SC State University's Spring 2010 Executive Speaker Series Kicks Off

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jeff LeeJefferi K. Lee, president and CEO of Bio-Defense Research Group, Inc. in Columbia, Md., and former president of Black Entertainment Network (BET), will kick off the 2010 Executive Speaker Series (ESS) for the spring semester on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 at noon in the Belcher Hall fourth floor auditorium located on the campus of SC State University.

Lee will speak on the topic: “Proven Strategies to Gaining Market Share.”

As president and CEO of Bio-Defense Research Group, Inc., Lee oversees the development of a new product that protects occupants of buildings by neutralizing biological warfare agents passing through a building’s air distribution system. The technology for the product was invented by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., and licensed exclusively to Bio-Defense Research Group, Inc.

Prior to becoming president of Bio-Defense Research Group, Inc., Lee served as president of Black Entertainment Networks (BET) and executive vice-president of BET Holdings, Inc., a cable program specially targeting the African American community. He played an integral role on the team that took BET Holdings, Inc., to a public status. This effort established the organization as the first black-owned company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Lee’s leadership and experience was also responsible for the launching of several affiliated networks to include BET International, Microsoft-Black Entertainment Television (MSBET), BET Radio and BET on Jazz.

During his 17-year career with BET, Lee was responsible for overseeing all phases of the networks. He was instrumental in transitioning the network from a 3-hour, one night a week cablecast to a 24-hour, seven-day a week network. He was also part of the construction team that oversaw the development of the corporate campus. This included the corporate headquarters and two production facilities.

Lee has been recognized for his outstanding work in the cable and television industries by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the National Association of Minorities in Cable (NAMIC) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). He is a former member of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) and has served on several boards including the National Academy of Cable Programming and the Board of Directors for the Big Brothers of the National Capital Area.

Lee will begin a series notable for attracting young students and also providing them with the tools needed to lead and compete in a diverse and global environment. “The Executive Speaker Series taps the talents of successful South Carolinians and other individuals from across the nation, and exposes our students to a world of possibilities,” said Dr. Ann Shepard Winstead, ESS program director. “By interacting with effective leaders, our young people are reminded that if they work hard and apply themselves, they can do anything,” continued Winstead.

Past ESS participants have come from companies and industries including Pfizer, Inc., Ernest and Young, AT&T, Black Enterprise, SCANA, Sonoco, Bank of America, Milliken & Company, Michelin of North America, Time Warner Cable, Monsanto Company, Farm Credit Bank, SC Department of Agriculture, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), the Graduate Admission Council (GMAC) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina.

Other speakers and topics for the spring semester include:
Date Session Focus/Theme Speaker
February 10 “Chamber of Commerce’s Role in Helping Small Businesses Succeed”

David Coleman, President

Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce

Orangeburg, S.C.

February 17 “Effective Communication in Auditing”

Tiffany Lee, Senior Auditor

Government Programs Audit Department

Blues Cross Blue Shield of SC

Columbia, S.C.

February 24 “Human Resources Management in Corporate America Today”

Jackie Steele ’72, Corporate Labor Relations Manager

Georgia Pacific, Inc.

Atlanta, Ga.

March 31 “Credit Sense & Debt Management: Keys to Success in Business and in Life”

Brandolyn Pinkston, Administrator

South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs

Columbia, S.C.

April 7 “The Business of Transporting Goods Around the World-the UPS Brand”

Rich McArdle, Chief Operating Officer, UPS

South Carolina/North Carolina

For more information on ESS, contact Dr. Ann S. Winstead at (803) 516-4864.