Michele Thornton Ghee
- Business Growth and Trends
- Change Management
- Christian Faith and Inspiration
- Corporate Culture
Audience & Industry
- Faith-based Groups
- Sales Professionals
- Senior Management Groups
- Women's Events
Michele Thornton Ghee has worked at some of the world’s most powerful media brands, helping organizations leverage cultural relevance and create programs that connect authentically to consumers. Today, she is CEO of Ebony & Jet Magazine, creating the vision and activating the strategy for these iconic brands as she steers them into the 21st century. A global leader and powerhouse visionary, she teaches audiences about personal innovation and the importance of inclusion.
After 25 years in the media and entertainment space, Michele Thornton Ghee decided to pursue her passion of elevating the importance of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity by forming her firm: The Stratechic Alliance. As the managing partner for the Alliance, she helps company’s leverage their most important asset: Difference. The firm understands that difference is the most important factor in driving revenue.
Ghee has worked for some of the most powerful companies in the world including WME, CNN, A&E, The History Channel and BET Networks. While at BET, Michele created and ran the first and only network for black women: BETHer. She began her career at SBC Communications in Oakland, California.
Ghee also had an unprecedented impact at CNN by creating the first and only diversity department at CNN: CNN Advantage. She has been a maverick in the media industry when it comes to weaving diversity and inclusion into the fabric of a company’s DNA, immediately impacting the bottom line.
Ghee is an expert in the following areas: female empowerment, thought leadership, building sustainable culture, diversity and inclusion innovation, leveraging difference, customer service, revenue generation, the art of storytelling, and relationship building.
Ghee has received certifications in Women’s Leadership from Harvard University and Diversity and Inclusion certification from Cornell University. She is the recipient of honors from numerous organizations including; Multichannel News 2019 Wonder Woman, Working Mother of the Year Award Class of 2018, The ADCOLOR Change Agent Award and The American Advertising Federation Mosaic Role Model of the Year Award.
Ghee has authored three books: Stratechic: Life and Career Winning Strategies for Women, Stratechic 2.0: Her Plan, Her Power, Her Purpose and Success on Your Terms. Ghee has her pulse on Women. As a woman of color in corporate America over the past three decades, she has had to learn how to not just thrive but survive. In her book, Michele Thornton Ghee urges women to get strategic—actually, she calls it “Stratechic,” with her proven 10-step framework, Ghee helps every woman reclaim the power they naturally possess to live the life they deserve!
Ghee graduated college at 31 and was later honored with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her alma mater.
She resides in New Jersey and is a proud wife of Antony Ghee and mother of Taylor and Jordan Ghee.
Michele Ghee says Follow Up in a Different Way
Michele Thornton Ghee on How to Be Your Best Self
Michele Thornton Ghee's Speech Topics
Difference Drives Results
Based on a survey from The Peterson Institute for International Economics, having women at the C-Suite level significantly increases net margins. “A profitable firm at which 30 percent of leaders are women could expect to add more than 1 percentage point to its net margin compared with an otherwise similar firm with no female leaders,” the report notes. “By way of comparison, the typical profitable firm in our sample had a net profit margin of 6.4 percent, so a 1 percentage point increase represents a 15 percent boost to profitability.”
It’s amazing that the data supports diversity, yet very few companies activate its power. It starts with leadership and heads directly to the frontline managers. While, people receive 11 million bits of data at any given time, they often process impressions with only 4 bits of data based on their past experiences; that’s how dangerous biases are created and work to kill culture.
Michele Thornton Ghee helps organizations to conquer their greatest resource: Difference. She advises both leadership and employees on how to assess their current environment, build a plan to leverage diversity and inclusion, implement appropriate strategies, measure their outcome and, finally evolve the protocols that will infiltrate the DNA of any organization. The world will no longer accept words without action. Ghee shares how allowing women and other marginalized groups to grow, will expand corporate success. As empowered employees share personal attributes with others, bottom lines will increase. Differences are of diversity’s greatest gifts; use them.
Women have been given an innate ability to ask questions, listen, and serve, not just in customer service but service in general. Serving others is a resource we all possess yet a few exercise. Ghee channeled her superpower of customer service young, growing up in Oakland, watching her father in his endeavors as an expert car salesman and entrepreneur in a neighborhood soul food restaurant. Working there at 12 years old, she watched her dad greet every person by name as they entered the restaurant - he knew their favorite meal, birthdays, wives, kids, and interests. This was a valuable lesson, illuminated today by the words of Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Ghee shares key lessons from experiences over the years that have defined her service-oriented nature: during college while working at the Grand Hyatt, she was taught not to say the word “NO.” The training continued at Pacific Bell, where she was charged with providing excellent service to clients every day. And last but not least, she shares the lessons learned from her community – shaped by sitting on boards and mentoring others. This combination of experience has shows that you should serve more than customers, but every single person you encounter.
Time is one of your greatest resources: Use it wisely. Time management is the most under-utilized asset in your toolbox. Time is not infinite, and with 22 Million people out of work, the current workforce faces more demand than ever.
There are meetings around the clock, parents are now schoolteachers and daycare providers, and cooking and cleaning have taken on a whole new dimension. There is also the stress, anxiety, and the need to stay busy. All of these added physical and mental activities take time from our productivity, but more importantly, effectiveness. How do you manage your time? What happens when you optimize time? When you manage your time against things that matter and cut out the clutter, you feel at peace and create an environment where there is room for success. This is more important than ever before in the time of virtual living.
Ghee shares effective tips on how to manage time. She’ll teach audiences to create a time grid by plotting out a typical day, and decide how to remove waste through the creation of an “Elimination List.” What will you do with the extra time that you’ve reclaimed? In her own experience, Ghee spent that hour each day building and expanding critical internal and external relationships, re-branded Centric TV into the first and only network for Black Women-BETHer, created a diversity division at CNN called CNN Advantage and wrote three books. Taking time back has allowed her to not only grow a personal brand but generate a 20% return in corporate America.
In the time of isolation and virtual living, capacity is critical for productivity. Without control over emotions, we cannot operate at optimal levels. We allow feelings to get in the way of output and work quality. It allows organizations to label us as sensitive, angry, or out of control. These are career killers. As a response, Ghee challenges audiences to build upon their emotional capacity to harness negative emotions and put them to work.
Instead of getting emotional, Ghee encourages managers and peers to communicate, resolve their issues together, or escalate the matter all while remaining calm, cool, and collected.
Everyone talks about creating or building relationships, not realizing that the beginning is the easy part. Maintaining relationships is where the real benefit exists. Having spent 25 years learning the art of not only building relationships, but more importantly, maintaining them to the point of action, Michele Thornton Ghee shares with audiences “the art of people.”
What’s involved: creating a relationship map, setting time limits on the action, following up authentically, utilizing the people in your circle to optimize the opportunity, and clearly delivering a narrative that maximizes the possibilities.
In this powerful talk Ghee shares how to approach people, how to make them listen, and how to keep up a conversation that lasts a lifetime. She explains how to put in real-time work and maintenance for great relationships that turn into deliverable results for all involved.
The Art and Science of Selling
In today’s world of fragmentation and multiple screens, selling has to begin with them not you. In this keynote, Michele Thornton Ghee shows sales leaders how to transform their teams into understanding the power of insights and research to tell a powerful story.
The Art Of Storytelling
The entity that tells the most compelling story wins the championship not just a game or two. As a 20-year sells veteran, Michele Thornton Ghee built a tremendous career on understanding needs, the audience, marketplace, competition, and other valuable information to get someone or something from point A to Z. Storytelling is an art and science we must master, she says.
Michele Thornton Ghee shares insights from her experience to help corporations (brands) and people learn how to grow loyalty by understanding how to connect with giving back in a more insightful, authentic way.