Honorees & Bios 2020

2020 Honorees
Racquel Oden
Sayra Fischer Lebenthal Award for Professional Excellence in Finance

Racquel Oden, Managing Director, Head of National Sales at JP Morgan Chase

Racquel Oden is Managing Director, and Head of National Sales, responsible for branch sales and driving strategic initiatives for JPMorgan Chase. In her previous role, she was the Northeast Division Director, overseeing their Consumer Banking and Wealth Management business. The division serves 4.9 million customers in the Tri-State area and manages over $300 billion in deposits and investments with over 10,000 associates and advisors. As the Division Director, she defines frameworks for bankers and advisors, driving transformative initiatives to develop strategies to enhance and evolve the client experience.

Previously, Ms. Oden was an executive member at Merrill Lynch, where she spent eight years in several leadership roles. Her most recent role was Market Executive of the flagship New York Fifth Avenue Market, the firm’s largest market with more than 250 advisors serving high-net-worth individuals and institutions with over $35 billion in assets under management. Prior to that, she was Head of Advisor Strategy and Development, responsible for coaching the firm’s 14,000 advisors and leading initiatives designed to recruit and train the next generation, and before that, Head of Global Product Strategy & Business Development where she oversaw the team’s new product business development supporting all channels within Global Wealth & Investment Management.

Before Merrill Lynch, Ms. Oden spent over ten years at UBS in various senior capacities including Managing Director Head of Global Product Internal Sales, Managing Director of Client Experience for Banking, and Head of Merger & Acquisition Integration. Additionally, she served as the Senior Vice President of Client Services and earlier as Chief of Staff for the President of UBS. She took her first Wall Street job as an associate in equity trading at Morgan Stanley in 1997. Ms. Oden serves on the Board of Directors for the Apollo Theater, and the National Board of Directors for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Ms. Oden holds a B.A. in Political Science from James Madison University and an M.B.A. from Hampton University. Ms. Oden is a resident of the North Shore of Long Island, NY, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Alicia Levine
Change Maker of the Year Award

Alicia Levine, Ph.D., Chief Strategist & Managing Director, BNY Mellon Investment Management

Alicia Levine is the Chief Strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management. She is one of the firm’s most authoritative voices for market analysis and compelling investment outlook. Her audiences include global retail and institutional distribution teams, senior management, the investment boutiques, clients and prospects. She is a regular on-the-record source, live broadcast commentator and breaking news analyst for a variety of media outlets including Associated Press, Barron’s, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Financial Times, Fox Business News, New York Times, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Yahoo! Finance. She has also been the cover feature on Kiplinger’s annual “Where to Invest” issue.

Alicia provides frequent, insightful and timely market commentaries along with original content that translates complex economic concepts into actionable investment strategy and portfolio positioning decisions. She identifies macro themes, policy choices, and economic factors that affect global asset classes. Alicia is a crucial link between BNYM’s investment and distribution teams and is the go-to person for client-facing economic analysis and market strategy.

Alicia joined the firm in 2016 from Angelo, Gordon and Co., the multi-strategy alternative asset manager, where she was the Director of Communications. Previously, she was a research analyst and then portfolio manager at Bentley Capital Management where she invested in public equities and built long/short portfolios for clients.

Alicia received her B.A. from Brown University and earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. In addition, she was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from Stanford University, a post-doctoral fellowship from Harvard University and a research fellowship from the Hoover Institution.

Michelle Meyer

Change Maker of the Year Award

Michelle Meyer, Head of US Economics, BofA Securities

Michelle Meyer is a managing director and Head of U.S. Economics at BofA Global Research. Based in New York, she provides timely analysis of economic data and Federal Reserve policy announcements to the sales force and traders. She is responsible for providing the firm’s U.S. economic forecasts, including the outlook for GDP, inflation and Federal Reserve policy. Meyer’s broad research interest include macroeconomics, public policy and the housing market.

Prior to joining BofA Securities in May 2010, Meyer was a senior U.S. economist at Barclays Capital, and she started her career on the U.S. economics team at Lehman Brothers. While at Lehman Brothers, she developed a strong following for her housing outlook, warning about the risks of excess in the housing market. Then in 2012, she called the turn higher in home prices.

Meyer earned a bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) and a master’s degree, both in economics, at Boston University. Meyer and team have ranked among the top three economics teams by the Institutional Investor All America Fixed-Income Research Survey for the last three years. She was named by Forbes Magazine as one of 30 under 30 in finance in 2011 and a Rising Star by the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society in 2012.

Meyer is co-chair of BofA’s Women’s Leadership Council and a member of the Economics Club of New York. She is a frequent commentator on news media outlets, including CNBC and Bloomberg TV, and is often cited in print and online media. (For more information about any awards cited, visit http://go.bofa.com/awards).

Nell Braxton Gibson
Social Justice Award

Nell Braxton Gibson, Author and Civil Rights Pioneer

Nell Braxton Gibson has spent her life committed to the fight for social justice. Born in the southern United States, Nell Braxton Gibson is the elder of two daughters of professional educators. She and her sister grew up as faculty brats on Black College campuses in Texas, Florida and Mississippi.

In Florida Mrs. Gibson and her sister, Rosemary became close friends of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, their mentor and teacher. In Mississippi, in the 1950s their parents, lifetime members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), worked with Civil Rights Leader, Medgar Evers, on increasing membership in the Mississippi NAACP. In the early 1960s, Mrs. Gibson, who lost a friend to murder and lived less than sixty miles from Money, Mississippi where fourteen-year-old, Emmett Till was lynched, became inspired by the stand of Rosa Parks and that of Autherine Lucy in the neighboring state of Alabama.

Dr. Gibson was the first woman to serve on the board of trustees at Yale University’s Berkeley Divinity School and was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree for her work in bringing more women and people of color onto the board. Dr. Gibson is listed in the “Who’s Who Among African Americans.”

While engaged in social justice work Nell Gibson joined members of the Interfaith Council for Corporate Responsibility in its work to dismantle apartheid in southern Africa. Archbishop Desmond Tutu appointed her a member of his steering committee of international religious leaders, who helped design a five-year plan to dismantle apartheid.

Author of Too Proud to Bend, Nell Gibson chronicles her life as a young black girl during this tumultuous era in history—and the pain, disappointment, and loss that paved the way to the dawning of the civil rights movement.

Precious Williams
Inspiration Award

Precious Williams, CEO, Perfect Pitches by Precious, LLC

Have you ever met the full-figured diva who has taken the business world by storm and won BIG? Well now you have! Precious L. Williams, also affectionately known as the #KillerPitchMaster, can help you #slayallcompetition with her “killer” elevator pitches, media pitches, and investor pitches. Precious is a world class master communicator who works with successful entrepreneurs and speakers and helps them take their professional pitching and speaking skills to the next level. With over 25 years of experience in creating unique speaking and public speaking techniques, Williams is also known for her innovative training programs and services to her clients and sales teams at Fortune 100 companies. These companies include Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, eBay, etc.

As a 13-time national business elevator pitch champion, Williams has been on top television shows and publications for her pitching, branding, and professional speaking skills. She was featured on Season 8 of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Forbes Magazine, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, Wall Street Journal, the movie, “LEAP,” as well as several others around the world. In 2019, became a best-selling author of the #1 business book, “Bad Bitches with Power Pitches: For Women Entrepreneurs and Speakers Only” and has been featured on time square billboards, top podcasts and stages around the world.

The philosophy of her “killer” pitch is evident in the strategic and personalized creative communications and presentations solutions Williams puts forth. As serial entrepreneur, international professional speaker, and corporate trainer, Williams is equipped to bring life, authenticity, strategy, and boldness to all your oral and written communication needs.

Williams is a graduate of Spelman College and Rutgers School of Law. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. To learn more about Perfect Pitches by Precious, LLC, please visit: https://www.perfectpitchesbyprecious.com

Suzanne Siracuse
Panel Moderator

Suzanne Siracuse, Founder and CEO of Suzanne Siracuse Consulting Services, LLC

Suzanne Siracuse, Founder and CEO of Suzanne Siracuse Consulting Services, LLC, specializes in advising financial services firms on innovative business strategies, distinctive marketing programs and impactful advocacy initiatives.

Ms. Siracuse is the former CEO and Publisher of InvestmentNews where she oversaw the vision and strategic direction for all their platforms including print, digital, events and research.

Ms. Siracuse had been with InvestmentNews since its launch in 1998, and formerly held the position of Advertising Sales Director and Associate Publisher before being named Publisher in January of 2006.

Under her leadership, InvestmentNews launched initiatives to support the evolution of the financial advice profession, specifically in the areas of Women’s Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion, Innovation, NextGen and Financial Literacy.

An industry thought-leader, she is a sought-after speaker and moderator on topics ranging from investing and leadership to financial literacy and fintech.

Ms Siracuse is also a founding member of the Invent Elite consulting consortium, which focuses on developing, launching, branding and operationally supporting broad based technology initiatives for financial services firms.

In addition, Ms. Siracuse is also the Chair of the Board for the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation, is a Board member and strategic advisor for Whealthcare Planning LLC, is a board member at The American College State Farm Center for Women and a board member of the non-profit, Savvy Ladies.

Ms. Siracuse is an active volunteer at the Animal Rescue Fund in East Hampton, NY and an advocate for the humane treatment of animals.

She holds a BS in Business from Rider University. She, and her husband, Lee reside in New York City.

Dr. Kelli Keough

Dr. Kelli Keough, Head of Digital and Client Solutions for U.S. Wealth Management, JPMorgan Chase

Dr. Kelli Keough is the Head of Digital and Client Solutions for U.S. Wealth Management at JPMorgan Chase. She leads end-to-end client experience across the Wealth Management spectrum, including core digital and relationship experiences, wealth products, retirement solutions, women and investing strategies, and You InvestSM, J.P. Morgan’s self-directed brokerage platform. Prior to this role, Dr. Keough was Global Head of Digital Wealth Management where she led the digital transformation for Wealth Management including the launch of You InvestSM. Based in New York, she’s a member of the U.S Wealth Management Leadership Team and has served as the Executive Sponsor for Women on the Move–AWM.

Before joining J.P. Morgan in 2015, Dr. Keough was a Senior Vice President at Charles Schwab, where she led the business and client experience, digital platforms and education for Schwab’s active trading, self-directed and global trading clients. She was also responsible for optionsXpress, a leading retail derivatives firm, sat on the Charles Schwab Retail Leadership Team, and was responsible for the Austin location, a high-growth, strategic location for Schwab. Prior to this role, Dr. Keough served as Chief Marketing Officer at CyberTrader, where she led the merger of CyberTrader into Schwab.

Before coming to Schwab, Dr. Keough worked with a variety of startup and financial service companies. Dr. Keough was a Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin before starting her 22-year career in financial services.

After growing up in Northern Idaho, Dr. Keough received her bachelor’s degree with honors from Yale, and her master’s degree and doctorate in Social Psychology from Stanford. Dr. Keough lives in Scarsdale, New York with her husband, son and daughter.