Mary-Frances Winters | Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

Mary-Frances Winters is president and founder of The Winters Group, Inc. Prior to founding The Winters Group in 1984, she was affirmative action officer and senior market analyst at Eastman Kodak Company, where she worked for 11 years. Among her many awards and distinctions, she was named a diversity pioneer by Profiles in Diversity Journal in August 2007 and received the Winds of Change Award from the Forum on Workplace Inclusion in 2016. Ms. Winters was also featured in Forbes’ June 2016 publication, which honored some of the DC Metro area’s most powerful women.  She was a torch bearer for a past Olympics and an Athena Award winner for her contributions to women and the community.

A life member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Rochester, Ms. Winters has served on the boards of the Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce, The United Way of Greater Rochester and the National Board of the Girl Scouts of the USA.  She has served as a mentor for the Emerging Leaders Program Sponsored by the Centers for Leadership and Public Affairs at Duke University and the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Fielding University.

She has been published in USA Today, The International Personnel Management Association Newsletter, Profiles in Diversity Journal, DiversityInc Magazine, Executive Excellence Magazine, Society of Human Resource Management’s Mosaics Newsletter, The EMA Reporter and has written monographs on "Philanthropy Among People of Color" for the Council on Foundations in Washington, DC.

She is the author of four books: We Can’t Talk about That at Work!: How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics (2017), Only Wet Babies Like Change: Workplace Wisdom for Baby Boomers, Inclusion Starts With “I” and CEO’s Who Get It: Diversity Leadership from the Heart and Soul. Ms. Winters also authored a chapter in the book Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion (2013). Ms. Winters is a “provocateur”, someone who provokes conversation and encourages dialogues – she is not afraid to have the tough conversations!

A qualified Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®) administrator, Winters also serves as senior facilitator for IDI® qualifying seminars.

She is a graduate of the University of Rochester with undergraduate degrees in English and Psychology, and a master’s degree in business administration from the William E. Simon Executive Development Program. She received an honorary doctorate from Roberts Wesleyan College in 1997.

Winters is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, The Links, Inc. and Unity Center of Light Church in Bowie, Maryland.

Winters has two adult children. Her son, Joseph, is a graduate of Harvard, Duke and Princeton Universities. He is an an assistant professor of Religious Studies with a secondary position in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University in Durham, NC. Her daughter, Mareisha, is a graduate of Spelman College and Georgia Tech with bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Masters degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and Information Systems from University of Maryland. She is the chief operating officer of The Winters Group.

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