The Most Powerful Women in African American Owned Banks


The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood. – Mary McLeod Bethune

Headshot-Cynthia-Day-2011

African American owned banks might be on the decline, down to 21 from 54 over the past 20 years, but the ranks of African American women in positions of power continues to rise. Our list includes 3 CEOs, 1 President, 2 CFOs, 13 Vice-Presidents, and 7 board of directors. A sign that the playing field for African American women within African American organizations is much friendlier than their counterparts. African American women comprise almost 15 percent of African American owned banks CEO positions, while European American women make up only 5 percent of European America’s top 20 banks.

We have done our best to find out just who are some of the amazing African American women serving as executives and directors at African American owned banks around the country. Some banks do not have their management or board of directors listed so we are sure we missed some, but for now here is who we found and some of their stories.

Broadway Federal Bank

Mildred Cayton is the Controller for Broadway Federal Bank, making her the number two in charge at the California-based bank.

Commonwealth National Bank

Jacquitta Powell Green is the Vice President of Northside Exchange. She has served on the boards of Volunteer Mobile, the National Check Cashier Association, the City of Prichard Chamber, Leadership Mobile and as the Nominations Chair of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. and Services to Youth Chair/Greater Mobile Chapter of the LJNKS, Inc. Jacquitta Powell Green is a graduate of Alabama A & M University and Springhill College.

Citizens Trust Bank

Cynthia N. Day, President and CEO (pictured above) – assumed the presidency of the Company and Citizens Trust Bank on February 27, 2012. Day joined Citizens Trust Bank in February 2003 as Executive Vice President of Management Services after the Bank acquired Citizens Federal Savings Bank of Birmingham, where she served as the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer and in other capacities since 1993. Two years after the acquisition, she became the Senior Executive Vice President & COO of the Company and the Bank. Prior to becoming a banker, Ms. Day, who is a certified public accountant, worked for KMPG as an audit manager, managing audit engagements for companies across several different industries including banking, insurance, manufacturing and educational institutions. Ms. Day has been recognized for her leadership and mentorship in various community and professional organizations including being named one of “Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence” by the Atlanta Business League and one of Atlanta Tribune’s “Wonder Women”. She currently serves on the board of The National Banker’s Association and Aarons, Inc. She is also a member or has actively served in various organizations such as the Georgia Society of CPAs, The University of Alabama Continuing Education Advisory Board, the American Liver Foundation and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Ms. Day’s insight into the day-to-day operations of the Bank and her expertise in the banking industry adds value to the board and qualifies her to serve as a director.

Mercy P. Owens, began her service as a director in 2004Ms. Owens retired as Senior Vice President of Wachovia Bank with more than 30 years of banking experience, primarily in the area of compliance.  Ms. Owens is the President of Resource Consulting, which has been engaged by Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and non-profit organizations to provide training and development for her constituents.  She serves on the St. Augustine’s College Falcon Foundation Board and Emory Hospital Winship Cancer Center Advisory Board.  We believe Ms. Owens’ previous years of banking experience are very valuable to the board and qualify her to serve as a director.

Industrial Bank

Patricia A. Mitchell, EVP, Retail and Sales Operation, is also a member of the board of directors. For Ms. Mitchell, Industrial Bank is more than a job, it is a legacy. She is the granddaughter of the bank’s founder and had fate not had its hand she would have never entered the family business. Luckily, she did and the rest has been history.

Massie S. Fleming has been a Director of IBW Financial Corp., since 1985. Mrs. Fleming retired at the end of 1997 from her position as Executive Vice President of the Industrial Bank, N.A. Prior to that date, she served in various executive and administrative positions at the bank since 1959, including as Chief Executive Officer from 1985 to mid 1997.

Pamela King has been a Director of IBW Financial Corp., since June 2001. Ms. King serves as President of the accounting firm of King, King, and Associates. Ms. King was one of the first African-American women to serve on the Maryland Board that certifies CPA’s.

Liberty Bank

Rhonda M. McMillan, Senior Vice President & Chief Credit Officer, Ms. McMillan is responsible for credit administration, mortgage operations, Visa and risk management for Liberty. She has an MBA in Finance from Clark Atlanta University and a graduate degree in banking from Southern Methodist University’s Southwestern Graduate School of Banking. With over 15 years in banking and credit administration, Ms. McMillan has held numerous positions within the credit administration and risk management areas.

Mechanics  & Farmers Bank

Connie White serves as Vice Chairman of Mechanics and Farmers Bank. Ms. White has been a Director of Mechanics and Farmers Bank since 2002. She serves on the boards of the Durham County ABC Board and the NC Legislative Black Caucus Foundation. Ms. White has a total of 8 years of banking experience. Ms. White earned a Bachelors of Science Degree from Hampton University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kim D. Saunders has been the CEO and President of M&F BanCorp. Inc. since 2007. Prior, she served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Consolidated Bank & Trust Company. She also holds appointments as a Vice Chair of the Richmond Renaissance and member of the Virginia Fair Housing Board. A rich professional career as she has more than 20 years of commercial banking experience. She has been Director of M&F BanCorp. Inc. and Mechanics & Farmers Bank since 2009 and 2007 respectively. Ms. Saunders serves on the boards of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Biotech Research Park Corporation, Saint Catherine’s School, World Affairs Council (VA), and the Bon Secours Richmond Health System (Joint Hospitals). Ms. Saunders holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania and Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Shaw University in 2007.

OneUnited Bank

Deloris Pettis-Donaldson serves as a director at OneUnitedBank. served as Director of Internal Audit at Harvard University and was instrumental in transforming the internal audit function into a risk management department. Ms. Pettis-Donaldson has extensive finance and internal audit experience. She served for four years as Group Audit Manager of North American, Latin American, and Caribbean operations at Digital Equipment Corp. She also helped to develop and implement a risk-based operating model. Before Digital, she served as Director of Internal Audit for Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA). In addition to working at Digital and MBTA, she worked at BankBoston Corp., National Association of Securities Dealers and the accounting firm of Peat Marwick Mitchell. At BankBoston, she held a range of senior finance positions, including Manager of Regulatory Reporting and Manager of Internal Control. At Digital, she served on the Advisory Board for the Financial Development Program. She serves as Director of Harvard School of Public Health. She is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor. She has an MBA from Tulane University’s Graduate School of Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

Teri Williams serves as President and Chief Operating Officer of OneUnited Bank (formerly, Boston Bank of Commerce). Ms. Williams is responsible for implementation of OneUnited Bank’s strategic initiatives, as well as its day to day operations. She has 25 years of financial services experience from premier institutions such as Bank of America and American Express TRS Company, where Ms. Williams served as a youngest Vice President. She served as a Senior Vice President of OneUnited Bank. She serves as Director of OneUnited Bank. She served as a Director at Carver Bancorp Inc. since 2000. She has been Treasurer of Dimock Community Health Center for over 5 years and is its Vice Chairperson. Ms. Williams is involved in community projects, including Treasurer of UNICEF/New England and the Board of Overseers for WGBH (public tv). Ms. Williams has received numerous notations and awards for her contribution to urban communities including from the Urban League, NAACP and the National Black MBA Association. Ms. Williams holds an M.B.A. with honors from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and a B.A. with distinctions in Economics from Brown University.

Sherri Brewer is Senior Vice President, Chief Retail Officer of OneUnited Bank. She has been in the banking industry for 30 years.

Cecilia Isaac serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of OneUnited Bank. Ms. Isaac is responsible for OneUnited Bank’s lending operations including loan origination (sales and production), loan service and asset management. Ms. Isaac has over 30 years of banking experience – beginning with Security Pacific and including First Interstate Bancorp and Bank of California. Ms. Isaac has retail banking and extensive lending expertise in single family lending, commercial lending, commercial real estate lending, portfolio management, loan work out, mortgage sales and credit administration. Ms. Isaac holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in public administration and a certificate in tax administration from the University of Southern California.

Seaway Bank and Trust Company

Phyllis Davis serves as President of Phyllis Davis Real Estate. Phyllis Davis serves as Director of Seaway Bank And Trust Company.

Gail L. Bahar, Vice President/Human Resources Officer

Lois B. Jenkins, Vice President/Trust Officer

Claudette Harris, Vice President/Marketing Officer

Trina E. Phelps, Vice President/Internal Auditor/Loan Review Officer

Denise Weaver, Senior Vice President/Operations

Arlene Williams, Senior Executive Vice President/Lending

United Bank of Philadelphia

Marionette Y. Wilson joined the Board of Directors of United Bank of Philadelphia in  1992 as a founding director. She is now retired but was formerly the Co-Founder/Partner, John Frazier, Inc., Philadelphia, PA from 1981-2002.

Evelyn F. Smalls has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Bank of Philadelphia since June of 2000.  Prior to this appointment, she was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance.

Brenda M. Hudson-Nelson serves as United Bank of Philadelphia’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mrs. Hudson-Nelson’s responsibilities include directing financial planning, financial reporting, implementing, managing the Bank’s investment portfolio, and managing the Bank’s sensitivity to interest rate risk.  Prior to joining United Bank of Philadelphia, Ms. Hudson-Nelson was an Audit Manager for Ernst & Young, a ”Big 6” accounting firm serving clients in the financial services industry.

Dimitria Davenport is an Assistant Vice President of Compliance and Administration. Ms. Davenport’s responsibilities are to ensure that the Bank adheres to all applicable consumer protection laws, and federal and state regulations. In her eighteen-year tenure in the financial services industry, she has held key roles within Human Resources, Training and Retail Administration.

Juliette L. Holmes is the Assistant Vice President of Retail Banking and Business Development. In this capacity, she is responsible for overseeing branch operations and business development for the Bank’s three branches. Ms. Holmes has many years of experience in retail banking and has coached and mentored branch personnel to provide exceptional customer service.

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One response to “The Most Powerful Women in African American Owned Banks

  1. Pingback: The Most Powerful Women in African American Owned Banks | Monique Charles

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