President of Holland America Line Orlando D. Ashford has just been elected chair of The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the national organization composed of current and former black CEOs, senior executives, entrepreneurs, global thought leaders and board members of Fortune 1000 and equivalent companies. Ashford’s term as chair will extend through December 31, 2018.
“After serving on the board of The ELC for many years, most recently as vice chair, I am honored and eager to join the new slate of board directors in serving ELC members and significantly expanding our reach and impact,” Ashford said. “For 30 years The ELC has worked tirelessly to build a strong channel of global black leaders. As we extend our influence to black leaders globally, we look forward to welcoming new thinking and ideas that will help us increase the representation of men and women of color in leadership roles worldwide.”
The ELC focuses on the organization and development of a pipeline of global clack executive for C-suites, corporate boards and global enterprises to leverage the full power of diversity and inclusion. Ashford is succeeding Rhonda R. Mims, senior vice president and chief public affairs officer at WellCare Health Plans Inc., who served as the ELC board chair throughout 2016, which also marked the ELC’s 30th anniversary.
As Holland America Line president, Ashford oversees sales, marketing, revenue management, deployment, itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations and strategy. Prior to his time at Holland America, Ashford earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Purdue University in organizational leadership and industrial technology, respectively. He was president of the Talent Business Segment of the global consulting firm Mercer, senior vice president and chief human resources and communications officer at Marsh & McLennan Companies as well as having previously held executive positions at The Coca-Cola Co. and Motorola Inc.
An accomplished author, Ashford’s recent book Talentism examines how technology and human networks can bridge skill gaps, enhance business performance and improve society. Ashford also sits on the board of ITT Corp. and Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Seattle Chapter.
The executive committee of The Executive Leadership Council board of directors includes Donna M. Wilson of Johnson & Johnson as vice chair, Jeffrey G. Webster of Exxon Mobil Corporation as secretary, and Gregory E. Deavens of MassMutual Financial Group as treasurer.