Steve Pemberton

Steve Pemberton’s powerful story is about defying seemingly insurmountable odds. Orphaned into foster care, he was abandoned and betrayed by the very individuals entrusted with his care. Yet these challenges only fueled his desire to become what he never had; and in so doing, find success as a trail-blazing corporate executive, enlightened people leader, visionary youth advocate and acclaimed speaker.

His critically acclaimed, best-selling memoir, "A Chance in the World," recounts his triumphant life journey and drive to become a man of resilience, determination, and vision. Now an upcoming major motion picture, "A Chance in the World" further amplifies Steve’s highly motivational messages: "Believe in your dreams, rise above obstacles, create opportunities for others, and most of all, persevere."
 
Armed with a warrior spirit and a servant’s heart, Steve has made equality, access and opportunity pillars of both his professional and personal life. He currently serves as Chief Human Resources Officer for Globoforce, a leading provider of social recognition and continuous performance development solutions. Prior to that, he served as Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion and Global Chief Diversity Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance, the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise in the world. He was the first person in Walgreens’ 100-plus year history to hold the position of Chief Diversity Officer, and under his leadership, the company reached record levels of performance in areas of representation, retention, employee engagement, and supplier diversity.
 
In his personal life, Steve is a passionate champion for disadvantaged youth, serving on several boards including United States Business Leadership Network and UCAN. He established The Pemberton Fund for the Future at The Home for Little Wanderers to provide help and guidance to children aging out of foster care. Steve’s achievements have earned him national recognition, including the prestigious Horizon Award by the United States Congress, presented to individuals in the private sector who have contributed to expanding opportunities for all Americans.

Testimonials

Dear cityCURRENT Crew, we can't thank you enough for the incredible honor at the Kathrine Switzer breakfast. Your generosity to GOTR Memphis in this inaugural year has been outstanding. Because of you, we are able to recruit more volunteers, grow community partnerships, and fund our programs at more schools. We could not have asked for a more perfect champion of Girls on the Run.
Joanna Lipman , Girls on the Run Memphis
Over the past several years I've been asked more than a handful of times about Duncan Williams Asset Management's involvement in cityCURRENT. My answer is always the same... Renewing our membership is one of the easiest and best decisions that we make each year! I can't say enough how proud we are to continue to be a member of such a great organization doing truly meaningful work here in the Memphis community.
David Scully , President, Duncan Williams Asset Management
"It is actually hard to put into words the feeling I had meeting and joining with the Memphis 'giving' community at the LPBC Signature Breakfast hosted by Smith & Nephew and in partnership with The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence in August, 2014. To see living embodiments of real and true compassion and caring for others, all gathered in one place gave me some sense of the astounding range, depth and sustained good works the business community in Memphis is doing. It was clear to me
John Hunter, Award-Winning Educator , former guest speaker, and focus of the documentary, "World Peace and Other Fourth-Grade Achievements"
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