Celebrate Black History Month with Desirée Glapion Rogers, MBA '85, KSG '02 

In celebration of Black History Month, the Harvard Black Alumni Society, Chicago Chapter, and the Harvard Club of Chicago invite members and guests for a talk with Desirée Glapion Rogers, MBA'85, KSG'02, White House Social Secretary for President Barack Obama. February 22nd at 6pm.  

mailDesiree will focus on the "Entrepreneurship via Acquisition" story. She will share her career journey to date, highlight the acquisition process for Fashion Fair / Black Opal, and then talk about building the brands during COVID-19.

Desiree has over 25 years’ experience building brands in a variety of industries. Her leadership focuses on identifying opportunities, building strong teams, and driving results. She is currently the CEO and co-owner of Black Opal, a masstige beauty company sold at Walmart, ULTA, CVS, Target and Rite Aid focused on people of color. She and her business partner, Cheryl Mayberry McKissack recently launched iconic prestige beauty brand, Fashion Fair Cosmetics in Sephora.

Both brands have been in the marketplace for over 75 years with the goal of providing high quality makeup and skincare options for darker skin tones. Rogers leads the overall strategy for both brands including distribution, product development and marketing. The brands have been featured in Vogue, WWD, The Cut, and Allure. Fashion Fair recently launched the FF/Spelman Scholarship in conjunction with Spelman College.

She is the former chair of Choose Chicago, the tourism bureau where she spearheaded the transition of the agency to a digital marketing powerhouse resulting in an all-time record of over 57M visitors. Under her leadership, Chicago welcomed world class events including the NFL Draft, The James Beard Awards and the All-Star game.
From 2010 to 2016, as the CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, she and her team transformed the Ebony and Jet brands through editorial and digital redesigns including securing 2M unique visitors to Ebony.com as well as launching experiential extensions such as the Ebony Power 100, resulting in a sale of the media assets.

As the first Social Secretary for President Obama, she spearheaded the execution of the “People’s House” vision into a reality relying on building national partnerships with corporations, non-for-profits, the entertainment industry, fashion designers, and the arts creating a fresh view of how the White House represented American culture. She and her team oversaw 350 events in 15 months.

Prior to these roles, she held senior positions at Allstate and Peoples Energy where she was the President of the $2B gas utility. In 2019, Desiree launched, One Brown Girl, LLC., a limited partnership that invests in businesses focused on the African American community.

She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Harvard Business School.

Click here for more event information and registration

Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm Central

Location: Virtual (Zoom link sent upon registration)

Cost: Harvard Alums & HCC Members - Complimentary; General Public - $10


Co-sponsored by the Harvard Black Alumni Society, Chicago Chapter, and the Harvard Club of Chicago



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