People – December 2008

Cheryl R. CooperCheryl R. Cooper joined the YWCA USA as chief operating officer. She will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the national office to make certain that the organization has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to effectively grow the organization and to ensure financial strength and operating efficiency. Cooper previously served as executive director of the National Council of Negro Women from June 2002 to March 2007; as chief of staff at AARP, where she was directly responsible for the organization?s Office of Strategic Planning, Board Support and Executive Staff Office; and as administrator of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation from 1986 to 1990. A certified public accountant, Cooper graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor?s degree in business administration.

Robert Ingram returned to Career Communications Group as associate publisher and senior vice president of strategic initiatives. Since his departure five years ago to start his own publication, The Urban Health Report ? which he subsequently sold ? he has held several senior executive positions in the media industry, including positions at Black Enterprise and Savoy magazines. Most recently, he was vice president of Diversity Best Practices at Working Mother Media. Ingram was instrumental in the founding and launch of the 2004 World Diversity Leadership Summit in Prague, Czech Republic.? CCG promotes equal opportunity for minorities and women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields and produces the National Women of Color STEM Conference and Black Engineer of the Year STEM Global Competitiveness Conference.

Roland MartinRoland Martin, a CNN analyst and TV One Cable Network commentator, joined The Tom Joyner Morning Show as senior news analyst, offering daily insight into major news events and other issues affecting Black America. Martin is the former executive editor and general manager of the Chicago Defender, the nation?s largest Black daily newspaper, and the founding news editor of Savoy magazine and He was named by Ebony magazine as one of the ?150 Most Influential African-Americans in the United States? and by Britain?s Daily Telegraph as one of the top 50 political pundits. He won a NAACP Image Award for his interview with Sen. Barack Obama and was awarded the 2008 President?s Award by the National Association of Black Journalists for his work in multiple media platforms. Martin earned a journalism degree at Texas A&M University and a master?s in Christian Communications from Louisiana Baptist University.

Blondel A. Pinnock joined Carver Federal Savings Bank Corp. as senior vice president and president of its subsidiary, Carver Community Development Corp. She is responsible for formalizing Carver?s community development, corporate giving and outreach strategy, which include lending and investing through the New Market Tax Credit program and The New York City School Construction Authority Mentor Program, in the neighborhoods it serves. Pinnock was a TNJ ?40 Under Forty? honoree in 2005. Prior to her Carver appointment, she was senior vice president of community development banking at Bank of America and counsel and deputy director for the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development?s Tax Incentives Unit, where she helped implement the city?s real estate tax programs for low, moderate and market-rate projects.?

Maxim ThorneMaxim Thorne was named senior vice president and chief development and communications officer for the NAACP. Thorne, an experienced senior executive, fundraiser, attorney and activist, will oversee development, communications and marketing. Thorne holds significant credentials in political and mission-based fundraising, nonprofit management and civil and human rights advocacy.? Most recently, he served as executive director of Brooklyn Child and Family Services. A graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School, Thorne practiced corporate and poverty law. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and helped litigate the famous Abbott v. Burke case, representing Head Start, the NAACP New Jersey State Conference and day-care centers before the New Jersey Supreme Court.


Roger C. Vannjoined the NAACP as vice president of field operations and membership. Vann previously served on the NAACP national staff from 2000 to 2003 as membership director and later as chief development officer. Most recently, he was director of the African-American Hiring Initiative for UNITE HERE, an international hospitality industry workers union, where he worked to increase the number of African-Americans in union jobs in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, Calif. Vann held prior positions as senior director of operations for Amistad America Inc. and as executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. Early in his career, he worked in broadcasting as a news director, programmer and talk show host with local radio. Vann is a graduate of Brown University.