtable to share how she accepted the challenge of her current position and made her mark in sports and women’s history.

Also, UBR contributor Samantha Pass speaks with Internet entrepreneur Saideh Browne, founder of the New York-based Browne Center for Success and Wellness and author of 99 Tips to Transform Your Business Today (GS Publishing Group). Browne joins the Roundtable to reveal what entrepreneurs need to know in order to transform their businesses.

And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll hear my “Alfred’s Notepad” segment, get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today business correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.

If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.

Small business is BIG BUSINESS at the 2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 23-26, at the Hilton Chicago Hotel in Chicago, IL. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. Beat the March 16 Early Bird deadline to get a $200 registration discount at www.blackenterprise.com/ec/! And be sure to nominate your company or another business for our Small Business Awards! Want to pitch your business idea and win $10,000? Don’t miss the chance to enter our Elevator Pitch Competition before March 30 to qualify for the $10,000 grand prize. To register and find out more, visit www.blackenterprise.com/ec/