Chief Executive Officer, Nia Enterprises, LLC; Director, PrivateBanc Corp., Deluxe Corp.
Cheryl Mayberry McKissack is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nia Enterprises, LLC, a Chicago based business, marketing and digital consulting firm established in 2000. Ms. McKissack previously served as CEO of Ebony Media Operations (formerly Johnson Publishing Company), the trusted and leading African American preeminent media company connecting advertisers and consumers for over 71 years. Ebony Media Operations (EMO) is best known for its flagship publication and brands, Ebony and Jet reaching over 10M African Americans monthly. Prior to assuming the CEO position, Ms. Mayberry McKissack was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and President of Digital for Johnson Publishing Company since 2013. She was responsible for managing media operations including technology development, production, media sales, marketing, business development and all functions of the digital business unit, JPC Digital. Over the past three years she has been responsible for many of the transformational initiatives at JPC including a new, fair-market pricing model for advertising sales, and the migration of the iconic, sixty-four- year-old publishing brand, Jet, from print to digital. She has also spearheaded the construction of a digital ecosystem for future growth including Ebony Moments, Ebony Collections and the Ebony/Jet Store.
Ms. Mayberry McKissack has extensive corporate and civic board experience, with more than sixteen years of corporate board experience and a special expertise in corporate governance. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the PrivateBanc Corp (NASDAQ:PVTB), where she is the Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee and Vice Chair of the Compensation Committee. During her tenure at the PrivateBanc Corp, she has been instrumental in overhauling its Corporate Governance program which has resulted in the bank receiving consistently high scores from leading governance advisory services such as Glass, Lewis and ISS. She also serves as a Director of the Deluxe Corporation (NYSE:DLX) and currently serves on the Finance and Compensation Committees. She previously chaired the Governance Committee for six years and spent ten years as a member of the DLX Audit Committee. Ms. Mayberry McKissack is actively involved in the Chicago community and has held positions on numerous non-profit boards. She is currently a Board Member for the University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago Library Foundation, Shedd Aquarium, and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.
Prior to founding Nia Enterprises, Ms. Mayberry McKissack enjoyed a successful 23-year corporate career in operations and technology, including serving as the Worldwide Senior Vice President and General Manager for Open Port Technology. She also served as the Vice President for the Americas, and a founding member of the Network Systems Division for 3Com (formerly U.S. Robotics). During her tenure at U.S Robotics, she was a key member of the leadership team that purchased the leading PDA (personal digital assistant; forerunner to today’s smartphones) company at the time, Palm, Inc. That acquisition was a key driver in the subsequent sale of publicly –traded U.S. Robotics to 3Com for over $8 billion, constituting one of the largest technology- company transactions in the late 1990s. Ms. Mayberry McKissack started her technology career with IBM Corporation where she enjoyed a 14- year career in sales, marketing and management positions.
Ms. Mayberry McKissack is a native of Seattle, Washington. She received her B.S. Degree from Seattle University, completing the four-year program in two-and-one-half years. Ms. Mayberry McKissack also received her MBA from the Northwestern J.L. Kellogg School of Management. In 2005, Ms. Mayberry McKissack was named an Associate Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at her alma mater, the Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University where she lectured for ten years.
Ms. Mayberry McKissack is an innovative business and entrepreneurial leader as evidenced by numerous awards and citations. In 2005, she was recognized as a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United, an advocacy non-profit organization. Other acknowledgements of her accomplishments include recognition as one of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business by the Network Journal Magazine (2006) and the “Leader Entrepreneurship” award (2006) from the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. She received the 2007 Kellogg Alumni "Rising Entrepreneur of the Year" award, was recognized in 2008 as a "HistoryMaker” and was a recipient of the 2009 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Women of Achievement award. In 2012, she was recognized as one of the "17 Black Internet Pioneers" by ROOT.com, a division of the Washington Post. She was also recognized by Director’s & Board magazine as one of the 2015 “Directors to Watch”. A published author, Ms. Mayberry McKissack‘s next book, The Entrepreneurial Sell: How Selling Impacts Every Step in Start-Up Success—And How To Get It Right, is scheduled for distribution in 2017.