irvin ashford – the talented mr. ashford

photo by steed media service

VP of Public Affairs, Comerica Bank

It’s rare to meet individuals like Irvin Ashford in person. The New
York City native and University of Texas graduate will tell you that
his role as VP of public affairs for Comerica Bank is just one of many.
Ashford is a British American Project fellow and will be spending two
weeks in November in the U.K., with some of the other young, brilliant
business minds of the U.S. He is also an adjunct professor of business
at Paul Quinn College.

At Comerica, where he has worked for the
past seven years, Ashford leads a team in the Community Reinvestment
Act unit. Ashford and his staff are charged with helping Comerica focus
on meeting the diverse needs of the citizens and the communities the
bank serves.

“Comerica’s vision is that we are in business to help people be
successful,” says Ashford, who holds both a master’s degree in public
affairs and an MBA. “As part of that vision, it’s my mission to bring
ideas to the table that create opportunities for Comerica to reach out
to the community. How often do individuals of low- to moderate-income
communities get to meet a banker? In many of our communities that
opportunity to interact with a financial expert is few and far between.
We are committed to helping bridge or shorten that gap.”

For an all-world businessmen it would be hard not get cocky, but
someone with Ashford’s intelligence knows better. “I’m a real believer
in ‘walk softly and carry a big stick.’ I’m not going to be the guy you
see at every event,” he says. “I don’t want the microphone to get up on
stage and tell people what I’ve done. I do what I do and at the end of
the day, like grandma said, ‘The proof is in the pudding.’ ” – gavin p. godfrey

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