The Whitney M. Young Jr. Memorial Conference is The Wharton School's African American MBA Association's (AAMBAA) premier annual event that celebrates the legacy of the author, humanitarian, educator and civil rights activist, Whitney M. Young Jr.  At the conference, prominent business and civic leaders will share reflections on the themes and experiences that have helped them chart their personal and professional paths to inspire and educate students, alumni, and business professionals. 

Theme: "Prevailing Through Change"

Change is happening all around us. Electric vehicles, artificial intelligence, big data, another presidential election, even the threat of an impending recession...the list is never-ending. As we've seen before, we know it is not enough to simply be aware of change. We must adapt to change so that we are able to prevail as a people and a culture. 

At the 46th annual Whitney M. Young Conference, we will explore best practices from experts in the public, private and social sectors that match the unique needs of Black America. It is our hope that you leave this conference with the tools and strategies to further the prosperity of Black America as a member or an ally. 

Schedule of Events

We are excited to welcome you to the 46th Annual Whitney M. Young Jr. Memorial Conference! A general schedule of events is available below.  

Click here for the conference agenda!


December 6th

7PM - 9PM ET

Alumni & Current Student Mixer

WMY is a special time of year for the AAMBAA community!  To foster community and build connection, students and alumni are invited to a mixer at Porta located at 1216 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

*This event is only open to current AAMBAA students and alumni of the Wharton MBA program


December 7th

8am - 5pm et


The professional development conference will take place at The Wharton School at 3730 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.  This event is open to the public, and tickets are on sale now.  


December 7th

7:30pm - 11pm et


The celebration gala recognizing this year's Alumni Honoree, Glenda McNeal, will be held at the Loews Philadelphia at 1200 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19107.  This event is open to the public, and tickets are on sale now.  

Keynote Speakers

Arnold Donald

president & CEO, carnival Corporation & plc

Arnold Donald is President & Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation & PLC, the world’s largest travel and leisure company.  Their nine cruise brands -- Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America, Princess, Seabourn, AIDA, Costa, Cunard, P&O UK, and P&O Australia are based throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia and maintain a fleet of more than 100 ships and serve more than 12 million guests annually.  Carnival Corporation & PLC is included in both the S&P500 and the FTSE 100 indices and trades on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges.

Mr. Donald has been President & CEO of Carnival Corporation since 2013 and served on the board for 13 years before that.  He also serves on the board of Bank of America Corporation.

Mr. Donald spent more than twenty years at Monsanto Company as Corporate Senior Vice-President, and President of the Consumer and Nutrition sector and President of the Agricultural sector.  After leaving Monsanto, Mr. Donald was Chairman of Merisant Company whose products included the leading global sweetener brands Equal and Canderel.  

Prior to Carnival, Mr. Donald was President and CEO of the Executive Leadership Council, a professional network and leadership forum for African-American executives of Fortune 500 companies, and the President and CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.

A native of New Orleans, Mr. Donald received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College, a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University in St Louis, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.  

Mr. Donald serves on the boards of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and Washington University in St. Louis, in Missouri, The Greater New Orleans Foundation and St. Louis-based BJC Healthcare among others.  

David Gross

Founder & CEO, The Confluent group

Managing partner, greyson gross & company

David is the CEO of The Confluent Group, a private investment organization with a portfolio of real estate holdings, public investments, and private companies. Confluent’s investments are concentrated on real estate, hospitality, and media. Confluent embraces the concept of the dual bottom line - maximizing profits and societal impact. Adjacent to his role at Confluent, David is an advisor to a targeted group of ultra-affluent entertainers, athletes and entrepreneurs.

Before founding The Confluent Group, David consolidated a breadth of investment expertise across a decade on Wall Street. While his primary areas of expertise were credit derivatives and currencies, David traded a range of products, enabling him to develop an expansive body of knowledge spanning multiple asset classes.

Central to his identity as an impact focused investor and entrepreneur, David embraces the concept of the dual bottom line – maximizing both profits and societal impact. Apart from his myriad responsibilities at The Confluent Group, David is the founder of Vector90, an inner city based co working space and incubator, and he is the executive chairman of Our Opportunity, a community-aligned investment initiative targeting economically distressed neighborhoods for transformational development.

David attended Cornell University for his undergraduate studies, with concentrations in Economics and Government. He obtained an MBA in Quantitative Finance from New York University and a Master of Real Estate Development from Columbia University.

Melissa James

vice chairman, global capital markets, morgan stanley

Melissa James is Vice Chairman and Chief Risk Officer for Lending of Morgan Stanley Global Capital Markets. Melissa provides risk management oversight and governance for all lending business in GCM, optimizing capital, liquidity and balance sheet along with conducting CCAR forecasting. In addition to her risk oversight responsibilities, Melissa also acts as a senior client relationship manager, connecting C-Suite level executives to MS GCM and IBD expertise to strengthen existing client relationships and forge new ones across all industries, for both private and public companies, and for all product needs. In her current capacity Melissa has advised clients on a wide variety of corporate finance related matters including acquisitions, divestitures, capital structure optimization, balance sheet management and ratings advisory.

Prior to her current responsibilities, Melissa held a number of leadership positions including Global Head of Loan Products where she managed over $80Bn of loan commitments for the Firm’s clients. She also Chaired the Firm’s Capital Commitment Committee and ran the industrial origination effort in Debt Capital Markets where she had responsibility for managing relationships with some of the firm’s largest industrial clients including General Motors, General Electric and DuPont. In this capacity Melissa helped raise billions of dollars of capital for corporate clients and worked on some of the firm’s most complex transactions.

Melissa sits on the Global Capital Markets and Securities Operating Committees. She is a member of the Asset Liability Committee for the Securities Division, the Securities Division’s Diversity Council and Morgan Stanley’s Women’s Business Alliance Steering Committee.

Melissa has been recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Corporate America”, and the “Top 75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street”. The Network Journal has recognized her as one of the “25 Influential Black Women in Business”. She has a BA degree in Economics from Yale and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Lisa Skeete Tatum

Founder & CEO, Landit

Lisa Skeete Tatum is founder and CEO of Landit, a technology platform created to increase the success and engagement of women in the workplace, and to enable companies to attract, develop, and retain high-potential, diverse talent. Landit provides each woman with a personalized playbook that empowers them with the tools, resources, know-how, and human connections they need to more successfully navigate their career path.

Previously, Lisa was a general partner for over a decade with Cardinal Partners, a $350M+ early stage healthcare venture capital firm, where she focused on investments in healthcare technology and led the firm's investment in companies such as AthenaHealth and TechRx. Lisa worked for Procter & Gamble in various global and functional roles, including product development, purchasing, and product supply. She also worked at GE Capital and was a managing director at Circle of Beauty, a health and beauty startup. In addition, she founded her own consulting practice specializing in medium-sized consumer products companies.

Lisa serves on the boards of Surgical Care Affiliates (NASDAQ:SCAI), McCarter Theater, and the Princeton Area Community Foundation. She is a trustee emeritus and presidential council member at Cornell University and serves on the Harvard Business School Board of Dean's Advisors. She is a past president of the Harvard Business School Alumni Board and a former board member of Pager, the Kauffman Fellows Program's Center for Venture Education, and the Princeton HealthCare System Foundation. She has served on the boards of numerous high-growth companies.

Lisa received her BS in chemical engineering from Cornell University and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a member of the Kauffman Fellows Class 4, a 2012 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, and BBC Business and was named one of the Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs of 2016 by Inc. magazine. Landit was named one of the Top 10 Innovations That Made Women's Lives Better in 2016 by Fast Company.

Breakout Sessions & Panelists

Doing the Math: Capital+Diverse Managers=Unlocked Value

Fmr. Chief Diversity Officer
New York Office of the Comptroller
Stephen Cammock
Private Equity Investments
GCM Grosvenor
ICV Partners
Jerry L. Johnson
RLJ Equity Partners
Executive Partner
SIRIS Capital Group
Patricia Miller Zollar
Managing Director
Private Investments
Neuberger Berman

Closing the Racial Gap: Investing in Education, Housing & Healthcare

Deputy Director
NYC Housing Preservation and Development
Buwa Binitie
Managing Principal
Dantes Partners 
Sekou Kaalund
Head of Advancing Black Pathways
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Managing Director
Social Enterprise Finance
Executive Director
My Brother's Keeper Alliance at the Obama Foundation

Quota or Nah: The Changing Narrative of D&I in Tech

Assistant Professor of Management
The Wharton School
Ntiedo Etuk
Founder & CEO
Founder & Exec. Chairman
Antoinette Hamilton
Diversity, Equity, and  Inclusion Champion
Monica Hooks WG'98
Executive Director
City of Atlanta Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative
Founder & Lead Executive

Racial Disruption in Media: Myth or Reality?

Head of Industry, M&E 
Assistant Professor 
Klein College of Media & Communication 
Temple University
Lorisa Bates
Vice President Programming, Content Strategy, Co-Productions & Multiplatform
Claudio Cabrera
Deputy Director
of Off Platform 
News SEO
New York Times

Alumni Honoree

Glenda McNeal WG'86

Head of strategic partnerships, american express

Glenda McNeal has enjoyed an extraordinary career, including nearly three decades of outstanding leadership at American Express. As President, Enterprise Strategic Partnerships, she defines American Express’s partnership strategy and leads the key initiatives and negotiations for the company’s strategic relationships, including the largest travel, e-commerce, technology, and retail partners. In her role, she provides strategic guidance on partnership opportunities and ensures access to key relationships with a focus on delivering revenue growth, creating differentiated value, and improving customer engagement.

Prior to this role, Glenda was EVP and General Manager of the Global Client Group and Strategic Partnerships where she was responsible for a portfolio of American Express’s largest global partners across diverse industries. In 2009, she led the formation and launch of the Global Client Group, transforming traditional local account management to an integrated relationship platform for the company’s largest global merchants.

Since beginning her career at American Express in 1989, Glenda has held roles of increasing responsibility across the card-issuing and network businesses, including positions in business development, strategy, sales and client management, and marketing. She was instrumental in leading the company’s innovative growth strategy into industries that traditionally did not accept credit cards, including quick service restaurants, healthcare, government, insurance, telecommunications, charities, and rent.

Glenda has significant board experience. She currently serves on the boards of Nordstrom, Inc. and RLJ Lodging Trust, the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Montclair Film Festival. Her prior board experience includes U.S. Steel Corporation, Vente-Privee US, PepsiCo Multicultural Advisory Board and several not-for-profit organizations. She is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council.

Glenda is a graduate of Dillard University and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to working for American Express, Glenda worked for Arthur Andersen & Company and Salomon Brothers.

Many thanks to our corporate sponsors for making this event possible!





Special thank you to the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly!