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2019 Featured Moderator

WMY46 Conference

Carra L. Wallace






Carra Wallace is the founder of Optimized Diversity Solutions, a strategic advisory firm delivering disruptive solutions that increase the utilization of Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses (MWBEs) and drive transparency and accountability through diversity and inclusion. Ms. Wallace currently leads The National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC) “Minority Growth Equity Funds Initiative”, a $1.4 million grant awarded by the MBDA to support a project that will facilitate the aggregation and deployment of approximately $1 billion in growth capital into minority-owned businesses. She also provides strategic advisory services to Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network on their fight for one standard of economic justice ensuring that diverse-owned Asset Management Firms gain fair access to greater institutional capital from pension funds, labor unions, corporate plans, philanthropies and universities.

Ms. Wallace was the first ever Chief Diversity Officer appointed by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, responsible for increasing contract opportunities for MWBEs across NYC’s agencies and the private sector. She led the Comptroller’s team that released the first Making the Grade Report Card – a letter grading program evaluating City Agencies’ MWBE utilization. Ms. Wallace previously served as Managing Director of the Office of Executive Initiatives at DASNY, New York State’s public finance and construction authority. Ms. Wallace’s career began in Los Angeles where she progressed rapidly through a variety of assignments in engineering,operations and general management of large cable television systems and telecom companies.

Ms. Wallace earned a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University. New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins recently appointed her to the New York State Procurement Council. She serves on the board of Eagle Academy Foundation, an organization committed to solving the educational crisis facing Black and Latino young men. Ms. Wallace also serves on the TruFund Financial Services board, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)that develops lending platforms and delivers business development resources for small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have difficulty accessing capital from traditional sources.

Ms. Wallace’s awards and honors include receiving the One Hundred Black Men Inc.’s Robert Magnum Corporate Partnership Award, The Network Journal “25 Influential Black Women in Business Award”, Women Construction Owners & Executives “Change Agent Award”, Harlem Business Alliance “Government Service Award”, the National Association of Securities Professionals “Big Apple Statesman Award” and a Gubernatorial Citation from New York State Governor David A. Paterson for Excellence in Leadership as an agent of diversity promoting fairness and equity in state government.

Additionally, Ms. Wallace is an avid golfer and marathoner who has crossed the finish line in New York, Dubai, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Negril, Bali, Washington DC and Paris, France.

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