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Veta T. Richardson has been President and CEO of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) since July 1, 2011. ACC is the world’s largest not-for-profit corporation dedicated exclusively to serving chief legal and compliance executives through an industry-leading combination of information resources, education and training, professional networks, and advocacy in advancement of corporate counsel interests. Totaling almost 30,000 members from more than 10,000 unique organizations, ACC spans 75 nations and encompasses chapter operations in 52 locales. As CEO, Ms. Richardson has operational P&L responsibility for this multi-million dollar organization of more than 70 employees. In her first year as CEO, Ms. Richardson worked with the ACC Board of Directors to lead development of a new 5 year Strategic Plan, restructure to achieve executive team alignment, revamp the performance review process to link compensation awards to the attainment of measurable strategic goals, establish a professional development training program for ACC staff, introduce innovative new education technology, and expand ACC’s global brand via new chapters in Canada and the Middle East.
Prior to ACC, Ms. Richardson was the executive director of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) and the CEO of Diversity & the Bar magazine, a bi-monthly publication with a circulation to more than 30,000 corporate executives. Founded in 1997 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, MCCA is a preeminent authority regarding the advancement of diversity in the nation’s leading corporations and law firms. Under Ms. Richardson’s leadership, MCCA underwent a significant turnaround in profitability and program expansion. When Ms. Richardson took the helm in January 2001, MCCA was on the brink of financial insolvency, suffering from negative earnings, brand confusion, and significant unrealized potential. In less than 18 months time, she paid off all debts, achieved profitability, stabilized cash flow, and attracted unprecedented levels of attendance and financial support for the association. Over the decade she served as executive director, Ms. Richardson guided the association through the operational and fund raising challenges posed by 9/11, a major recession, and the 2008 economic downturn, all the while expanding operations and personnel, quadrupling revenue, and establishing multi-million dollar investment reserves.
Ms. Richardson is nationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities regarding workplace diversity and inclusion issues. She has been a key strategist to business executives, general counsel, government regulators, private law firms, academia, and the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations. Her core expertise areas include workplace diversity and inclusion, finance and P&L, strategic planning and the alignment of human, technology, and financial resources in fulfillment of operational objectives and growth.
Her prior experience also includes a stint in the Office of General Counsel at Sunoco, Inc., then a Fortune 100 energy company based in Philadelphia, PA. At Sunoco, she advised executive management regarding governance, executive compensation, ethics, and securities disclosure. She was also the lead counsel and a key strategist for multi-billion dollar mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, financings, and corporate restructurings.
Ms. Richardson received her B.S. in Business Management from the University of Maryland at College Park and J.D. from the University of Maryland Law School.