Black History Month
History. Tradition. Community.
February is Black History Month.
Since 1926, and the creation of Negro History Week by Carter G. Woodson, the accomplishments of persons of African descent have been recognized each February. The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights is proud to present Future History Makers, a profile series featuring emerging leaders from the Twin Cities African American community who share our ideals of advancing civil rights and removing barriers to equity.
Honoring The Legacy
Lawyer and bank executive Cornell Leverette Moore was born on September 18, 1939 in Tignall, Georgia to Jesse L. and Luetta T. Moore. He received his B.A. degree from Virginia Union University in 1961 and his J.D. degree from Howard University School of Law in 1964. After receiving his law degree, Moore worked as a trust administrator for Crocker National Bank. In 1966, Moore became regional counsel for the Comptroller of Currency, U.S. Treasury Department. Moore then rejoined the commercial banking world, holding various prominent leadership positions for major banks and financial associations.
In 1986, Moore became part owner of the professional baseball team, the Minnesota Twins. In 1995, he joined the law firm of Dorsey and Whitney, LLP where he has represented major energy and natural resource companies. Moore has served on the boards of many organizations and universities including William Mitchell College of Law, Howard University, Virginia Union University, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, the Boy Scouts of America, Johnson C. Smith University and Dunwoody College of Technology. Moore also participates with Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, an association of legal employers with a single mission: to attract, recruit, advance, and retain attorneys of color in the Twin Cities community.
Moore is the recipient of many awards such as the Legacy Award from the Pan African Community Endowment, the Kappa Alpha Psi Distinguished Citizen Award, and the Child of America Award. Cornell Leverette Moore is married to Wenda Weekes Moore and has three children, Lynne, Jonathon and Meredith.
Celebrating The Future
Today’s Future History Maker understands the commitment and dedication of Mr. Moore. She also is dedicated to leading and empowering community. She is Irene Quarshie.
Irene Quarshie is the Vice President of Product Quality & Responsible Sourcing for Target Corporation. Quarshie began her career as a strategy and management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. She spent three years in the government affairs industry as a legislative analyst and political action committee manager. In 2005, Quarshie began her career with Target Corporation. At Target, She has held many leadership positions, including Senior Group Manager of Corporate Risk and Responsibility and Group Manager of Supplier Diversity. As a senior group manager, her responsibilities included; enterprise risk management, environmental sustainability, and reputation management. On the Supplier Diversity team, she led the strategy and execution of minority and woman-owned business development programs.
In 2009, Quarshie became Director of Government Affairs at Target. As Director, she administered the strategic management of all government affairs activities at state and local levels nationwide. Her team advanced public policy initiatives closely aligned with Target’s business and corporate reputation priorities. She also built and maintained relationships with key policy makers and third parties based on prioritized policy issues and proactive reputation management strategies.
Today, as Vice President of Product Quality & Responsible Sourcing, Quarhsie is responsible for Target’s product quality assurance efforts, ensuring products are made with ethics and integrity. She leads a global team of 350+ focused on all non-food, private label, product safety and quality assurance, product investigations, and recall, and responsible sourcing. She ensures that both, Target’s products and factory work conditions, are safe.
Quarshie is a highly revered cross-sector professional with Fortune 30 leadership experience including public affairs and corporate social responsibility. She holds a B.A. in political science from Adelphi University and Master’s in Public Policy from American University. Her graduate paper on juvenile justice was published in A Comparative Perspective on Major Social Problems. Among her many affiliations, she is a member of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable, Junior League of Minneapolis and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is currently the Board Chair of the YWCA of Minneapolis, and also serves on several Boards of Directors – Cowles Center for Performing Arts, Meet Minneapolis, and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Most Rewarding Work Experience
In my first role at Target, I was able to build public-private partnerships in the Twin Cities and across the nation. These partnerships were focused on enhancing relationships with law enforcement and communities in which Target operates. Our collective efforts established “safe cities” by leveraging technology and old fashion community engagement. It was the authentic “on the ground, get your hands dirty” type of work that had great impact.
Later, as Director of Government Affairs, I really got to know the state of Minnesota in depth and forged relationships with policy makers and community. I participated in several Inter-City Leadership visits hosted by the St. Paul and Minneapolis Regional Chambers of Commerce. As a Minnesota transplant, these opportunities allowed me to become aware of and understand issues impacting the Twin Cities. It also inspired me to become more active in the community, which is when I joined several boards such as the YWCA of Minneapolis and Hennepin-Carver County Workforce Investment Board.
Now, I am in a position where I can meaningfully impact millions of lives globally. It’s a truly rewarding and awesome challenge.
Advice for Future Leaders in Private Sector
Take risks – I took a major risk when I left my career in consulting to come work for Target, but it has paid off tremendously. Also, seek out opportunities, and work hard when those opportunities arrive. This work is not for the faint at heart. It takes commitment and dedication; you have to be willing to put in the effort. Additionally, build and nurture a network of coaches and mentors. It really does take a village…and good timing.
Beacons of Leadership
The blessing of Minnesota is there are so many amazing leaders to learn and draw from. I am fortunate to be able to know many of these people. When I first joined the board of the YWCA, Velma Korbel was the board chair. I learned a lot from how she led the board and managed important issues facing the organization. Becky Roloff, who is YWCA’s President & CEO, also inspired me. She established a blossoming career in the private sector and now reminds us all of the importance of giving back. The YWCA Board is chalk-full of impressive leaders and I’ve learned tidbits from many of them.
At Target, there have been many leaders, mentors and sponsors that I’ve watched and learned from afar and have also been blessed to work with to help hone my leadership skills. Target has a long track record of grooming great leaders. Over the course of my 10 years at the company, I’ve had numerous opportunities to practice, develop and grow.
And, of course, my family will always be my anchor. They encourage, inspire, and motivate me daily.
- Silver Springs, Maryland
- Adelphi University, B.A.
- American University, MPP