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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Graphic banner: Dean's Executive Lecture Series: Leadership and Diversity, October 27. 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Dean's Executive Lecture Series: Leadership and Diversity

By Allen Wallace,
Posted on October 23, 2020  and updated on November 2, 2020

The University of South Carolina College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management presented its Fall 2020 Dean’s Executive Lecture: Leadership and Diversity on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 4:30 p.m.

The panel discussion featured Bank of America Chief Administrative Officer Andrea Smith, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority CEO Tom Murray and Atlanta Hawks Membership Associate Shari-Zhane Harvin-Langley. The discussion included topics such as the importance of creating a culture of diversity in the workplace, the value of personal integrity, turning failure into success and advice for college students preparing for the start of their careers.

The Zoom event was attended by more than 330 people and was moderated by Adonis "Sporty" Jeralds, assistant dean of diversity and inclusion for the College of HRSM. You can watch a recording of the lecture here. 

The Fall 2020 Panelists

Andrea Smith headshot

Andrea Smith

Smith is Bank of America’s chief administrative officer (CAO) and a member of the company’s executive management team. Smith leads global functions and businesses that drive responsible growth, operational excellence and the company’s customer-focused strategy.

As CAO, Smith is responsible for the company’s capital, recovery and resolution planning, business integration efforts in 90 U.S. markets, and operations that support the eight lines of business globally. In addition, she leads customer research and analytics, and global marketing and communications. Under her leadership, the bank spends nearly $2 billion each year with women- and minority-owned businesses – a culmination of their 30th anniversary of having a Supplier Diversity sourcing program.  Bank of America has been recognized for its commitment to supplier diversity by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and the National Minority Supplier Development Council and was the first financial institution inducted into the Billion Dollar Roundtable.

She is a thought leader on economic mobility and supporting the advancement of women in their headquarters city of Charlotte and nationally. Smith serves on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, including the PGA of America and the Charlotte Sports Foundation. She also co- chairs the Leading on Opportunity Council, which is working to address economic mobility in Charlotte.

Smith has a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion. She serves as executive sponsor for the LGBT+ Executive Leadership Council. She also established the Black Executive Leadership Council eight years ago to help increase representation, sponsorship and advancement of black/African American leaders. She co-founded the Global Women’s Conference to bring together top women leaders to invest in their development.

She joined Bank of America in 1988 with a degree in economics from Southern Methodist University.

Tom Murray headshot

Tom Murray

Murray serves as chief executive officer of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which works to deliver experiences that uniquely enrich the lives of Charlotte’s visitors and residents.

The CRVA supports the region’s top venues and organizations for tourism, sport and entertainment, including the Charlotte Convention Center, Spectrum Center, Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte Regional Film Commission and Visit Charlotte. Through leadership in destination development, marketing and venue management expertise, Murray oversees efforts to maximize the region’s economic potential through visitor spending, creating jobs and opportunities for the community.

With more than 30 years of experience, Murray has long served as a leader in the hospitality industry for some of the nation’s largest hotels and travel organizations, including Lindblad Expeditions of New York and Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). Murray holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Villanova University.

Shari-Zhane Harvin-Langley headshot

Shari-Zhane Harvin-Langley

Harvin-Langley is a membership associate with the Atlanta Hawks and gained national attention in 2020 by sparking company-wide discussion on racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Harvin-Langley, a Florida native, earned her master’s degree in sport and entertainment management from the University of South Carolina and her bachelor’s degree in sports management from Claflin University. She began her career as sports marketing coordinator for Eastern Florida State College and has also worked with the U.S. Tennis Association, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Athletics.

Sporty Jeralds headshot

The Moderator:  Adonis "Sporty" Jeralds, C.V.E.

Jeralds is assistant dean of diversity and inclusion and a senior clinical instructor at the University of South Carolina College of HRSM. He also works with the Charlotte Hornets in their community relations department.

A native of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Jeralds attended Guilford College and graduated with a degree in criminal justice. Jeralds also holds a master’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill in public administration and a second master's degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts.

Jeralds started a career in public assembly facilities management at the Hampton Virginia Coliseum in 1983. In 1990, he became manager of the Charlotte Coliseum, a position he held for 15 years. As manager of the Charlotte Coliseum, Jeralds was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the venue, which included overseeing a $12 million budget and a staff of more than 60 full-time and 600 part-time employees. He is a certified venues executive, one of only 300 in the world.

He has coordinated events including the NCAA Basketball Men’s and Women’s Final Four, the NBA All-Star Game, and visits by Mother Teresa and the Rolling Stones.

Jeralds is the author of four highly successful books, The Champion In You, Let Your Light Shine, Follow The Bouncing Ball and From The Locker Room To The Classroom. He also co-authored Public Assembly Venue Management: Sports, Entertainment, Meeting, and Convention Venues. 

The College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management's Dean's Executive Leadership Lecture Series brings top industry leaders to campus to speak on industry trends and hot topics. Students hear inspiring messages from groundbreakers in the fields of hospitality, tourism, retailing and sport and entertainment management. The lecture series has included: S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A; Nevill Isdell, Coca-Cola; Jonathan Tish, Loews Hotels; Jim James, Augusta National Golf Club, and many others.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.