As President and CEO of The Learner’s Group, Rodney Patterson is recognized as one of the nation’s most accomplished diversity and inclusion facilitators. In this role he has served as the chief curriculum designer and lead facilitator for the Learner’s Group’s successful NCAA advanced diversity education programs. Patterson numerous corporate roles include his current positions as Corporate Diversity Representative for a $240 billion dollar corporation. Previously, Patterson served as President of Hales Franciscan High School in Chicago, IL and Director of Inclusion and Talent Management at the executive search firm, Hudson Highland.
One of Mr. Patterson’s often recognized strengths lie in his ability to create a comfortable environment where honest, open, and passionate discussion to take place. Time and time again, in venue after venue, individuals have left his workshops amazed at the depth with which they were able to communicate their own beliefs. In most circumstances that revelation would suffice, but this is not where Mr. Patterson leaves participants. What Rodney is equally successful at facilitating, are sessions where individuals leave feeling more aware of how they can receive, relate to, and respect the differing perspectives of others.
Patterson also held the position of Assistant to the Vice President for Multicultural Development and Director of Racial Ethnic Student Affairs for Michigan State University (MSU), where he designed and oversaw the implementation of a comprehensive diversity and inclusion model that successfully served MSU’s entire campus enterprise. He served in a similar capacity at the University of Vermont. Mr. Patterson has had the privilege of serving as a consultant and facilitator of training and development for several Fortune 500, 100 and 50 organizations, governmental, non-profit, and social services agencies
Rodney has served as a consultant with a broad array of large, multinational corporate clients, which included General Mills, Bank of America and Mercer. Rodney has also worked with professional sports franchises, the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, on diversity matters. His consulting services with professional sports organizations ranged from working with the team’s ownership and executive management to coaches, staff, and the professional athletes themselves.
Rodney received trainer/facilitator certifications while working with several major companies including ProGroup, Inc., Advanced Research Management Corporation (ARMC), Stir Fry Seminars, and Carlson Learning Company. In addition to his work in higher education, Rodney also served as the Assistant to the Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Vermont’s largest city.
An ordained minister, Rodney is responsible for the founding of two churches; Ebenezer Baptist Church of Lansing, Michigan and the first African American church in the state of Vermont, in 1989. He served as the Executive Pastor of two churches in Northern California and as co-pastor of his home church Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Il. Rodney is married to Charlene Patterson, Ph.D.
While this is his first book, Rodney was a contributing author on the book, Men to Men: Perspectives of Sixteen African-American Christian Men, published by Zondervan in 1996. His chapter entitled, “Male Bonding: Men Relating to Men” is still a relevant piece of literature today.