In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts.
BOSTON – The Board of Directors of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) announced Nicole Obi as the new President and Chief Executive Officer effective January 3, 2022.
Previously Vice President, Member Experience & Engagement for BECMA, the Board unanimously voted to appoint Obi President & CEO based upon her extensive experience, catalytic and effective leadership skills, and her vision for achieving BECMA’s mission.
Obi joined BECMA 18 months ago because she believes racial equity and justice are critical to realizing a productive and positive society. Obi’s wide-ranging career path as an entrepreneur and corporate leader has afforded her a strong arsenal of tools and experiences needed to effectively lead BECMA into the future.
“Our vision for closing the racial wealth gap in Massachusetts is based upon the pillars of enabling entrepreneurship, increasing equity value through business and homeownership, facilitating commercial engagement through purchasing and placing Black people in the skilled workforce and in decision making roles in management and board positions”, said Obi. “I’m elated to lead BECMA and look forward to driving impactful outcomes in closing the Commonwealth’s wealth gap.”
Obi grew up in Framingham, and attended Hampton University, a historically Black university, and then the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for dual graduate degrees from the Sloan School of Management and the School of Urban Studies & Planning.
After co-founding two venture-backed start-up firms and then leading a strategy consulting firm for seven years, she joined Fidelity Investments in 2007 as a Director within the strategy consulting group. She transitioned from consulting to establishing a first-of-its-kind customer function within the retail business at Fidelity. Obi left Fidelity in 2018 as Vice President of Customer Insights & Engagement Strategy.
Obi has played a pivotal leadership role at BECMA throughout the pandemic and national awakening on racial and economic injustices. Her efforts resulted in hundreds of Black business owners receiving needed financial and other assistance, as well as a pilot program to pivot micro and small businesses onto digital platforms and away from walk-in / cash-based models which satisfied COVID safety regulations, and improved members’ banking relationships, marketing, and productivity outcomes.
“We are thrilled to have Nicole Obi as our new President & CEO”, said Teri Williams, Chair of BECMA. “She understands the opportunities, risks, and challenges BECMA faces in pursuit of our mission and has the expertise to lead us to new heights.”
Obi serves on GBH’s Board of Advisors, The Women’s Foundation of Boston’s Board of Advisors, Browning the Green Space’s Board of Directors, the Environmental League of Massachusetts’ Board of Advisors, Longfellow Investment Management’s Board of Advisors, and the Intensive Community Program Committee at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.