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Commencement Speaker - Joan G. Wilmer

joan-wilmer-regalia.jpgCommencement Speaker

Joan G. Wilmer ’99, Rector
Norfolk State University Board of Visitors

Growth and change are the driving forces of Ms. Joan G. Wilmer’s career. By serving as a progressive thought leader, for 20+ years she has partnered with executive decision makers, investors, and functional stakeholders to navigate growth and change across complex, international organizations by implementing strategic programs that strengthen employee engagement, commitment, and performance.

Throughout Ms. Wilmer’s career, she has developed and delivered proactive HR solutions for identifying, securing, developing, and retaining top talent for new enterprises, struggling ventures, and existing operations that require an injection of efficiency and effectiveness.

The strategic programs Ms. Wilmer devises do not discriminate – they offer equal opportunity to anyone willing to invest themselves in a company’s mission. They meet the needs of complex business challenges within culturally diverse, high-performance organizations and enable end-to-end business continuity.

Career Highlights

Instrumental in crafting global HR solutions to support M&A integration for Citigroup (currently a focus at ViacomCBS).

  • Produced and enhanced leadership development programs that groomed future C-suite diversity across the U.S., Europe, APAC, and Africa.
  • Directed the largest and most successful strategic recruitment effort for newly constructed Caesar’s casino with 2,000 hires.
  • Created Citigroup’s “Employment of Choice” strategy, bridging talent gap post-apartheid in 13 South African countries.

An honor’s graduate of Norfolk State University, Ms. Wilmer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration that she obtained from the University of Texas with honors.

Ms. Wilmer served as a board member of The Norfolk State University Foundation, Incorporated and is a member of the following organizations: the Society of Human Resource Management, the National Black MBA Association, The Links, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Moreover, she founded the Joan K. Wilmer Memorial Foundation in honor of her late mother. The organization’s mission is to create opportunities and resources that make dreams of achieving higher education a reality, giving rise to developing minority leaders through mentoring and building stronger families in evolving communities.

Her commitment to excellence has been nationally recognized throughout the years, resulting in awards from Toyota (“President’s Award”), Citigroup (“Circle of Leadership Award”), EBONY Magazine (“Top 30 Under 30 Leaders”), DiversityInc Magazine (“Leaders Rising”), Baltimore Business Journal (“Top 40 Under 40 Leaders”), Black Enterprise Magazine (“On the Move”) among a host of others.

Yet, overall, Ms. Wilmer maintains an interest in passing along the lessons she learned from her humble beginnings. Growing up in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia to having lived in the world’s busiest cities, leveraging her experience to mentor rising women in business is a top priority in addition to advocating for various causes in her Hanover, Maryland community.