It was a natural disaster that put Joe West on the path to his new perch at the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). Hurricane Katrina tore the roof off West’s New Orleans home, divided his exiled family between Florida and Texas, and scattered the law department where he worked among three or four different locations. Every weekend for six months West flew from his remote work site in Houston to visit his wife and children at his mother-in-law’s house in Orlando.

When West’s then-employer, Entergy Corp., joined the MCCA, the organization wound up being a lifeline for West — connecting him through its vast network to a new job, a new home, and stability in Bentonville, Ark., where Wal-Mart has its headquarters.

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