Valerie Irick Rainford

Valerie Irick Rainford

Founder & CEO, Elloree Talent Strategies

If passion and purpose are the currency of business, then Valerie Rainford has a lifetime of wealth from which to draw. A triumphant businesswoman who led elite groups at two of Wall Street’s premier banking institutions, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), Rainford has decades of results-driven leadership experience. Rainford’s career is loaded with firsts. She became the youngest officer promoted in FRBNY history, and the most senior black woman and the first black woman Senior Vice President. At JPMC, Rainford created and led the company’s global Advancing Black Leaders strategy. The firm increased black leadership by over 50% in less than three years under her oversight, developing a system that now serves as the corporate model for other organizations committed to advancing racial equity. Now the founder of Elloree Talent Strategies, a talent advisory firm for C-suite executives on Advancing Diverse Talent, her methodology builds upon past experience and proven results in driving greater diversity in business. Rainford partners with CEOs to scale the impact of getting more black and brown leaders in senior positions by looking at their lifecycle of people data and assessing where and why people of color are being left behind. Elloree’s approach is business-focused and data-driven, arming leaders with tangible solutions that move the needle. Rainford penned an award-winning memoir Until the Brighter Tomorrow: One Woman’s Courageous Climb from the Projects to the Podium and has been featured by Inclusion and mentioned by Forbes and Black Enterprise magazines. Rainford is Board Secretary of the Executive Leadership Council, and a Fordham University Trustee. She and her husband Tony of 37 years live in Florida.

1:00 pm - 2:20 pm

Afternoon Plenary

What's Next for DEI + Belonging? What Can You Do Next to Build a Culture of Belonging in the Region?