Business Commencement Speakers Are Leaders in Diversity Advocacy and in Food as a Human Right

Carol Fulp, a leader in enhancing regional competitiveness by creating opportunities for professionals of diverse backgrounds, and Catherine D’Amato, a tireless advocate for the hungry for more than three decades, are the speakers for the 2017 Sawyer Business School commencement ceremonies.

D’Amato, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank, will speak at the graduate program ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Westin Copley Place, Boston.

Fulp, president and CEO of The Partnership, will address undergraduates at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 21, at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on the Boston waterfront.

“We look forward to listening as these outstanding leaders share with our graduates their observations about the state of business, social, and civic life in Boston, America and the world,” said Suffolk University Acting President Marisa Kelly.

Carol Fulp

At The Partnership, Inc., Carol Fulp works to enhance New England competitiveness by attracting, developing, retaining, and convening professionals of diverse backgrounds. She introduced a leadership development program to expand opportunities at the highest levels of corporations.

Before leading The Partnership, Fulp was senior vice president of corporate responsibility and brand management at John Hancock Financial., where she led the company’s marketing and sponsorships departments, while directing its $12 million philanthropic giving program. Under her leadership, the company created the largest corporate summer jobs program of its kind in the country and received the Points of Light Foundation’s Corporate Excellence Award. Previously, Fulp was the director of community programming and human resources for WCVB –TV, and she served as the corporate employee relations manager for the Gillette Company.

Fulp has served as a U.S. senior adviser to the 65th session of the U.N. General Assembly; Boston Public Library trustee; and as a member of the City of Boston Compensation Advisory Board and the State Treasurer’s Advisory Committee on Wage Equality.

Her civic involvement includes service on the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation. She is a founding co-chair of the Massachusetts Conference for Women, the largest professional women’s conference in the country.

Fulp, a graduate of the University of the State of New York, will be the recipient of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s distinguished citizen award this May. She has received many additional awards and honors, including the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award, Museum of African American History’s Living Legend Award, Anti-Defamation League’s Women of Valor Award, United Nations of Greater Boston Global Leaders Award, and South African Partners Corporate Citizen Award. Boston Business Journal has listed Fulp as one of the “50 Most Influential Bostonians,” and in 2015 Boston Magazine listed her as one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Boston.”

Catherine D'Amato

Catherine D’Amato, a leader in the nation's food bank network for 38 years, has led the Greater Boston Food Bank since 1995. Under her guidance, the organization’s food distribution has increased from the equivalent of 6.6 million to more than 48 million healthy meals annually. Today, the organization is a $90 million charitable food business with 530 member agencies. The Greater Boston Food Bank distributes enough food to feed more than 140,000 people every month across the 190 cities and towns in the nine counties of eastern Massachusetts.

She began her food business career at the age of 8 when her father, an Italian immigrant, opened a modest restaurant in Redding, California. He never turned away a hungry person in need, and his compassion and generosity continue to inspire D'Amato. She believes food is a basic human right and that no one should ever go hungry, which drives her vision for the Greater Boston Food Bank to end hunger here by increasing healthy food distribution to those in need.

D’Amato is nationally recognized in the food industry for leading and growing businesses and turnaround successes, including delivering double-digit compounded growth annually. She also is recognized for her work in the non-profit sector to advance and sustain mission-driven organizations through innovation and utilization of opportunities.

She serves on the board of trustees for Eastern Bank, board of directors of the Forsyth Institute, the Massachusetts Food Association, and the Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation. She recently ended her board service with the Boston Foundation, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Basic Health International.