DOLORES WHARTON’S ‘MULTICULTURED LIFE’
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Lee Brathwaite, a rising executive as NYTel evolved into Verizon, found himself in a tough transition – from operations to sales.
“It was the most challenging transition of my career,” said Brathwaite, now CEO of Apex Construction, a Harlem-based company building commercial and multiple-unit residential structures and a board member for the Golub Company, which operates Price Chopper.
Among other things, in sales, his salary and his team’s paychecks depended on results.
He discovered communications skills – sharpened at Dolores Wharton’s Fund for Corporate Initiatives (FCI) through interactions with other young execs and captains of industry – enabled him to pull his team together, to develop a rapport with clients, and to close deals.
By the end of the second year, his team was routinely winning his corporation’s sales awards.
“It was the best experience of my career,” said Brathwaite, he said of his FCI experience.
As it happens, Wharton – she and husband Clifton R. Wharton Jr., the former SUNY chancellor, have owned a home above Otsego Lake for three decades – considers FCI as the pinnacle of her wide range of achievements.