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Congratulating Esther Silver-Parker

Rep. Kendrick B. Meek

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Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to recognize and extend my congratulations to Esther Silver-Parker as she retires from a trailblazing career as one of America's top African-American female corporate executives. Her reputation as a consensus builder and advocate for diversity has won her many accolades and honors for her commitment to practical solutions in today's global economy.

A vocal champion of equal opportunity access to healthcare, education, and employment, Esther Silver-Parker was most recently Wal-Mart's Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs. Responsible for strategic-planning and management, Silver-Parker focused on the company's relationships with stakeholders in emerging markets, small businesses, and entrepreneurial initiatives. Prior to joining Wal-Mart, Silver-Parker served as Vice President of Corporate Affairs at AT&T, and President of the AT&T Foundation. She also directed AT&T's National Constituency Relations, Issues Management and Corporate Social Responsibility Programs.

Silver-Parker's excellence in corporate leadership, however, is unmatched by her dedication to compassionate and impactful service at both the national and international levels. She has served as President of the International Women's Forum and has traveled to the Congo, Burundi, and Kenya with the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church to study health conditions and quality of life of women and children. She is a frequent speaker on issues pertaining to women, diversity, corporate social responsibility and strategic philanthropy.

Throughout her journey, Esther Silver-Parker has mentored countless young people and has made it a personal priority to extend her individual and professional success into many communities. Her work on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has made a lasting impact in the lives of African-American students, teachers, parents, and schools.

Esther has received numerous awards, including the Ebony Magazine Award for Outstanding Women in Corporate Marketing, the Congressional Black Caucus Unsung Hero Award, the DECA Award for outstanding businesswoman, New York City Gus D'Amato Community Service Award, the Atlanta Business League's Outstanding Corporate Person Award, the National AIDS Fund's Leadership Award, the Asian Pacific Islanders Women's Leadership Starfish Award, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. President's Award, Northwest Arkansas' Just Communities Humanitarian of the Year Award, The Links Spirit Award, the 100 Black Men of America Excellence Award, The Diversity Advocate Award and The Corporate Excellence Award from the National Action Network.

I am immensely grateful for Esther Silver-Parker's selflessness and dedication, and deeply honored to call her my friend.