The 56th National Convention of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. celebrated a historic moment this week as serial entrepreneur and retired military senior officer Phyllis Newhouse was inducted as an Honorary Member into the esteemed sisterhood. The induction ceremony in Indianapolis honored Newhouse’s groundbreaking contributions to the business world and her commitment to empowering women, highlighting Delta Sigma Theta’s commitment to recognizing exceptional leaders.
Phyllis Newhouse’s journey from growing up in a modest family to her illustrious career as a U.S. Army officer exemplifies her unyielding work ethic, love of technology, and passion for making a difference. Her service in the United States Army included specialized work in National Security, where she established the Cyber Espionage Task Force, demonstrating her leadership and expertise in the field.
In 2002, Newhouse founded Xtreme Solutions, Inc. (XSI), a leading information technology and cybersecurity firm. XSI’s reach extends to 42 states, with 40% of its workforce comprising veterans, reflecting Newhouse’s dedication to supporting those who have served the nation.
As a pioneer in the business world, Newhouse achieved several groundbreaking milestones. She became the first woman to win an Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the technology category, recognizing her exceptional leadership and innovative approach to business.
Her passion for empowering women-led businesses led her to co-found Athena Technology Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), making history as the only SPAC listed on the NYSE with an African American female CEO. In a $2 billion merger, Athena took concentrated solar power company Heliogen public, further showcasing Newhouse’s impact in the business world.
In 2021, Newhouse founded ShoulderUp Technology Acquisition Corp., another SPAC that closed an upsized $300 million IPO in November. Her dedication to investing in and empowering women led her to establish ShoulderUp, a nonprofit focused on connecting and supporting women on their entrepreneurial journeys.
ShoulderUp is the first women-founded and led fund providing impact and exclusive access to a diverse portfolio of media, technology companies, and sports entertainment. Through Leadership Inspirational Talks (LITalks), Newhouse directly addresses the ShoulderUp audience, nurturing leadership through spiritual and inspirational journeys.
Newhouse’s accomplishments have earned her numerous accolades, including induction into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame and recognition as part of Inc.’s Mighty 25 and Culture Creator Honoree.
As a devoted advocate for the community, Phyllis Newhouse serves on various boards, including Sabre’s board of directors, the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), and Business Executives for National Security (BENS). Additionally, she proudly serves on the Executive Board of Women’s Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and the Board of Directors of Girls Inc., an organization dedicated to empowering girls to be “Strong, Smart, and Bold.”
Phyllis Newhouse’s induction into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. at the 56th National Convention is a testament to her trailblazing spirit and commitment to empowering women in all facets of life. Her presence among the esteemed sisterhood further reinforces Delta Sigma Theta’s dedication to celebrating exceptional leaders who inspire positive change and progress.
Alongside Newhouse, the roster of distinguished inductees for this year’s 2023 convention include Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson; President of MSNBC, Rashida Jones; former Chairman and CEO of BET Networks, Debra Lee; Ambassador Bonnie Denise Jenkins; prominent television executive and producer, Channing Dunge; and WNBA legend and Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings.
Watch The Yard would like to warmly welcome Phyllis Newhouse to Black greekdom.