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5 Questions With Lebone Moses ˊ02
Lebone Moses ’02 is passionate about empowering people and communities to create positive change, a mission that is powered by her personal experiences as an African-American woman and first-generation American. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Moses watched her parents —immigrants from Guyana — work their way up in their respective fields. Here, she shares her own journey from Bentley student to public accountant and business owner to new member of the university’s board of trustees.
You’ve had an interesting career as a corporate executive, business strategist, coach, angel investor and entrepreneur. What tied those roles together?
I spent 17 years in corporate America in leadership roles with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Fidelity Investments. My career focus progressed from auditing to consulting to data privacy to risk management to cybersecurity. Leveraging my corporate experience, I started my own business, Chisara Ventures Inc., which provides business consulting services to entrepreneurs, for-profit start-up businesses and non-profit businesses, including organizational strategies, leadership strategies, capital raising strategies and executive coaching. In each role in my career, what propelled my success was the ability to develop strategies that solve key business problems.
You believe strongly in empowering others. How did this develop?
I am passionate about empowering people, organizations and communities to create positive change in society. I am an African-American woman and first-generation American. My parents come from the West Indies, specifically Guyana, South America. So I understand firsthand the systemic barriers and biases that create disparities in our society and the limitations those disparities place on our progression as a society. I have a passion for doing my part and empowering others to do their part to help close the gaps, promote equity and ensure inclusiveness.
Why did you decide to attend Bentley?
I chose Bentley because it felt most like home when I visited campus. Thanks to Dr. Earl Avery, I was awarded a full-tuition scholarship, which made it affordable for me. I was initially an International Business major but changed to Accounting and Information Systems after a summer program at PricewaterhouseCoopers following my sophomore year. There, I met several PwC partners and employees who were not traditional accountants. I realized that the field of accounting was much more diverse than I had thought, and I grew interested in the field of information technology audit.
Since graduating, you’ve served Bentley in many ways, including as a member of the Business Advisory Council, Multicultural Center volunteer, recruiting volunteer for Career Services and Reunion Committee member. Why have you remained so involved?
I believe it is important to reach back and pull others up as you rise and to give back into the communities that poured into you. Bentley is one of those communities for me. It provided me with a buffet of resources and opportunities to learn and grow. Many of those opportunities came through partnerships with professional organizations such as the National Association of Black Accountants. NABA professionals provided mentorship, taught me how to network and gave me strategies to succeed in business -- all while I was a student at Bentley. Because of the buffet of professional experiences I had at Bentley, I had corporate executives as mentors before I even graduated. So now that I am a business executive, it is imperative for me to reach back and pour into Bentley so other students can benefit from me.
Congratulations on your election to Bentley’s board of trustees. Why are you excited to join?
I became interested in being a trustee during my first year at Bentley, when I met a trustee named Tanya Hairston (Class of ’95) as she networked with students on campus. I was enamored by her passion for us and began to ask her questions about being a trustee. I remember walking away from that conversation knowing that I wanted to become a Bentley trustee, too, someday.
I believe we all have a responsibility to make a positive difference wherever we can and to aspire to have the greatest possible impact. Becoming a trustee allows me to make a positive difference at the university’s highest level. As a businesswoman, I bring thought leadership from the perspective of a corporate executive, entrepreneur, investor and business coach. As a community servant, I bring a heart for the success of the university, its students and the communities they will impact. As a 2002 graduate, I bring the perspective of both a past Bentley student and an actively engaged alumna. As a 39-year-old African-American woman, first-generation American and the youngest trustee on the board, I bring diversity of vision, thought, strategy and experiences from a cultural, ethnic, gender and generational perspective. My election to the board speaks volumes about Bentley’s commitment to diversity and equity in inclusion, setting a tone from the top down.