Executive Biographies

Sylvia Slaon Black

Sylvia Sloan Black, Ph.D., BCC, President


Dr. Sylvia Sloan Black is the founder and president of Black Star Strategies, Inc..She is also an adjunct executive coach at the Center for Creative Leadership, a top-ranked global provider of leadership education. She earned her doctoral degree in strategic management from Columbia University. She also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Kansas, an M.S. in computer science from the University of North Carolina and a B.S. in physics from Howard University where she earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She is a Board Certified Coach.

Dr. Black has held faculty positions at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University where she taught courses in strategic management, international business, and strategic innovation in the undergraduate and MBA programs. At Kenan-Flagler she also taught an MBA elective in international strategic alliances and an MBA elective focusing on doing business in Africa that culminated in a two-week trip to Africa. In addition, Dr. Black taught strategic management to mid level managers in the United States Postal Service’s Advanced Leadership Program from 1999 to 2006. Dr. Black has held industry positions in both operations management and finance. 

Dr. Black has made numerous presentations at academic conferences and has published articles on executive leadership, competition, strategic alliances, and training leaders in scholarly journals including Journal of High Technology Management, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Executive, International Journal of Learning and Change, Managerial and Decision Economics, Organization Management Journal, and Long Range Planning. Her professional affiliations include the Academy of Management, the Academy of International Business, the National Black MBA Association, and the Honor Societies of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi.

For her service as the first African-American and first female chairperson of the Board of Visitors of the United States Army War College, Carlisle, PA, Dr. Black was awarded the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award, the third highest honor the United States Department of the Army can bestow upon a civilian.

Dr. Black is an active community volunteer having served as a Red Cross volunteer, a Girl Scout leader, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, an officer of the Chapel Hill Service League and as President of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She currently serves as a member of the Boards of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, A Ban Against Neglect (ABAN) and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Delta Foundation and as a mentor in the Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate Program sponsored by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System. She is currently the chair of the North Carolina Synod Candidacy Committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and also serves on the Capital Campaign Committee of the ELCA.

Frederick H. Black, Senior Vice President


Frederick H. Black is a management consultant specializing in leadership and organizational development for corporations, public, and non-profit organizations. Working with Fortune 500 clients in the health care, financial services, beverage, automotive, hotel, food service, and telecommunications industries, he has created and evaluated executive development programs, taught team building and small group leadership skills, and helped clients remove organizational barriers to achieving and maintaining excellence. He also helped develop a program to improve the education and training provided to new automobile dealers who had little or no prior experience in the industry. Additionally, he and his team helped prepare the new dealers to be able to maximize the opportunities offered by the program.

Black worked with a 23-state leadership focused national high school drop out program that inspires young men and women to gain the necessary skills to obtain a high school equivalency certificate and develop the self-discipline and other qualities necessary for successful employment. Black has also worked with scout groups and mentor-based community programs to develop ways to incorporate leadership development techniques into their training curriculum.

Black speaks on the subjects of leadership, strategic entrepreneurship, education, and national security to a variety of organizations and at educational institutions. Using the theme, “It’s All About Leadership,” corporate, educational, civic, church, and military organizations have heard him speak on leadership as a crucial component of organizational success. He also speaks on the leader-follower relationship, ethical leadership, leadership transition, and leaders as change agents. 

Prior to his retirement from the U.S. Army as a Colonel, Black served as an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Department of Social Sciences, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. A 1968 Distinguished Military Graduate of Howard University with a BA in Political Science, he received his graduate training in political science and public policy and administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. He has served in a variety of Infantry command and staff positions with Airborne and Light Infantry units in the continental United States, Hawaii, the Republic of South Vietnam, and the Republic of South Korea.

Black is an honor graduate of the Army's Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1989, he graduated from the National War College in Washington, DC where he also served as a visiting professor of National Security Policy. He has earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist wings and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. His other military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal with a 2d oak leaf cluster, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.

While at West Point, Black sat on the Faculty Council, chaired the Academy's Library Committee and its Human Resources Council, was president of his church council, served several years as the Scouting Coordinator for West Point, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Hudson-Delaware Council of the Boy Scouts of America. For his many contributions to Scouting in his community, he received the Silver Beaver Award in 1992. For the year prior to departing West Point in July of 1994, he was the president of the West Point-Highland Falls, New York Rotary Club.

He has formerly served as president of the North Carolina State Council of Chapters of The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), a member of the Boards of Directors of the Chapel Hill – Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, the North Carolina Synod of the ELCA Council, the Orange County Habitat for Humanity Leadership Committee, the Board of Directors of the Chapel Hill Community Action Network, and EmPOWERment, Inc., a community based housing non-profit, and as a member of the Orange County Habitat for Humanity Leadership Committee. He is also an active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, The Triangle Institute of Security Studies (TISS), Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and The Kappas of Durham Educational Foundation. He is the past president of the board of directors of his homeowners association, a member of the Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation Board, past treasurer of the Howard University Alumni Association of the Research Triangle, and he chaired the Chapel Hill Public Library Board of Trustees. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Cedars of Chapel Hill Retirement Community, and the Strowd Roses Foundation. He has a Presidential appointment as a member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.