Monday, May 21, 2012

Geeks Gone Great: Steve Pemberton (Walgreen Company)

by Sheila Marionneaux
Blacks Gone Geek

Steve Pemberton is Chief Diversity Officer and Divisional Vice-President for Walgreens, the first such person to hold that responsibility in the company's 110 year history. One of America's most inspiring executives, Steve's journey to corporate America has been all but traditional. He has become recognized as one of the nation's leaders on matters of diversity and inclusion and its importance to the growth of the American industrial complex. In 2006, Fortune named Steve Pemberton one of the Top 20 Chief Diversity Officers in corporate America. In 2007, Steve was called to Capitol Hill to provide expert testimony on best practices in diversity recruiting and in 2008 he was named by Savoy as one of The Top 100 most influential African-Americans in corporate America. Steve currently serves on several boards including The Home for Little Wanderers and UCAN to provide guidance and inspiration to children in need. The Pemberton Fund For The Future has been established at The Home For Little Wanderers to assist children aging out of the foster care system.

A ward of the state for much of his childhood, Steve has made opportunity, access and equality pillars of his personal and professional life. His memoir, A Chance in the World, was published by Thomas Nelson in January of 2012. A Chance In The World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home is his riveting autobiography that chronicles Steve's difficult path through foster care and determined search for his family. It is an inspirational story that crosses generations and cultures, but specifically whispers to those who have had the odds stacked against them. Steve's relentless journey to overcome, find his biological family, and right the wrongs of his parents' past, is a model for all families to follow. It is a true testament of faith, fortitude and forgiveness. A Chance In The World achieved a favorable Kirkus review, was recently featured in People Magazine earning 3.5/4.0 stars, and Amazon reviews give A Chance In The World 5 stars!

Steve is a graduate of Boston College. He is married and has three children.

Read the full Blacks Gone Geek interview.

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