Company expert Nancy Lane dies at 88
Being vice president and serving on corporate boards made Nancy Lane a must-have actress. And these appointments were as diverse as their physical locations, but primarily in New York.
Residents of Harlem remember his leadership at the Studio Museum where, as in other places, his dedication and insight were highly valued. Lane died on March 28 in New York. She was 88 years old.
She was born on September 3, 1933, in Boston to Samuel Madden Lane and Gladys (Pitkin) Lane, who were both successful professionals – her father was employed at American Airlines and her mother for the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In a 2016 interview with HistoryMakers, Lane said her journey through higher education was at Boston University where, in 1962, she earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and journalism. Later, at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, she earned an MPA degree. It should be noted that during her undergraduate studies, she attended the University of Oslo in Norway and spent time in Austria as a representative of the International Union of Students.
In 1975, she completed the Management Development Program at Harvard Business School. It was at the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company that she began her corporate odyssey and then worked as a project manager for the National Urban League, where her ingenuity led to the creation of the Black Executive Exchange Program. And that was just the beginning of a long and productive relationship with major corporations and institutions in the early 70s, including Chase Manhattan Bank, New York Off-Track Betting and the administrative department of Johnson & Johnson Products. In 1976, a year after Harvard, she was named vice president of human resources and administration at Johnson & Johnson, the first woman to hold this position. And she rose quickly through the corporate ranks, becoming vice president of government affairs, a position she held until her retirement in 2000.
In addition to her time in the business world, Lane has also served on the Rutgers University Board of Governors and the NAACP National Board of Directors. And there was a stint as the main representative of NGOs at the UN. In 1987, she received Boston University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given to an alumnus. She also completed a one-year graduate program in art history.
Although she left no immediate survivors, a number of artists benefited from her guidance and support, and many exhibited at the Studio Museum during her time there, such as Lorna Simpson , Carrie Mae Weems, Sam Gilliam and Elizabeth Catlett. She was there when plans began to replace the museum building with a larger site on 125th Street.