News & Stories

May 5, 2021

College hosts virtual lecture on experience of Black professionals in corporate America

Berry College alumni recently participated in a virtual panel discussion, “Being Black in Corporate America,” to raise awareness, insight and empathy about the experiences and perspectives of Black professionals.

Panelists for the event included alumni Araya Mesfin, Mairo Akposé Simpson, and Marcus Yates.  

Mesfin is a member of the Berry College Board of Trustees. He serves as a certified financial planner professional and senior portfolio manager in the Atlanta area, working with high net worth clients through his senior vice president position at UBS Financial Services. With over a decade of experience working in human resources, Akposé Simpson serves as vice president of human resources at Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC, with the goal of helping associates find the right solutions and resources to everyday issues. Yates is Chick-fil-A corporate's principal team leader for staff selection at the support center. Yates is an experienced team lead with a diverse background in talent acquisitions, providing support for industry leading organizations in the Atlanta area.    

Sponsored by the Berry Center for Personal and Professional Development, Student Diversity Initiatives, the Black Student Association and the Campbell School of Business, the event was moderated by Berry Director of Foundation Relations and Strategic Partnerships Stacey Spillers.   

“It was such a pleasure to guide an important conversation with three remarkable professionals,” Spillers said. “Their storytelling and advisement included the kind of candor, thoughtfulness and wisdom that is helpful to all, whether black or not.” 

To learn more about the Campbell School of Business, visit  


Written by Public Relations Student Assistant Faythe Choate

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