Freedom Center adds new board members, elects Kenneth Robinson board chair

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MEDIA CONTACT: Cody Hefner (513) 608-5777,

Freedom Center adds new board members, elects Kenneth Robinson board chair

Dawn Gilmore, Nicole Redus and Carole Williams join board, Damon Jones rejoins

CINCINNATI — The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center hosted its first 2022 regular Board of Directors meeting today, welcoming three new and one returning members. Notably, Mr. Kenneth B. Robinson takes the helm as its new chair.

Robinson brings more than 45 years of business and executive leadership experience to the Freedom Center’s Board of Directors, including 39 years at Procter & Gamble. Before retiring in 2016, Robinson was Vice President of Global Diversity & Inclusion and spent 13 years as Chief Audit Execution & Global Risk and Compliance Leader (2006 to 2015) and Chief Audit Executive (2002 to 2006). Since retiring from Procter & Gamble, Robinson has lent his expertise in accounting and auditing as a board member for several organizations, including Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Paylocity, the Financial Accounting Foundation and Exelon. He is committed to the mission and work of the Freedom Center, serving as a founding member of the Board of Directors since 2000.

Robinson replaces outgoing chair Beverly A. Grant, who served as
chair since 2019. Grant spent 26 years at Procter & Gamble before working as an advisor at IRI, a consumer packaged goods data analytics company, and later founded her own consulting company. She remains on the Freedom Center’s board and is active elsewhere in her community with a number of philanthropic initiatives, including serving on the boards of Mercy Hospital, the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center and Cincinnati Museum Center, as well as committees for the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, UC Integrative Health and Wellness and the American Heart Association.

“Beverly has been a relentless advocate and transformative leader for the Freedom Center over the past three years, helping guide us through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and turbulent seasons of intense social unrest,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “We’re grateful for her leadership and fortunate that Ken is taking the torch, returning to a leadership role as we prepare for an ambitious refresh and growth of the organization.”

Joining the Freedom Center Board of Directors are Dawn Gilmore, Nicole Redus, Carole Williams and Damon Jones, who rejoins the board. Gilmore brings over 23 years of organizational and talent development experience to the board. She is currently Senior Director of Talent Acquisition for Kroger and has held various roles in talent acquisition and performance development in her 13 years with the company.

Redus is president and CEO of Ascension Wealth Management, which she founded in 2008. In her more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, she has held senior roles at J.P. Morgan Chase and Merrill Lynch, presented at several national conferences and serves as a Board Member of Episcopal Retirement Home, on the Greater Cincinnati Foundation's Investment Committee, co-chair of Greater Cincinnati Foundation's Black Giving Circle and is a lay leader at Christ Church Cathedral.

Carole Williams represents Mount St. Joseph University as its First Lady, working alongside her husband H. James Williams, the university’s president, as a leader and ambassador. Since moving to Cincinnati in 2016, she has become active in her community as a board member with Bethany House Services, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati.

Damon Jones has served as Procter & Gamble’s Chief Communications Officer since April 2020, the latest role in his 25-year career with the company. Previously, he has managed communications for the company’s western Europe, UK, Ireland and Asia operations, as well as the global Shave Care business unit. Most recently, he has served as Director of Global Company Communications and Vice President of Global Communications & Advocacy. In 2020, Jones became the first Black executive to top PRWeek’s annual Power List.

“The breadth and diversity of talent and expertise of our Board of Directors is vital asset to our organization,” added Keown. “We’re excited to welcome Dawn, Nicole, Carole and Damon to the organization as we pursue our bold vision as a community, national and global leader in the fight for inclusive freedom for all.”



About the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. In 2014, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery,

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