Paula A. Sneed and Courtney Bass

Paula A. Sneed (MBA 1977)

Paula A. Sneed spent nearly 30 years at General Foods and Kraft Foods in a variety of marketing, general management, and senior executive roles. For a number of years prior to retirement she was a member of the Kraft executive team, a 12-member group of the company's most senior leaders. As chief marketing officer, executive vice president, and president of two operating divisions, as well as executive vice president of the eCommerce division and executive vice president of Global Marketing Resources and Initiatives, Paula led teams that grew the company's iconic brands.

Today Paula is the chairperson and CEO of Phelps Prescott Group LLC (PPG), a strategy and management consultancy she cofounded in 2007. PPG couples strategic, operational, and organizational consulting with hands-on implementation support to help high-performing nonprofit organizations refocus, remove barriers, and accelerate their success.

Paula is a director of the Charles Schwab Corporation, TE Connectivity Ltd., The Family Independence Initiative, The Surge Institute, Turnaround for Children, and the New Schools Venture Fund. She was a founding partner of Social Venture Partners-Chicago and was a charter member of its executive board. She is a former director of Hercules Inc., Airgas Inc., Communispace Inc., Teach For America's national and Chicago regional boards, Right To Play, and the American Marketing Association. She is also a former trustee of Simmons College, Chicago Children's Museum, and the Illinois Institute of Technology, as well as a former member of the Harvard Business School Visiting Committee.

Paula's more than 50-year commitment to civil rights, social service, and educational nonprofits was nurtured by her parents and fueled by exposure to national and local civil rights leaders and social activists during the 1950s and '60s. An activist in college, Paula spent six years after college working in addiction, health care, and social service programs in Boston. A lifelong volunteer, mentor, and coach to students and young adults, Paula's nonprofit board service spans almost 40 years.

Paula earned a BA from Simmons College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition to receiving an honorary doctorate degree in business administration from Johnson and Wales University, she has been recognized for her leadership and accomplishments by Fortune, Black Enterprise, Working Mother, and Ebony magazines and by numerous business and civic organizations.

She is married to Lawrence P. Bass, an electrical engineer and retired entrepreneur, who after retirement, taught physics and engineering in inner city Chicago public high schools for six years. They have an adult daughter, Courtney Bass (MBA 2010), who lives in Oakland, California.

Courtney Bass (MBA 2010)

As an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, Courtney has spent her career developing and implementing strategies that both individuals and teams can leverage for meaningful collaboration and growth. She is currently an HR business partner at Google, where she coaches and advises leaders on how to manage and motivate their teams. Courtney began her career as an 11th grade English teacher through Teach For America and has worked as a nonprofit leader and a management consultant with Monitor Deloitte. Leading up to the 2008 Olympics, she founded a travel consultancy in Beijing and, in her spare time, had acting roles in a couple of Chinese soap operas. Courtney holds a BA in history from Harvard College, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a Certificate in Organizational Leadership and Coaching from Northwestern University.