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2008 Black Achievers in Business and Industry

In celebration of Black History Month, the Royals honor the newest members of the Black Achievers Society of Greater Kansas City. The Royals are proud to partner with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to recognize these African American leaders who excel in their professions and in their contributions to the community.


Dr. Andrea Hendricks is currently employed as the Corporate Facilitation Manager/Organizational Effectiveness Officer for UMB Bank. She works with the Talent Development team to coordinate diversity initiatives, training initiatives and career development initiatives. As Chair of the corporate-wide diversity initiative, she collaborates with a team of leaders to implement the diversity of framework throughout the UMB footprint and helps drive UMB's diversity strategy and results.

Dr. Hendricks earned a BS Degree in Human Development and Mass Communications, and an MS Degree in Counseling and Personnel Services from Kansas State University. She earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dr. Hendricks serves on the Kansas State University Diversity Advisory Council. She is an advisory board member of Concord Fortress of Hope Church and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Kansas City Chapter of Black MBAs, Urban Financial Services Coalition and a Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurions Alum. In 2005, she received Beta Lambda Alpha Phi Alpha distinguished Women of the Year award.


As International Business Manager for Companion Animal, Dr. Bonnie Barclay manages the Companion Animal franchises across the international group. She is responsible for maintaining an ongoing international strategic planning process and supporting international participation in global new product and business development initiatives. Dr. Barclay also manages the current international portfolio to help the marketing regions achieve or exceed their sales and income goals.

Dr. Barclay received a BS Degree in Zoology from Howard University, a BS Degree in Animal Science from Tuskegee University and a MBA Degree from Baker University. She received a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University.

Dr. Barclay is a member of Links, Inc. where she serves as chair of the programs committee, advocating "focus on our youth". She has lead efforts as part of the Fort Dodge Animal Health outreach activities. She works with Faithbuilders to refurbish homes. As member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., she has been involved in "Coat Drive" with the goal of donating 6,800 coats for the Kansas City and Topeka areas.


Marshaun Butler is the Operations Director for Children's Mercy South. The hospital includes 54 inpatient beds, more than 20 different pediatric subspecialty outpatient services, a same day surgery center, and a 24-hour urgent care center. She is responsible for 350 employees who service 1,900 inpatient admissions and 77,000 outpatient/urgent care visits annually. At Children's Mercy, Ms. Butler has worked as Director of Strategic Planning and Director of Business Development. In 2007, she was promoted to her current position.

Ms. Butler received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Fisk University and a Master's Degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Kansas.

Ms. Butler serves on the Board of Directors of Ronald McDonald House Charities and is board chair of the Education Committee for the Gift of Life Foundation. She is the community services chairperson for Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. sorority and coordinates her sorority's participation in a variety of community service projects for organizations such as Swope Ridge Geriatric Center, Project Uplift and Hope House.


Shirley Cooper is responsible for aligning business strategies with Information Technology solutions and enablers. She consults and works with senior management and the CEOs of Hallmark's subsidiaries. Ms. Cooper worked as a Senior Analyst, Project Manager, Database Manager and Resource Management Director. Ms. Cooper started a mentor group for women of color within the Information Technology Division. As a result, several women of color are progressing upward in Hallmark.

Ms. Cooper is a graduate of Mississippi Valley State University with a BS Degree in Computer Science. She also received a BS Degree in Computer Information Systems from Park University and is currently pursuing a MBA Degree at Park University.

Ms. Cooper is a big sister in the Big Brother/Big Sister Program, a volunteer in the United Way Program as well as Christmas in October. Additionally, she is a volunteer in the Friends of the Zoo. She is also a member of the Corporate Women of Color leadership team focused on the development of African-American professional leaders.


Donna Crosswhite is a Senior Attorney in the Employment Practices Group, and she has supported various business clients at Sprint. Currently, she provides legal support to Network Services, IT, Technology Development, and 4-G. She also supports Sprint University, Diversity and Inclusion and manages the immigration function for Sprint. Ms. Crosswhite joined Sprint in January 2000. She offers a broad range of expertise in employment law, immigration litigation and academics.

Ms. Crosswhite received a BS Degree in Management from Illinois State University and a Juris Doctorate from St. Louis University School of law. She is licensed to practice in Illinois, Missouri and Kansas.

During Black History month, Ms. Crosswhite meets with high school students and provides tips on achieving academic success, and guidance for entering law school. She was Co-Chair of the St. Louis University Endowment Celebration honoring Judge Theodore McMillan. She served as Adjunct Professor and Academic Support advisor for St. Louis University School of Law. Ms. Crosswhite also taught legal writing and trial advocacy.


Kevin Cullen has established a Human Resources (HR) program management office accountable for the delivery of large cross functional improvements to critical HR services and systems that support all 60,000 Sprint/Nextel employees. His organization ensures HR projects are delivered on time, within budget and with the desired scope. He has worked as Director of Product Management and Marketing. Mr. Cullen received the Circle of Excellence and Achievement awards and one President's Club award.

Mr. Cullen received a Bachelor's Degree in Management from Baker University. He is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute.

Mr. Cullen participates in the Christmas in October fundraising activities. Recently, he helped to paint and repair wood trim for a house in northeastern Kansas City. He and his team support Harvesters Community Food Network, where they unload and sort incoming donations. Mr. Cullen plays an active role in his church music ministry as well as providing administrative leadership.


As Director of Industrial Engineering, Jairo de Jesus is responsible for directing the implementation of the overall Farmland Foods Industrial Engineering program. His team ensures optimum use of facilities, equipment layout, operations analysis for continuous improvement, as well as opportunity analysis against costs standards and procedures to name a few. Mr. de Jesus is also responsible for directing engineering support to the manufacturing operation.

Mr. de Jesus received a BS Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas and an MBA Degree from Baker University. He received recognition from the Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and colleges for his graduate studies performance at Baker University.

Mr. de Jesus is an active member of the National Society of black Engineers, which participates in community related activities such as feeding the homeless at Harvesters and math tutoring for inner city youth. He supports the Kansas City Boys & Girls Choir. He is a member of the Johnson County Chapter of the NAACP. Mr. de Jesus is a supporter and volunteer participate in the Unified School District 500 Math Marathon.


Luevina Huskey is a Supervisor in Information Solutions for YRC Worldwide Technologies. She supervises a team of information technology professionals who develop and implement software solutions for the YRC. Ms. Huskey and her team implement technology solutions for the Payroll and Human Resources functions of the business. In 2003, Ms. Huskey was chosen as an YRC Worldwide Chairman's Award recipient.

Ms. Huskey received a BS Degree in Computer Data Processing from Arkansas State University. She received a MA Degree in Computer and Information Resources Management from Webster University.

Ms. Huskey is an active member of Evangelistic Center Ministries. There, she initiated a program called GIFTS. The program prepares high school students to meet college requirements via ACT practice seminars and workshops. She teaches a Sunday school class to young women ages 18-30 and serves on the Executive Planning Committee for Women's ministries. Ms. Huskey also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.


As Director of Electric Transmission and Distribution, William A. Johnson is responsible for the operation, construction and maintenance of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) electric transmission and distribution systems that provide electricity to 67,000 customers in Kansas City, Kansas. He directs the construction and maintenance of all traffic signals and street lights in the city, BPU's telecommunications systems, and the maintenance of Kansas City, Kansas water distribution facilities that serve approximately 55,000 customers.

Mr. Johnson received a BA Degree in Business Management and a MBA from Ottawa University. He is a 2005 graduate of Leadership 2000, a nine month leadership initiative that introduces and trains potential leaders in community service.

Mr. Johnson serves on the Board of the KCK Chapter of the Boys & Girls Club. He is a member of the American Association of Blacks in Energy whose mission is to raise public awareness of energy related issues in the urban community and promote educational opportunities to minority youths interested in pursuing careers in business engineering and science.


Yolanda Marlow is the Manager of the Overland Park YRC Worldwide Technologies Help Desk. She supervises 15-20 help desk specialists and analysts, working 24/7 shifts. The Help Desk handles approximately 21,000 incoming calls every month. Ms. Marlow ensures a timely response to customer issues. She collaborates with IT Managers and supervisors of the Help Desk to ensure a consistent customer experience. Ms. Marlow has been instrumental in creating a single Help Desk, even though the desk is separated geographically.

Ms. Marlow received a BA Degree in Biology from William Jewel College and a MBA Degree - Summa Cum Laude from Baker University.

As a breast cancer survivor, Ms. Marlow has found strength and hope in giving back to her community to help raise awareness. She volunteers in the United Negro College Fund Walk-a-Thon and the American Heat Walk. She assists in an annual fund-raising event called "Yelloween" to benefit children of Operation Breakthrough.


Carlton May is an Operations Team Manager at Honeywell FM&T, a prime contractor for the Department of Energy (DOE). He is responsible for Plastics Manufacturing as part of the Integrated Supply Chain Organization. His team manufactures plastic products, with revenue exceeding $1.6 million, used in the assembly of non-nuclear components for the DOE. Mr. May manages ten production operators.

Mr. May received a BS Degree in Business Administration from Sterling University located in Sterling, Kansas. He attended college through a basketball scholarship and was noted as Honorable Mention and All Conference in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference in basketball, during his senior year.

Mr. May is a member of the Palestine Baptist Church and serves as a Financial Officer for the Sunday school. He coaches little league T-ball, basketball and supports the Royal Ambassadors organization that prepared young children for adulthood. He is a mentor to the children and young adults in his church.


Callie Merritt directs a team of 40 individuals. She is responsible for the strategy, look and feel, and daily operations for the for the new Embarq website. Ms. Merritt is responsible for sales and service of Embarq products and managing existing customer online accounts. She's also worked as Director of Retail Operations, Sr. Manager of Retail Customer Experience and Service Strategy, and a Regional Manager of Sprint Retail Stores.

Ms. Merritt received a BA Degree in Finance from Howard University and a MA Degree in Business Administration from Harvard. She received a fellowship from the Robert A. Toigo Foundation to attend Harvard.

Ms. Merritt led a home rebuild activity with her entire team at Embarq to help rebuild a community in Osawatomie, Kan., that was ravished by a flood. She and her team painted, installed insulation and removed flood debris. She also participated in Leaders of Tomorrow, a program sponsored by the KC National Black MBA Association, in mentoring and tutoring a group of high school students.


Carles Miller is responsible for project management of electrical power system projects. He also is the lead engineer for large refining, petro-chemical, and power plant projects. Mr. Miller conducts feasibility studies, develops costs estimates, provides recommendations and formulates justifications and funding requests. He is considered by his peers to be a leader, role model and mentor for other employees at Burns & McDonnell.

Mr. Miller received a BS Degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a MS Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Kansas. He is also the recipient of a Masters Certificate of Applied Project Management from Villanova University.

Mr. Miller currently serves as President of the Local Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. He is an advisor to the Burns & McDonnell Engineering Explorers Post, and mentor and advisor to teens in the U.S. First Robotics Challenge, an international competition founded to encourage students to pursue science and engineering careers.


C. Pete Peoples is responsible for marketing efforts related to the websites for all brands under the YRC National umbrella. The websites provide information, e-commerce tools and service knowledge. Mr. Peoples and his staff conduct usability testing, competitive and web analysis, and lead all promotions and campaign efforts. He received the YRC Chairman's Award for outstanding contributions at work and in the community. At YRC, he has held positions in Operations, Sales, Linehaul and Service Department.

Mr. Peoples received his BA Degree from MidAmerica Nazarene University and has taken post-graduate courses at the University of Kansas.

Mr. Peoples led the UNCF Kansas City Walk-A-Thon for several years and works with the United Way. He served as 2nd Vice President on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee for the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. Mr. Peoples is very active in his church community. He and his wife, Diane, lead a Small Group Ministry. He is also the Worship Coordinator and a member of the Planning & Development Committee.


Derrick Robinson manages the Switched Access Services Team which is responsible for implementation of Primary ISDN circuits and Trunk Circuit Orders. He has played a significant role in the successful implementation of a project to test and accept trunks to support the Nextel toll free traffic. Mr. Robinson helps to manage communications activities and provide technical expertise to internal and external agencies of Embarq's National Network Services Organizations.

Mr. Robinson received a BS Degree in Business Management from Park University. He received a MBA Degree from Webster University and duel MA Degrees in Telecommunication Management and Computer Resources and Information Management from Webster University.

Mr. Robinson participates in the Meals on Wheels program which delivers lunches to senior citizens, raises donations for the United Way, and volunteers to transport children in daycare for the Leavenworth Women's YWCA. He is also active in his church where he serves as chairman of the Deacon Board.


Dr. Patricia Thomas is a Professor and Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Her responsibilities include development of a department of 24 full-time faculty, 16 residents, a graduate student program, a Cytopathology Fellowship program, a clinical enterprise/corporation and research programs, and a staff of 8. She is the Associate Dean for the Office of Cultural Diversity. Dr. Thomas is the only black female Chairperson at KU Medical Center.

Dr. Thomas received a BA Degree from Harvard University with concentration in Biochemistry. She received a MA Degree from the University of Kansas - Department of Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. Thomas received a Doctor of Medicine Degree from New York University.

In 1998, the Greater Kansas City Health Pipeway Initiative was funded through Dr. Thomas' leadership and collaborative abilities with the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Students primarily from KCMO and KCK school districts, and area community colleges, participate in a program to enhance their academic and professional development and prepare for careers in science and math.