Walker’s Legacy Announces Samantha Abrams as Incoming CEO and Managing Director

Ayris T. Scales to step down after nearly two years of leading successful growth for the organizations

Walker’s Legacy Foundation has announced that Ayris T. Scales is stepping down as the CEO and will be succeeded by Samantha Abrams, notable executive and former Chief Strategy Officer for Halcyon, a Washington, DC based global incubator.

At Halcyon, Samantha spearheaded program funding and partnerships with Bank of America exclusively for Black and Brown Women Founders. Recently, Bank of America confirmed a second year of funding to bolster their continued commitment to building more accessible and inclusive programs to equip these entrepreneurs. She has been a champion and advisor to diverse founders from all over the world whose mission is to make an impact while achieving profit. 

A dynamic and visionary executive, Ayris has served as the CEO and Managing Director of Walker’s Legacy since March of 2021.  Her mission-oriented approach to addressing social inequities has led to several new strategic multi-sector partnerships with organizations and global brands such as New Profit Venture Philanthropy, Meta, Comcast, Goldman Sachs and American Express to name a few; while spearheading Walker’s Legacy’s ambitious commitment to ensure 10,000 women entrepreneurs are capital ready by 2025.  

“Walker’s Legacy has served as a complementary ecosystem builder for over a decade. I’m incredibly humbled by the opportunity to serve as the new CEO for the Foundation, “ said Samantha.  “I’m equally overjoyed to accept the baton from Ayris Scales, who has led with thoughtfulness and grace.”

Samantha will continue notable accomplishments achieved during Ayris’ tenure including:

“The opportunity to lead this organization following a dynamic founder, in the era of a pandemic was not a responsibility that I took likely. I am proud of what we have accomplished in record time and the foundation we’ve laid for Walker’s Legacy’s path forward,” said Ayris. “Being on the frontlines of an entrepreneurial ecosystem leader has given me a greater perspective on the needed resources, collaborations and infrastructure necessary to ensure meaningful change and sustainability, which I’ll continue to advocate for.”

Ayris departs the organization to join NAREIT, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, where she has been appointed to serve as the Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility and Global Initiatives effective Monday, July 25, 2022.  

Samantha will officially assume leadership on Monday, August 15, 2022.  You can can connect with Samantha beginning on that date at samantha@walkerslegacy.com. For all media inquiries surrounding the leadership transition, please contact Lillian Prince at lillian@walkerslegacy.com.

Jeneé Porter

WALKER'S LEGACY IS A GROWING GLOBAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS COLLECTIVE FOUNDED TO ESTABLISH NETWORKS OF EMPOWERMENT AND ACCESS FOR WOMEN OF COLOR IN BUSINESS.

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Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.

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