CLEMSON — Charlotte Hornets President Fred Whitfield will be the guest speaker at The President’s Forum on Inclusive Excellence Oct. 26 at Clemson University.

Fred Whitfield

Fred Whitfield

This is the first in a planned series of twice-yearly forums with corporate executives and higher education leaders who have track records of building successful, inclusive organizations.

The President’s Forum was suggested by Lee Gill, Clemson’s chief inclusion and equity officer and special assistant to the president for inclusive excellence. The Forums’ theme is the high value placed on inclusiveness by successful CEOs and their organizations.

The Forum will be held at 12:30 p.m. at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts and is free of charge to Clemson students, employees and the public.

The corporate world has long understood the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workforce, Gill said. Inclusive excellence and multicultural competence are seen as keys to promoting innovation, creative problem-solving and competing in the global marketplace. “As one expert said, ‘Diversity is a catalyst, not just a slogan’ in creating successful organizations.”

Whitfield’s storied career exemplifies this vision. A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, he brings a portfolio that includes the Jordan Brand, a division of Nike Inc.; the Washington Wizards; Nike Basketball; Falk Associates Management Enterprises (F.A.M.E.); and a private law practice. He also oversees all business operations for the Charlotte Hornets and Time Warner Cable Arena.

Over the last year, Whitfield has led successful efforts to land the 2017 NBA All-Star Game and obtain $40 million for renovations to the Time Warner Cable Arena. Other recent accomplishments include securing the 2019 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament and hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

“Creating a diverse and inclusive environment is critical to the long-term success of Clemson,” Clemson President James P. Clements said. “The Forum plays an essential role in that effort by serving as a vehicle for celebrating the value of inclusive excellence to the university, We are honored to have Fred Whitfield, one of the most accomplished sports executives in the country, as our speaker.”

The President’s Forum is a rare and valuable opportunity for members of the Clemson community and the region to benefit from the experience, insights and wisdom of a modern-day legend, according to Gill.

More information is posted online.