VP, National Multicultural Manager,
Karen A. Clark is not just another senior executive bathing in the perks from a powerful financial institution. Clark meticulously appropriates the influence she wields at U.S. Bank in order to help transmogrify, resuscitate and uplift the communities in which her bank operates. And the $88 billion of investment resources U.S. Bank poured into affordable housing; the low-income tax credit; the foundation awards and equity investments in 2006 alone, is an unequivocal illustration of their philosophy of community revitalization and cultural inclusion.
“For us, community investment and CRA’s are not just about lending money to people, but it’s to change the face of the community. So in the communities in which we make those investments, you can actually see buildings go up, affordable housing going up,” says Clark, the vice president and national multicultural manager for U.S. Bank. “You can see us actually investing in that community and providing retail opportunities in our communities [that] are creating jobs. That’s the essence of community development, and that’s the way it should be.”
This explains why U.S. Bank was a title sponsor for the St. Louisbased convention of the National Urban League, which specializes in job training and job placement. Clark, who resides in the South Los Angeles neighborhood in which she works, aims to build specific products to reach and serve urban communities, as well as persuade them to join the U.S. Bank family.
“I’m not just showing up and saying I was part of a program. We see the community every day. We drive up to our homes in this community,” she says, her words coated in passion. “So we have a vested interest. We have to provide opportunities and hope to our community, because no one else is going to do it.” – terry shropshire
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