Nashville, TN (March 30, 2012) – Bass, Berry & Sims held its fourth annual Salute to African-American Executives & Emerging Leaders on March 7 in honor of the contributions made by African-American executives and community leaders in Middle Tennessee.
Teresa M. Sebastian, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary with Darden Restaurants in Orlando, Florida, served as the event's keynote speaker. In her remarks, Sebastian reminded the audience of attorneys, business leaders and political officials of their obligation to act as a fiduciary. "We all have a duty to take care of our customers and employees," said Sebastian. "As business people, we should always strive to leave a situation or a client better off than we found them. If we can accomplish that, we will be successful."
Sebastian also noted that there are numerous examples of leaders who fail in their fiduciary duty (i.e. Enron), but she was able to experience at least one example where our government leaders met their fiduciary obligation and acted honorably this past November when they awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the nearly 20,000 African-Americans who trained at Montford Point, a blacks-only area at Camp Lejeune. Sebastian's father, Reverend Archibald Mosley, PhD, was one of the Marines who received this prestigious award for his military service during World War II.
To honor the contributions made by African-American executives and community leaders in Middle Tennessee, Bass, Berry & Sims presented scholarships totaling $5,000 to two outstanding Fisk University students intending to pursue legal careers. This year's recipients were Stephanie Huff, a senior political science major, and Jazmyn Frye, a senior majoring in English.
"We are delighted to help further the career goals of two of the best and brightest students at Fisk," said Alonda McCutcheon, a member at Bass, Berry & Sims. This is the firm's fourth year to provide scholarships to students attending Fisk University.
As a member of Darden's executive team and the chief legal officer of the company, Sebastian oversees Darden's legal affairs and internal audit. Darden is the world's largest full-service restaurant operating company with annual sales of more than $7.5 billion. The company owns and operates 1900 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie V's restaurants in North America.
The event was hosted by the African-American Affinity Group (3AG) at Bass, Berry & Sims. The 3AG was formed as a forum for African-American attorneys at the firm to exchange ideas and information relevant to their unique experiences as minority attorneys.