Diversity & Inclusion Thought Leader and Talent Strategist
Charmaine Brown, President & Founder at Connexions Consulting, Inc., is a recognized corporate leader with over 15 years of experience in strategic HR, diversity & inclusion, talent management, organization development, and HR compliance. Her experience spans a range of industries including real estate, banking, healthcare and nonprofits.
Prior to founding Connexions Consulting, Charmaine D. Brown served as Director, Diversity and Inclusion at Forest City Enterprises, Inc., a $9 billion national owner, operator and developer of distinctive and diversified real estate. In this role, she guided the senior executive leadership in the development of corporate diversity and inclusion strategies and actions. Her thought leadership and operational oversight of diversity resulted in Forest City’s recognition as one of the 25 Noteworthy Companies in Diversity by DiversityInc.
Charmaine has demonstrated expertise in building diversity and inclusion programs from infancy to national recognition by achieving results in talent management, culture and marketplace strategies. Additionally, she cultivated an extensive network of community partnerships and relationships with national and local organizations to support and further Forest City’s inclusion and philanthropic efforts.
Charmaine established a national reputation as a thought leader in diversity and inclusion, talent management strategies and community partnership within the commercial real estate industry. She has shared her expertise as a presenter and speaker to organizations such as NAREIT (National Associate of Real Estate Investment Trust) and ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers). Charmaine was recognized by her industry peers and awarded the Commercial Property Executive’s 2012 Diversity Executive of the Year.
Prior to joining Forest City, Charmaine served as corporate manager of diversity and inclusion at Charter One Financial, Inc. During her time at Charter One, she established organization-wide goals for diversity and inclusion and led the development and implementation of a viable corporate diversity and inclusion program.
Charmaine is an active executive volunteer in the non-profit community. She served as a member of the Cleveland Commission on Economic Inclusion’s Membership Engagement Committee. Other non-profit and board involvement includes CollegeNow of Greater Cleveland, Saint Joseph Academy, United Black Fund and Project REAP.
Charmaine is the 2012 recipient of the Crain’s Cleveland Archer Award, Commercial Property Executive’s 2012 Diversity Executive of the Year and recipient of the 2013 Women of Color Stephanie Tubbs-Jones Courage Award. She is a graduate of the 2009 Cleveland Bridge Builder program, often returning as a facilitator on the topic of Cultural Competence.
Charmaine attended Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. She currently resides with her family in Michigan with her husband and children.