Rolling out sat down with Terra Wallace, vice president of education and engagement for U.S. Bank-Elavon, to discuss her leadership initiative to support Black businesses and communities. The Fortune 500 company announced a $450,000 investment in the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs.
Can you share with us a little bit about the journey and how you got here before announcing the investment?
I came across RICE, the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs in March of 2020. We were going through the pandemic, and I knew a lot of Black businesses were struggling. You know, the pandemic affected small Black businesses very differently than it affected other small businesses, or non-minority businesses, and I was trying to find a way to continue to encourage our Black small businesses during that time and give them hope and resources as they were out trying to figure it out. I came across the CEO of RICE, Mr. J. Bailey, and here we are making this huge announcement about a $450,000 investment that we at U.S. Bank and Elavon are making into the RICE Center.
For those that don’t know, what does Elavon do for entrepreneurs?
We are a company that is constantly on the cutting edge of technology, of mobile payments and digital payments, and we’re continuing to evolve and grow. And on top of that, we’re in the community. So, not only are we helping you take your payments, but we’re also becoming a resource for you as you continue to grow your business.
You and Bernice King actually had a conversation. What was it like when you were able to bring her voice and her mission to Elavon?
What I loved about it was the opportunity to share history with so many of my colleagues from across all these different walks of life. We had over 450 employees in attendance and a lot of our executives. We’re all in this room, taking part in this moment in history and humanity at the same time, so it was pretty awe-inspiring for me.
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