Council of Urban Professionals Hosts 7th Annual Leadership Gala Honoring Diverse Leaders in Business

Morgan Stanley Executive Gregory Fleming, NBC News Anchor Natalie Morales and Target Corporation Among Honorees

NEW YORK--()--The Council of Urban Professionals is hosting its 7th Annual Leadership Gala at Cipriani on 110 East 42nd Street today, April 17, 2014. The event recognizes prominent leaders of color from some of the most powerful companies in the country as well as civic leaders who have made a significant impact on their community.

Surrounded by dozens of executives from Fortune 500 companies, including Morgan Stanley, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, American Express, and Disney, Former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. presented Gregory Fleming, President of Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Wealth Management, with the New York City Vision Leadership Award and TODAY news anchor Savannah Guthrie presented the Breakthrough Leadership Award to NBC anchor Natalie Morales. Carol Evans, President and founder of Working Mother Media, presented the Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Award to Target, Inc. Kim Strong, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

“We are proud to honor Greg Fleming, Natalie Morales and Target tonight for their outstanding commitment to promoting the importance and advantages of diverse leadership at the highest levels of their organizations,” said James Francis, CUP Board Chairman. “At CUP, we believe that it's easier to be what you can see. Fortunately, Morgan Stanley, NBC Universal and Target are committed to making sure that their decision-making tables reflect our city and our country’s diversity. We recognize and celebrate each of these honorees.”

”I am honored to receive this award and to highlight the important work CUP does to advance diversity in the executive suites across so many different industries. As one of the world’s leading multicultural cities, New York offer a rich talent pool, and organizations like Morgan Stanley benefit greatly from CUP’s ongoing programs to develop the leaders of tomorrow,” said Gregory Fleming.

Started 7 years ago in a New York City living room, CUP’s mission is to connect, empower and mobilize the next generation of diverse business leaders through a series of forums, leadership development programs and peer networks.

“Tonight we recognize the diverse leaders who are shaping our future,” said Michelle Pullaro, CUP Interim Executive Director. “Thanks to the support of our board, corporate partners, members, and other guests, together we are enabling diverse and women leaders to make a collective impact in their careers, organizations, and communities.”

Gala Chair Colbert Narcisse, Global Head of Alternatives at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, said, “Thanks to our sponsors’ support, CUP will be able to continue creating stronger connections and opportunities for diverse professionals to ascend to top leadership roles.”

Past gala honorees include former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett and ballerina Misty Copeland, the first African-American female soloist for the American Ballet Theatre.

For the full list of CUP Gala Sponsors, visit the Council of Urban Professionals’ website.


The Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) connects, empowers and mobilizes the next generation of diverse business and civic leaders. Founded in 2007, CUP is a 21st century leadership development organization with over 1,500 individual members, a national network of 20,000 and 65 corporate partners spanning the financial services, law, media & entertainment, digital & technology, non-profit, and public sectors. Through a series of forums, leadership development programs and peer networks, CUP empowers aspiring diverse professionals to develop connections, opportunities and expertise that best position them for top leadership roles, resulting in transformative impact on our communities.

For more information about CUP, visit


Ross Adair, 646-517-1810


Ross Adair, 646-517-1810