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SHRM and William G. McGowan Charitable Fund Announce 3rd Annual Ethical Leader of the Year Recipient Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s Chairman, President and CEO at SHRM Annual Conference in Chicago

The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, a family foundation of William G. McGowan, in partnership with SHRM announced its 2024 Ethical Leader of the Year Award-winner, Lowe’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marvin R. Ellison.

CHICAGO – Today, the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, a family foundation of William G. McGowan, in partnership with SHRM announced its 2024 Ethical Leader of the Year Award-winner, Lowe’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marvin R. Ellison, during the SHRM 2024 Annual Conference & Expo held in Chicago, Illinois.

The award, dedicated to furthering compassionate philanthropy and ethical leadership, was presented by William G. McGowan Charitable Fund Executive Director Brian Peckrill. The award builds upon the McGowan Fund’s over fourteen-year dedication to its “Principles of Ethical Leadership” in MBA and other leadership programs.

“It’s an honor to receive this award and represent the 300,000 associates who embody Lowe’s values as they work every day to earn the trust and respect of our customers and communities,” Ellison said. “Our business goals are important to our success, and it’s just as important that we conduct ourselves with integrity and professionalism.”

“Representing SHRM and our nearly 340,000 members, I am privileged to co-host the annual Ethical Leader of the Year Award alongside the McGowan Fund,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, President and CEO of SHRM. “Cultivating a robust organizational culture hinges on clearly defining, comprehending, and practicing ethics in the workplace. It is a true honor to recognize and celebrate Marvin Ellison at our 2024 annual conference, a CEO who grasps and exemplifies the meaning of ethical stewardship.”

Brian Peckrill, Executive Director of the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, said, “It was an honor to present the third iteration of our organization’s Ethical Leader of the Year Award this year to Marvin Ellison, an extraordinary business leader who has not only navigated an exceptional nation-spanning company such as Lowe’s to continued financial success, but lent significant time and energies in serving his employees and greater community. A recognized business iconoclast and philanthropist determined to drive higher education, self-empowerment and academic and professional excellence for minority youth, Mr. Ellison joins the ranks of Prudential Financial CEO Charles Lowrey and Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian in setting an example for the next generation of America’s C-Suite to follow.”

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company with more than 1,700 stores and approximately 300,000 associates in the United States. Prior to joining Lowe’s, Ellison held decades of retail leadership and operational experience and has the unique distinction of being the only African American to serve as Chairman and CEO of two Fortune 500 companies.

Ellison previously served as Chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney Co., where he delivered positive sales growth, reduced debt and generated positive adjusted earnings per share. 

About SHRM

SHRM is a member-driven catalyst for creating better workplaces where people and businesses thrive together. As the trusted authority on all things work, SHRM is the foremost expert, researcher, advocate, and thought leader on issues and innovations impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With nearly 340,000 members in 180 countries, SHRM touches the lives of more than 362 million workers and their families globally. Discover more at

About the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund

The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund has, since its inception, maintained a vision to impact lives, to create sustainable change, and to empower future generations to achieve their greatest potential. The Fund brings that vision to life through grant-making efforts in three program areas: Education, Human Services, and Healthcare. They prioritize programs that have demonstrated success, have measurable outcomes, plans for sustainability, and aim to end cycles of poverty and suffering.

Resolute in the belief in the power of partnerships or collaborative efforts to maximize impact, the Fund embraces opportunities to work with other funders across their key program areas, looking for funding opportunities that share their philosophy and exploring the possibility of joint projects with other nonprofit organizations.

The Fund is managed in accordance with values deeply held by its benefactor, William G. McGowan. Among these are ethical leadership and the belief that every life has equal value.

For more information, please visit and learn more on Twitter.


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