Thursday, April 17, 2003

Obituary: LaVelle Bond

P&G executive championed diversity and excellence

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mr. Bond

O. LaVelle Bond, who helped Procter & Gamble win national awards for its diverse work force, died Sunday at Christ Hospital.

The retired vice president for P&G's Global Diversity and Human Resources Center of Expertise was 59.

As head of P&G's global diversity organization, Mr. Bond coordinated efforts to recruit, develop, retain and utilize a diverse worldwide work force.

"His commitment and character represented Procter & Gamble in what's best in leadership," said John Pepper, former P&G chairman. "He was the first vice president of diversity in Procter & Gamble history. He established that position.

"He had the highest aspirations and appreciation of what excellence meant in relationships and organizational capability," Pepper said.

Under Mr. Bond's leadership, P&G received the Opportunity 2000 Award, presented by the U.S. secretary of labor, the Corporate Leadership Award presented by the National Council of Negro Women, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education-Corporate Affirmative Action Award and the Catalyst Award for achievements in the advancement of women.

"There will only be one LaVelle Bond," said Joseph Rose a friend from Washington, D.C. "He was well loved and respected all over the country."

Mr. Bond, a resident of North Avondale, came from humble beginnings and a "family with very solid values that believed in the power of education and striving for excellence," said his friend and college roommate, the Rev. William H. Gray, president of the United Negro College Fund.

"He was a person with a big heart who was always willing to help people," he said. For example, he was liable to give a check to college students struggling to pay tuition, telling them to repay it whenever they could.

Approached by Dorothy Height, chairwoman and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women, with the idea of organizing the Black Family Reunion, he became a tireless supporter and advocate of the event.

Mr. Bond's community service included stints as trustee of the Community Chest (now United Appeal) and the Hamilton County Special Olympics, vice president of the board of trustees of the United Neighborhood Centers of America and president of the board of Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses.

He was chairman of the corporate advisory council of the National Council of Negro Women, and a member of the corporate advisory group of the African-African American Summit.

He was a member of the Child Abuse and Neglect Coordinating Council, Leadership Cincinnati Class 8, Black Executive Exchange Program of the National Urban League and Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, and a life member of the NAACP.

And he was a past Sire Archon of the Alpha Delta Boule Chapter of the Sigma Pi Phi fraternity.

Mr. Bond was born in Norfolk, Va., in 1943, and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1960 and from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., in 1964.

He majored in economics when there were no other African-Americans in the program.

In 1964, he married Barbara Briley and began his career at P&G in the Trenton, N.J., accounting office. Three years later, he moved his wife and daughter, Kelly Jaye Bond, to Cincinnati, where he became regional accounting supervisor in the general credit office.

Mr. Bond received an MBA from Xavier University in 1973 and a doctorate from Florida A&M, which recognized him as one of the "100 Most Influential FAMUans of the Century" in 1998.

He was on the board of Thomas More College and the board of advisors of the Xavier University School of Business. He was a trustee of the National Afro-American Museum Foundation and chairman of the conference board of the Council on Workforce Diversity.

He was president of O. LaVelle Bond & Associates, a consulting firm he founded after retiring from P&G in 2000.

A devout Christian, he was a member of Mount Zion Baptist Church, where he served as trustee and was a member of the Allegro Choir and the Men's Day Chorus.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Briley Bond; his daughter, Kelly Bond of Cincinnati; his mother, Evelyn Bond, and his sister, Clairene Billups, both of Norfolk.

A memorial service is 1 p.m. Saturday at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 10180 Woodlawn Ave. The remains will be cremated.

Memorials: Mount Zion Education Fund or Senior Citizens Ministry, c/o Mount Zion Baptist Church, 10180 Woodlawn Ave., Cincinnati 45215; or the O. LaVelle and Barbara Bond Endowed Scholarship Fund, c/o FAMU Foundation, P.O. Box 6562, Tallahassee, Fla. 32314.


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