Business Leadership Member Interest Group (BLMIG)

Who are we?
A community for corporate leaders and others who direct, consult on, or study leadership development and effectiveness in business settings that creates opportunities to share and reflect on ideas, challenges, trends, and experiences related to a wide variety of sector-specific interests.

What are our current priorities?
  • Engaging BLMIG Members in a meaningful way
  • Creating new opportunities for members to become involved
How can ILA members be involved?
Members of the community can get involved by:

Contacting the BLMIG with your great ideas!

How to Affiliate With This Community
ILA members who affiliate with a MIG receive occasional emails of interest from their MIG leaders including volunteer openings, updates on MIG initiatives, and opportunities to provide feedback. To affiliate/join: log in to this profile update form, scroll down and "Edit Your ILA Member Community Settings." Make sure to click Save in order to save your changes.

Contact ILA's membership team at with any general questions about ILA's member communities.


Deirdre Barrett Civic and Community engagement is important to Deirdre. She has been recognized for her community service. Deirdre is a member of Leadership Atlanta. Deirdre received the Rosebud Award for her volunteer activism from the Junior League Atlanta. She has been a volunteer and fundraiser in Atlanta Public Schools.

Deirdre has served on boards and/or committees of the following: Atlanta Film Festival; Junior League Atlanta; National Black MBA Association-Life Member; United Way-VIP Program; and Spelman Alumnae Association. Deirdre loves to travel, enjoys Zumba, making pralines, reading, skiing, and roller-skating. Deirdre has an adult daughter, Emaan. ×


James (Gus) Gustafson is the Leadership Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Values-Driven Leadership (Benedictine University) – where he co-architected and teaches in the Executive Doctoral Program. He also served for the last five years as Executive Minister and Chief Transformation Officer at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa (the largest and fastest growing Lutheran church in the USA). Prior to leading Hope, Gus was responsible for Strategic Leadership Research and Development and Organizational Transformation at U.S. Cellular, where he received several awards for his pioneering work in leadership development and organizational transformation. ×


A Revolutionary, Pan African Executive with an extensive background in Project Management, Finance and Strategy. His professional experience includes more than 18 years of Commercial Banking, Corporate Development (M & A), consulting, strategic studies and Risk management. Currently he is the Country Representative (Ethiopia) for ECOBANK Group; previously he was a Senior Executive, ECOBANK Uganda responsible for Domestic Business including Government Institutions. Prior to that he was a Corporate Development officer (Project Manager), East & Southern Africa sub region for ECOBANK Group, whose mandate was to assist with the setting up of the Bank in the sub region. He also worked as a Senior Manager with Barclays Bank, Nile Bank Uganda and a Senior Mortgage officer, Origination and Construction finance with Housing Finance Bank Uganda.

James holds a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from Walden University, USA, an MBA degree from ESAMI Business School, a BCOM degree from Panjab University INDIA and a Diploma in National Security from Galilee College ISRAEL. He is an alumnus of HARVARD Kennedy School, USA, INSEAD, FRANCE, Wharton School USA, CSCI SINGAPORE, GE Crotonville USA, after having completed Executive education. He is an FAA licensed Pilot in Command for medium aircrafts and also a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing –UK, Chartered Management Institute UK ( Chartered Fellow), Project Management Institute – USA, International Leadership Association (ILA), USA, Center for Islamic Banking & Economics (CIBE) PAKISTAN, Strategic Management Society – USA, Milken Institute – USA, Rotary International (PHF), Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) and a Fellow with the Royal society of arts (FRSA), UK. ×

Business Leadership MIG Leadership Teams

Conference Creative Team
The Conference Creative Team is responsible for creating innovative and exciting programming for the Business Leadership community at the ILA Annual Global Conferences.

Member Engagement Team
The Member Engagement Team works to create, coordinate, and implement experiences throughout the year that serve and involve Business Leadership MIG members fostering active engagement and connection in between conferences. ×