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The National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA), a nonprofit membership association dedicated to bridging the opportunity gap for Black professionals in the accounting, finance, and related business professions, is continuing its work to bridge existing gaps for people of color— particularly women– in the accounting and finance industry.
The organization recently announced the selection of Guylaine Saint Juste as president and CEO. Saint Juste succeeds Walter J. Smith.
“As the CEO of NABA, Inc., we are reimagining how our next 50 years will look as we continue to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, not only in the accounting and financial sector but in corporate America,” Saint Juste said in an email. “We have made great progress, but there is a long journey ahead of us as we strive to attain fair and equitable representation.”
Guylaine formerly worked as the managing director, Employer of Influence Strategy at Year Up. This nonprofit organization provides students of color the opportunity to experience careers in business and technology.
“Guylaine is a transformational leader who will lead NABA into the next 50 years,” NABA, Inc. board chairman Herschel Frierson remarked in a news release. “We are excited and honored to have Guylaine lead this great Association we love. Her skills, dedication, and commitment will build upon the already solid foundation of ‘Lifting As We Climb.’”
At NABA, Saint Juste plans to design and execute the organization’s multi-year strategic plan. She will provide primary oversight for NABA’s national office in Greenbelt, Maryland.
A Haitian-American, Saint Juste has more than 25 years of experience in financial services. She has served as the Business Banking Virginia Market Executive with Capital One Bank. At Year Up, she increased revenue by over 30 percent, doubled the number of students in the program, and grew corporate partnerships by 31 percent.
NABA officials are expecting more of the same from Saint Juste.
“We are dedicated to bridging the wealth and income gap in America by creating initiatives that build a pipeline to increase representation in the field,” Saint Juste said. “Representation at every level is important. NABA will continue to create dynamic and game-changing programming that supports the development of 21st-century skills that foster the promotion and advancement of Black leaders and identify innovative paths to increase representation in the C-Suite and beyond.”
She noted that companies play a significant role in bridging the gap in the accounting and financial industry.
“Along with our partners that are committed to diversity and inclusion, we offer ever-evolving programs, networking opportunities, scholarships, and meaningful career connections to our members,” Saint Juste said. Saint Juste also touted the Women of NABA Network (WONN) as a means to helping achieve the organization’s goals. The WONN is a professional and personal development program focused on our women members.
“Our Women of NABA Network equips women with the needed tools to achieve their goals while navigating the challenges of being a professional woman in today’s world,” Saint Juste said.
NABA officials called Guylaine a leader in the boardroom for her executive roles and her activist spirit. They said she fights issues in the industry such as tackling colorism in the workforce, the “four-year degree required” for entry-level to middle-skills jobs, pedigree as a barrier to advancement for opportunity youth, and the interdependence of equity and economic mobility.
“I am honored to join NABA Nation and look forward to serving this great organization,” Guylaine said. “I welcome the opportunity to connect with many as we chart the path for the next five years.”