A committed community servant, Dr. Tearte led Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. as the 20th International President and has been named Centennial Chair for the Sorority’s 2020 celebration. Her legacy includes: lecturing at the 4th United Nation’s Conference for Women in Beijing, China; chartering a chapter in Korea; establishing the Pearlettes, an affiliate youth group for girls 4-8 years of age; sending 75 kids to the U. S. Space Camp; and, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Sorority. She is the proud mother of the immediate Past National Third Vice President for Zeta, Anjylla Foster.
A charter member of Ellevate Atlanta, formerly 85 Broads, she is a member of the United Way of Atlanta’s Tocqueville Society, a key contributor to the Atlanta Zoo and a lifetime member of the NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, The Urban League, National Black MBA Association; and, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Diamond Life Member.
Dr. Tearte navigated a very successful 22-year career at IBM with responsibility for a myriad of sales, marketing, operations and reengineering positions in executive leadership assignments that spanned the globe. A recipient of IBM’s highest sales award on numerous occasions, she also received the coveted IBM Leadership Award. Instrumental in the formation of IBM Employee Resource Groups, she testified on Capitol Hill regarding Small Business Owners.
In 2000, she launched Crystal Stairs, Inc. to offer consulting services and executive coaching to Fortune 500 companies, non-profit entities, academic institutions and individuals. Known for leadership development engagements specifically with women, high potential talent, students, teams and affinity network groups, clients attest to stronger performance and greater success as outcomes. An authorized distributor of Wiley assessment products, the firm is certified to facilitate The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ along with the Everything DiSC® suite of assessments.
Her 2009 doctoral research examined competencies of professionals who transitioned from corporate positions and personal tipping points to pursue “encore leadership” interests. Her book, Encore Leadership: Transforming Time, Talent and Treasure into a Legacy that Matters, aligns the rigorous scholarly study with her years of practice earning her the distinction of being a sought after transitions scholar practitioner. She further embellished the work via a workbook, a journal and Book It!, a guide to publishing a book in 30 days. Due North!, her first book, received the Career Book of the Year Award. She published the book, Randy: A Story of Passion, Perseverance, and the Power of Unconditional Love with Randy Crowell which shares the story of how her mother transformed his life. Proceeds from the book are donated to DonorsChoose.org, an organization that supports projects for teachers. The book is “A thank you to teachers and mentors who change the arc of the lives of their students and protégés.
As Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Tearte Family Foundation, she manages a portfolio of education partnerships that include the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Posse Atlanta, Teach for America, 100 Black Men of North Metro Atlanta, Emory University Consortium Fellows Study Abroad Program, Livingstone College, Brandeis University and Hallahan Catholic High School for Girls in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Tearte also provides various levels of scholarship and book awards to girls through chapters of Zeta in Chicago, Boston, Brooklyn and Columbus, Ohio. More than fifty students have received educational support as Tearte Scholars. She and her husband, Curtis, are major donors to the Smithsonian Institute’s African American Museum of History and Culture.
Dr. Tearte has earned the following academic credentials: Ph.D. in organization development from Benedictine University; MBA in marketing from Indiana University as a Consortium Fellow; and, a math degree from Livingstone College. In 2014 she was awarded the Wally Jones Lifetime Achievement Award from The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.