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United Way Launches J. Mason Davis Leadership Society

By Pat Byington

On October 3, the United Way of Central Alabama will launch The J. Mason Davis Leadership Society in honor of Mason Davis, one of Birmingham’s most revered attorneys and the first African American to serve as Chairman of the Board for United Way of Central Alabama.

The mission of the J. Mason Davis Leadership Society is to bring together African American changemakers who champion diversity and opportunity, and are striving to positively impact the community through a shared affinity for philanthropy, volunteerism, and advocacy.

“In honoring Attorney Davis, we hope to build awareness and increase the level of African American leadership donors who give to improve the quality of life for Central Alabama residents,” according to a statement by the United Way of Central Alabama about the new group.

The launch reception is at The Red Mountain Theatre Company Cabaret. The event includes music, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres.

Davis has been elected president of the Birmingham Bar Association, bar commissioner of the Alabama State Bar, elected chairman of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce as well as chair of United Way of Central Alabama.

He was elected as a member of three boards of directors of corporations whose stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. “As a lawyer you must present yourself in a way your client is proud to have retained you to represent them,” Davis said. “You must always exemplify high character and trustworthiness. You must always represent the law and yourself.”

Membership benefits in the J. Mason Davis Leadership Society include networking receptions with top executives from leading corporations, volunteer projects with a focus on issues facing underserved African American groups and creating change through new and exciting opportunities.

Headlining the launch event will be JPMorgan Chase’s Sekou Kaalund, Head of Advancing Black Pathways, an initiative designed to have a sustainable impact on the economic success and empowerment of black communities, as the event’s keynote speaker.

Kaalund has served for 11 years in JPMorgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank in numerous leadership positions—including Head of U.S. Pension Fund Coverage and as a senior relationship manager for some of the firm’s largest clients. Kaalund began his J.P. Morgan career in 2007 as Managing Director and Global Head of Sales for Private Equity and Real Estate Fund Services.

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