An Historic Opportunity - Kickstarting DEI Education

Thursday, March 10, 2022
Tom Harrison

Tom Harrison


Joe Schmick

Joe Schmick

Executive Director


As CEOtoCEO planned out speakers for 2022, we wanted to do something special to recognize and celebrate Black History Month. During our search, we discovered a historical treasure that was about to be lost forever.

The publication includes personal, inspirational, historical and amusing stories about the settlers that made their impact on the region and the communities in which they lived. A few of these stories were featured in today's broadcast in vignettes narrated by leaders in the community.

To help introduce these stories, CEOtoCEO welcomed a new face to the broadcast, Tom Harrison. A business owner and recent transplant to the area, Tom was able to provide a unique perspective on the welcome he received, and the historical relevance of the recently rediscovered publication.

Tom is the CEO of MyMyToyStore in Everett and a graduate of Princeton University and Fordham University School of Law. Tom serves on the Board of Directors for the national nonprofit WorkLife Partnership.

The Tribute to the Northwest Black Pioneers includes stories from across the region. It details stories of individuals and families and how they contributed to the settling and building of communities in the Northwest.

Through the use of 22 vignettes, narrated by leaders in the community, the broadcast highlights Black Pioneers from across the region.

One vignette features Manual Lopes, who arrived in 1852. He promptly opened a barber shop and restaurant in Seattle. Known for his generosity towards working men, Lopes often offered free meals and lodging to those that were unable to pay.

Lopes was a devoted snare drummer who announced mealtimes at his restaurant with drum solos. Even though he was foreign born, he and a fife player named Kelly marched around town playing patriotic tunes.

During the broadcast, CEOtoCEO could only feature a few of the many stories that are a part of the Tribute to the Northwest Black Pioneers. However, there is a wealth of information, and additional intriguing stories, we couldn't feature due to time constraints.

The Tribute to the Northwest Black Pioneers can be used as a conversation starter, and educational tool for your companies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.

CEOtoCEO has partnered with the Northwest Black Pioneers and The Breakfast Group to republish the Tribute to the Northwest Black Pioneers.

Printed and electronic copies will be made available to businesses and the community in the very near future.

To learn more about The Northwest Black Pioneers or DEI and Sponsorship opportunities with The Breakfast Group, please reach out to Dr. James Carter, Executive Director, at or call (773) 851-7449.

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