Vikki L. Pryor was appointed chief executive officer of The American Red Cross in Greater New York on September 30, 2010. In addition, Ms. Pryor will serve as a Regional Executive with oversight responsibilities for the Metropolitan New York Region, which includes community chapters in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, Shelter Island, NY and Greenwich, CT.
Recognized as one of the 50 most powerful women in New York by Crains New York Magazine in 2009, Ms. Pryor was most recently president and chief executive officer of SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company in New York for 11 years. Â The first African American woman to head a major life insurance company in the U.S., she repositioned this 71-year old company into a national provider of financial services to underserved markets and audiences, a strategy which resulted in the reversal of a 10-year business decline and a $200 million increase in assets. Â The company now has more than $16.7 billion of insurance in force, 300,000 customers and has been twice cited as one of the 50 best places to work in New York City. As a testimony to her leadership and impact, Ms. Pryor recently was named one of the 75 most powerful women in business byBlack Enterprise Magazine.
Ms. Pryor has a law and business degree, and prior to her business career, she spent eight years as a trial attorney with the Office of the Chief Counsel for the IRS in Chicago. She was then recruited to Allstate Life Insurance, and subsequently moved on to various senior level positions within the insurance industry working for other leading companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Oxford Health before taking her position in 1999 at SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company.
As CEO of the countryâ€™s largest Red Cross chapter, Pryor will lead the organization in providing disaster relief and emergency preparedness services and lifesaving training to Greater New Yorkâ€™sâ€“â€“New York City, Rockland, Sullivan, Orange and Putnam Countiesâ€“â€“9.2 million people. The Chapter responds to an average of seven disasters a day, helping up to 100,000 people each year affected by these incidents with their basic needsâ€“â€“food, water, shelter, clothing, emotional support.
Ms. Pryor serves on a number of corporate and civic boards, including the Small Business and Agricultural Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which she currently chairs, Citigroup Security and Fund Services Advisory Board, National Board of Girl Scouts of the USA and The New York Womenâ€™s Forum.
She earned a B.A. degree magna cum laude and a Juris Doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In memory of her grandmother and in recognition of her commitment to education and educating, she established the â€œPromise Prizeâ€ in 2002, a law school academic award.