Print Friendly and PDF

Walsh Colleges Announces Barbara Mahone as Keynote Speaker for 108th Commencement

Walsh College has named Barbara J. Mahone as the keynote speaker for its 108th Commencement ceremony, which takes place on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Zion Christian Church in Troy. Mahone, who retired as the executive director of Human Resources for General Motors Global Product Development, will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

At General Motors, Mahone was responsible for developing and implementing global human resources strategies covering 19,000 employees in 11 countries. She retired with more than 30 years of executive leadership experience dealing with complex organizational and development issues related to business expansion, consolidations, diversities, and downsizing.

Mahone held several leadership positions at General Motors and has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work with various organizations. In 2013, she received the Urban League of Detroit & Southeastern Michigan Distinguished Warrior Award. The Pimlico Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, renamed its library the Barbara J. Mahone Multi-Cultural Learning Center, honoring her commitment and dedication to youth education. She is also a founding member of the Detroit Chapter of the National Black MBA Association and served as its first Chapter President.

In addition to her accomplished tenure in business, Mahone had a distinguished career in government. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed her, and the U.S. Senate confirmed her appointment, as Chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, an independent agency in the Executive Branch covering the labor statutes for approximately two million federal employees. She also served as Chairman of the Special Panels on Appeals and as a member of the U. S. Department of Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.

She currently serves on the Chemical Financial Corporation Board of Directors, the Walsh College Board of Trustees, the Shiloh Community Restoration Foundation Board, the Bizdom Board, the Advisory Board for Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, and the Advisory Committee for the Michigan Women’s Directory of Crain’s Detroit Business.

“Barbara Mahone is an extraordinary thinker, planner, and speaker,” said Walsh College President and CEO Stephanie Bergeron. “Shaped by family, personal experience, and the leadership roles she has held, Barbara is committed to helping others improve the quality of their lives through education. Her impact is felt at Walsh College, within the city of Detroit, and across the country in the organizations she serves. We are honored that she is our keynote speaker and proud to award her with an honorary doctorate.”

Mahone holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Ohio State University, an MBA degree from the University of Michigan, and also completed the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development.

Originally from Notasulga, Alabama, Mahone was recruited by General Motors after completing her undergraduate degree at Ohio State. She currently lives in Birmingham, Michigan.