Pernessa C. Seele, Founder and CEO of The Balm In Gilead Participates in Global Forum in South Africa

Pernessa C. Seele

Richmond, VA -- Pernessa Seele, Founder and CEO of The Balm In Gilead, Inc. attended an "invitation only" Global Forum hosted by TimeWarner and its media brands Fortune, TIME, and CNN. Seele, recognized as a global voice for positive change, joined other colleagues at the Global Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, June 26-28, 2010. According to organizers of the Global Forum, it "explores the opportunities available to those who are committed to harnessing the power of global trends to generate growth and prosperity."

Hosted under the international spotlight of the World Cup, the 2010 Global Forum brought together "Fortune 500" CEOs, government leaders, and members of the TIME 100.

Seele, who was recognized as one of the world's most influential people by her selection to the "TIME 100," founded The Balm In Gilead in 1989. The Balm In Gilead was born out of Seele's vision that faith communities had a major role to play in addressing HIV/AIDS nationally as well as globally. Now in its 21st year, The Balm In Gilead has provided capacity development and technical support regarding the implementation and delivery of health education and service programs to over 30,000 faith institutions. In turn, Balm In Gilead's faith partners are providing life-sustaining services to millions of people in the U.S. and Africa.

As a visionary leader, Seele has been honored for her ability to serve as a catalyst for positive change across multi-denominational platforms. Most recently, she was honored by Ebony Magazine as one of their Power 150, a designation that recognizes the influence and reach of 150 of the nation's most powerful African American leaders.

Seele, who grew up in Lincolnville, South Carolina, says, "Influence is power but it is important how you use your influence and how you impact the lives of others." She also stresses the importance of ideas, no matter how small, for it was a small idea to mobilize the faith community around education, advocacy and support for communities impacted by devastating health issues that has her now sitting at the table with colleagues who, like she, are 21st century thought-leaders and cultural designers (shapers of our world).

To view a list of confirmed Global Forum attendees visit