FAMU Trustee Reed, Converse CEO Uzzell Among Alumni Named to Savoy Magazine List of Influential Black Executives

July 27, 2022
G. Scott Uzzell
FAMU Trustee Reed, Converse CEO Uzzell Among Alumni Named to Savoy Magazine List of Influential Black Executives

G. Scott Uzzell, president and CEO of Converse Inc., leads the list of influential FAMU Alumni recognized.

Florida A&M University Trustee Craig Reed and Converse President and Chief Executive Officer G. Scott Uzzell are among seven FAMU alumni on Savoy Magazine’s 2022 list of Influential Black Executives. Among those named are Alicia Davis, Gregory E. Deavens, Tony Ezell, Cherée Johnson, and Remi Kent.

Reed, who earned a bachelor’s in economics from FAMU and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in supply management from Arizona State University, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2016. Based in Carmel, Indiana, he is chief procurement officer for Corteva Agriscience, a global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers worldwide with a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection, and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. Corteva resulted from the 2019 DowDuPont merger and subsequent split into three independent companies.

Craig ReedTrustee Craig Reed

In his current role, Reed leads a global team of more than 400 professionals and over $8 billion in spending, which includes raw materials, energy, packaging, contract manufacturing, IT, Corporate Services, MRO, Capital, and Logistics. 

Reed’s more than 25-year-corporate career includes stints at DowDuPont, DuPont, Eaton, Delta Air Lines, Deere & Company, BMW Manufacturing, and Honda of America.

He is the former board chair for the Institute of Supply Management, chair of the Clark Atlanta University SCM Advisory Board, and board member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council.

G. Scott Uzzell

 Uzzell is president and CEO of Converse Inc., which is owned by Nike. Before joining Nike, he was president, Venturing & Emerging Brands Group (VEB), Coca-Cola North America for The Coca-Cola Company.

In that role, Uzzell and his team looked for future trends to identify the next potential winning bever-age brands for Coca-Cola’s total beverage portfolio, and they identify and nurture the next series of billion-dollar brands. The VEB portfolio includes brands, such as Honest Tea, ZICO Coconut Water, Fairlife Milk, Suja Juice and Topo Chico.

Uzzell has held a variety of leadership roles across the business, including Strategy & Planning, vice president of the McDonald’s U.S. Division, vice president of Business Development and vice president of Strategy and Marketing within VEB.

Uzzell was named CEO and executive vice president of Zico Beverages, LLC, in early 2013 and later named Zico Beverage’s CEO.

Uzzell serves on the boards of the FAMU Foundation, SC Johnson, Fairlife, LLC, and Suja Juice Company.

Uzzell earned a bachelor’s in business from FAMU and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Alicia Davis

Davis is the chief strategy officer of Lear Corporation, a global automotive technology leader in seating, electronics, and electrical systems. 

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Davis leads Lear’s central strategy organization, which, in partnership with the executive team, develops and drives the company’s global strategy, advances enterprise-wide Industry 4.0 initiatives, and identifies and executes value-enhancing M&A transactions, strategic partnerships, and early-stage automotive technology investments. Davis earned her bachelor’s in business administration from FAMU, a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Alicia DavisAlicia Davis was promoted to chief strategy officer at Lear in July 2021.

Before joining Lear in August 2018 to lead Investor Relations, Davis was a corporate law professor and the associate dean for strategic initiatives at the University of Michigan Law School, where she continues to hold a dry appointment as a tenured professor. Her professional experience also includes time as a corporate lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs & Co.

Davis is a member of the Board of Directors of the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan and, through American Corporate Partners, serves as a volunteer mentor to veterans seeking roles in the private sector.

Gregory E. Deavens

Deavens is president and chief executive officer for Philadelphia-based Independence Health Group, parent of Independence Blue Cross, one of the nation’s leading health insurers.

Deavens, who earned his bachelor’s in accounting from FAMU, joined Independence in 2017 as executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer. In this capacity, he led the company’s financial functions as well as its actuarial, underwriting, and enterprise risk management organizations.

Greg DeavensGregory Deavens

Deavens serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of Hartford HealthCare. He also serves on the boards of Alegeus; Quartet Health; the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which represents Blue plans covering more than 100 million Americans; America’s Health Insurance Plans; and the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

As part of his responsibilities at Independence, he serves on the boards of AmeriHealth Caritas, Tandigm Health, AmeriHealth Assurance, BCS Financial Corporation, and International Plan Solutions.

Deavens is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Tony Ezell

Ezell serves as executive vice president, president, North America & chief marketing officer for BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company. 

In this role, Ezell leads the U.S. and Canada regions and the global marketing organization and is responsible for an integrated commercialization approach to how to address and prioritize customer needs. He is also a member of the BD Executive Leadership Team.

Tony EzellTony Ezell/Credit/Savoy Magazine

Before that, Ezell spent more than 27 years at Eli Lilly and Co. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at FAMU and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Based in Indianapolis, Ezell currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Brebeuf Jesuit High School. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Catholic Medical Mission Board and the KPMG Healthcare Advisory Board. He is also the former Chairman of the UNCF Indianapolis Leadership Council. 

Cherée Johnson

Johnson is the senior vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel, and secretary for Dentsply Sirona. Charlotte, N.C., based Johnson is also a co-executive sponsor of Dentsply Sirona’s Diversity & Inclusion Council. Johnson graduated from FAMU with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering before earning her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. 

With deep global legal expertise across multiple industries and operations, Johnson possesses tremendous knowledge in ESG, compliance, M&A and financial transactions, enterprise risk management, capital markets and securities matters.

Cheree JohnsonCherée Johnson, senior vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel, and secretary for Dentsply Sironathe world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies. (Credit:Dentsply Sirona)

Prior to joining DS, Johnson was the senior vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief ethics & compliance officer at W.R. Grace, a Standard Industries Company, with global operations.

Johnson was also vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant corporate secretary, at McCormick & Company. Before that she worked with H.J. Heinz Company and Cargill, leading intellectual property matters.

Johnson serves an Advisory Board member of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is a board member of several nonprofit organizations.

Remi Kent

Kent is the chief marketing officer for Progressive Insurance. A business bachelor’s and master’s degree FAMU graduate, Kent previously worked eight years at 3M, the last year as senior vice president and global chief marketing officer of the Consumer Business Group, where she led e-commerce, media, insights and analytics, and integrated marketing globally.

Remi KentRemi Kent/Credit:Savoy Magazine

Before joining 3M, she spent 13 years with Procter & Gamble where she led billion-dollar businesses across North America, Asia, and Western Europe with leadership in brand building, P&L ownership, strategy, and successful new product launches.

Kent, who is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, has received numerous accolades for her leadership in business and marketing, including the likes of Ad Age Leading Women and 40 under 40, Twin Cities Women in Business Award, 100 Most Influential Black Leaders, Comparably 50, and Influential Marketing Leaders Changing the Industry.