The Morgan Samuels Perspective

Angela Wynn & The National Museum of African American History & Culture

Posted by Joy Brunson and Kimberly Lewis on Wed, Mar 1, 2017

In honor of Black History Month, Morgan Samuels team member Angela Wynn shares her experience being on the front lines of launching this historic cultural monument.


The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) opened on September 24, 2016.  The significant contributions of Founding Director Lonnie G. Bunch, III, Advisory Council Member Oprah Winfrey and many others are public knowledge. What you may not know is that Morgan Samuels’ own Angela Wynn played a very important role in the creation of the museum.

Angela WynnAngela, who now serves as Executive Assistant to Morgan Samuels Chairman and CEO Bert Hensley, previously served as the Executive Assistant for NMAAHC Council Member, James A. Johnson.

Among many notable accomplishments, James A. Johnson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and serves as Chairman Emeritus of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Brookings Institution. He was previously Chairman of the Executive Committee of Fannie Mae, as well as Executive Assistant to then-Vice President Walter F. Mondale, advising the Vice President on domestic and foreign policy and political matters. 

Prior to working for Johnson, Angela had been a longtime legal secretary and was looking for a new challenge. When she was initially contacted by a recruiter for the position as Johnson’s EA, she was not told at first who she would be supporting. Once she found out, she knew she “had” to get the job.

“There was a lot of preparation that went into [getting the job].” Angela said. “In the end, I think it came down to my personal ‘Thank you’ note, and the camaraderie we had when I interviewed with Jim.” Johnson was impressed not only by their shared alma mater, Howard University, but also connected with Angela as both were former Midwest “kids” now in the big city. As a member of the Council of the NMAAHC, it was Johnson’s job to solicit funds for the building of the museum, and to help make decisions about what exactly would go into the museum and what the layout of the building would be.  


The National Museum of African American History and Culture (photo courtesy of NMAAHC)

Angela shared that one of the biggest challenges the Council faced was trying to solicit funds for the museum that currently holds a collection of close to 37,000 historical installments.  Through perseverance (and more than a little Oprah magic), the museum is currently thriving and in the midst of a year long celebration.  As Johnson’s EA, Angela was privy to early layouts and sneak peeks of the museum’s proposed contents.  “To know that it was coming together was great,” she said. 

One of Angela’s favorite moments actually came after she had left the position, having moved from Washington, DC to Nashville:  “They made the formal announcement that the museum was opening and they televised the opening ceremony. I watched the whole thing and was so amazed.  I immediately emailed Jim, and told him how proud I was to know that he helped build this for us, especially because of my sons. I told Jim, ‘I couldn’t be prouder to know you.’”

"They really wanted to provide a well rounded view of what African American – not just history – but culture, is about… And for it to be represented in the way that it is, in this huge, beautiful building in one of the most important places in our country – on the National Mall – is amazing.”

The museum currently has a wait list about two months long. When asked what she hopes others will take away from visiting the museum Angela states, “I want people to understand that our history is not limited to slavery and civil rights. People always want to put us in a subset and not really emphasize the major contributions that African Americans have made…  It was really important to [the Council] to encompass everything . They really wanted to provide a well rounded view of what African American – not just history – but culture, is about… And for it to be represented in the way that it is, in this huge, beautiful building in one of the most important places in our country – on the National Mall – is amazing.”

Angela is planning to take her boys – aged 14, 9 and 7, to the museum this summer.

Morgan Samuels celebrates the contributions of all African American trailblazers this, and every, month.


One of the Museum's many exhibits (photo courtesy of NMAAHC)

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

There are four pillars upon which the NMAAHC stands: 

  1. It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions
  2. It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences
  3. It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture
  4. It serves as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington, D.C. to engage new audiences and to work with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.

 To learn more about Morgan Samuels, visit us here today.  

For career guidance as well as Morgan Samuels’ candidate tools and resources, click here.


Topics: executive recruiters, morgan samuels, executive search firms, executive search, executive search consultants, Philanthropy, board of directors, talent

Morgan Samuels gives back with Operation Gratitude!

Posted by Morgan Samuels on Fri, Aug 5, 2016


L to R: Alicia Montgomery, Angela Wynn, Robby Kempton, Bert Hensley

Recently, the Morgan Samuels team proudly participated in Operation Gratitude's Battalion Buddies program.  Our team members built over 100 of these cuddly bears to be sent in care packages to the youngest Warriors — the children of deployed Military.  The specific intent of Battalion Buddy packages is to provide comfort to those children who will not see their parent for a long time and need something to hold on to.  Each Battalion Buddy wears a tag saying: “Hi Brave Young Warrior! I am your Battalion Buddy. I am here to cuddle with you while your Mommy or Daddy is away.”


L to R: Stacy FitzgeraldRobby Kempton

Supporting our military holds special meaning for Morgan Samuels' Chairman & CEO Bert Hensley, a military veteran himself.  Earlier in his career, Bert served five years in the United States Army Aviation Branch, where he held various leadership and staff positions, including helicopter pilot, aviation detachment commander, battalion adjutant, and brigade war plans officer. He received several achievement and services awards for his contributions while on active duty, including the Meritorious Service Medal.


L to R: Bert Hensley, Anne Hoversten, Lindsey Hoesterey-VilletteZach JensenLindsay Higgins Vane

The teddy bear building took place during our bi-annual Kaizen retreat, part of our commitment to Lean Six Sigma and continuous improvement initiatives. Twice a year we bring the whole team together for a company off-site where we challenge ourselves to solve tough problems, innovate how we approach the market to better serve our clients and candidates, and brainstorm how to more effectively communicate with each other. We also take this week to form bonds that help our teams create optimal results all year.  We believe that good ideas come from everyone in our firm.


L to R: Celine FintziBryce Raney, Rebecca BendelStacy FitzgeraldAlyssa Robinson, Todd Wyles

At Morgan Samuels we strive to be more than an executive search firm.  By fostering a culture of collaboration and service, we aim to have a positive impact on our communities along the way. 


L to R: Martin Hewett,  Linda RebrovickAnne Hoversten


If you or your organization would like to learn more about Operation Gratitude's Battalion Buddy Program and how you can help, click here

For more information about Morgan Samuels, click here:      VISIT US HERE!


Topics: morgan samuels, lean six sigma, executive search, Philanthropy, human capital consulting

Morgan Samuels Philanthropy

Posted by Morgan Samuels on Fri, Jun 17, 2011

Morgan Samuels firmly believes in the need to give back to our local community and, where possible, bring awareness to global issues. We strongly encourage our employees to give back to their communities and individuals in need. Below are some not-for-profit initiatives and organizations Morgan Samuels directly supports.

Topics: Philanthropy