The president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Harry Alford, has announced newspaper publisher and businesswoman Dorothy R. Leavell has been installed as the new chairperson of the nation's leading minority business organization. She will preside over the group's 18-member board of directors and help the trade organization expand its mission of strengthening minority-owned businesses, job creation and increase trade and economic opportunities in the U.S. and abroad.
"Dorothy has extensive expertise in the areas of marketing, economic development and job creation having been at the helm of a successful business for more than four decades," said Alford. "Combined with her passion for African-American advancement and her commitment to young people, I look forward to working with her as our new chair. This is an exciting time in the Chamber's history."
Leavell is publisher and chief executive officer of the Crusader Newspaper Group, which has published weekly newspapers in Chicago and Gary, Indiana, since 1940 and 1961, respectively. Previously she served as the first female chairperson of Amalgamated Publishers, a company that sells national advertising for more than 200 African-American papers across the country.
For more than two decades, she served in a variety of executive positions with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a black trade organization, including chairman, treasurer and chairperson of the NNPA Foundation.
The married mother of two and grandmother of three is the co-founder of Heroes in the Hood, a program that celebrates extraordinary accomplishments of young people who have gone unrecognized in the mainstream media. The award-winning civic leader has also led trade missions to Africa and the Caribbean.
"I very much look forward to working with the president and board of directors, staff and volunteers on conducting the business of the Chamber - from our annual award conference, regional gatherings, and our year-round mission of expanding economic opportunity to our members," said Leavell. "Equally important, I will continue to champion our cause of wealth creation by forging international business opportunities for African Americans and emerging entrepreneurs in the rest of the African Diaspora."
The National Black Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1993, is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with 140 chapters in the United States and 90 more abroad. Chief among its mission is to promote capitalism and fair trade; to provide technical support to its members; to identify procurement opportunities for minority enterprises; and to assist upstarts and entrepreneurs in effectively engaging the public and private sector.