Paula J. Penn-Nabrit, a Columbus, Ohio native, is the second of four children and the eldest of three sisters. It is likely due to her sibling position as first born daughter that pioneering the uncharted while upholding the highest achievement standards has been a lifelong pattern. Paula graduated from the prestigious Columbus School for Girls with the triple distinction of being student government president, the only black student in her class, and the third black graduate in the school’s history. Armed with solid academic preparation coupled with first-hand race and class consciousness experiences, she enrolled at Wellesley College in the fall of 1972.
While pursuing a double major (philosophy and political science) Paula worked for the Massachusetts Black Caucus, directed, performed, and traveled with Wellesley’s renown Ethos Choir, and interned with Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm in Washington, DC. Paula graduated in June, 1976 then married Charles Nabrit three months later.
In the fall of 1977 Paula entered law school at Ohio State University. While her class work concentrated on tax and securities law, Paula’s extracurricular schedule included clerking positions with private business and tax law practices, the Ohio Attorney General, and the Federal District Court. In addition to serving as advisor to the Appellate Practice moot court team, Paula competed in various moot court activities and earned “Best Oralist” and “Order of the Barrister” awards. Although law school was interrupted in 1980 with the birth of twin boys, Charles and Damon, Paula returned to earn her Juris Doctorate in 1981.
With law school finished, Paula decided to focus all attention inward to family. Another son, Evan, arrived in 1982. A job transfer for husband, Charles, uprooted the family from Ohio and relocated them to Florida from 1983 to 1989. Shortly after moving to Jacksonville in 1983, Paula was hired as a securities consultant for AT&T’s newly formed stock transfer subsidiary, American Transtech. Having used this evolutionary workplace as a research laboratory, Paula left American Transtech and founded PN&A (PN&A) in 1986. That same year she joined the faculty of the University of North Florida as an adjunct professor in the business college teaching business law and ethics to MBA candidates.
An opportunity to return to Ohio presented itself in 1989. Paula soon joined the faculty of Franklin University as an adjunct professor teaching business law, employment law, and business ethics to undergraduates. In 1991, Charles Nabrit joined PN&A as head of marketing bringing with him nearly twenty years of sales and marketing experience. Through aggressive marketing, top-notch services, and true determination PN&A’s client base expanded broadly and rapidly gained a national reputation. With the consultancy out of the fledgling stage, Paula turned toward advancing her business ethics ideologies through research papers. Her work has been presented at numerous conferences within the United States, Canada and Europe.