Tag Archives: Florida

Allies: SunTrust Bank Executive Team

“Inclusion & Diversity are not only good for business, but the way good business is conducted. We don’t have the luxury to exclude anyone. By embracing and leveraging our different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, we become more innovative, productive and profitable.” -Arnold Evans, Central Florida Division President for SunTrust Bank

For more info on the SunTrust Bank Team, visit: http://wp.me/p3PnKk-nm

Follow Us on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wearestraightallies
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeRStr8Allies
Instagram: http://instagram.com/werstr8allies

Advertisements

Ally Profile: Tanya Powers

Tanya Powers_FP

Tanya Powers is a Senior Vice President, Division Sales Manager for the Georgia North Florida Division. In this role, Mrs. Powers is responsible for driving sales strategy, training and sales management effectiveness for the division. She is based in Jacksonville, Florida.  She believes that everyone has the right to be treated equally and fairly.

Mrs. Powers joined SunTrust in as a part time teller her last year of college in 1992. A 22-year veteran Tanya has had various positions within the bank; most recently she spent 12 years as an Area Manager managing the 25 banking centers within the market. In this role, Mrs. Powers focused on integrating the company’s business and sales strategy as well as achievement of revenue goals.

Mrs. Powers earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Florida. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Johns Country Day School.

Ally Profile: The Dunham Family

Dunham Family_FP

I am coming out as a straight ally because I have two Gay Moms who love me and take great care of me.  I love them very much. –Jayda Dunham, Age 8

Michelle Caldwell and Serena Dunham met in 2001 at Holy Cross Metropolitan Church, located in Pensacola, Florida and celebrated a Holy Union in 2006. Although they could have legally wed in other states, it was important that their marriage be recognized in their home state of Florida, so they waited until that day would come. That day finally happened on January 6, 2015.

Michelle grew up near Pulaski, Tennessee, where the KKK was started. She observed first-hand the hatred of those who wore sheets to cover their shame, as they burn crosses and hurt people who were a different color, or in any other way, from them.

As a service connected disabled veteran, Michelle is the Founder and CEO of Monument to Women Veterans Foundation. Her organization is dedicated to creating a Monument that will honor and recognize the 2-million women who have served this country and have been in combat since 1948. She advocates for more empowerment of the role of women who currently make up 23% of our Armed Forces.

Serena is originally from Vermont. Coming from a large family, she had always wanted. After winning her battle with breast cancer, the possibility of having a child of her own would be a miracle. When they were given an ultrasound picture, in late 2006, and asked if they would be interested in adopting this baby at birth, they answered with a resounding YES! Serena carried the picture of the ultrasound, in her lunch box, and looked at her picture every day.

The baby was African-American and would be adopted by two white women, living in a predominantly white community. As parents who just happen to be gay, Michelle and Serena were not concerned so much for themselves, they were concerned about the possible discrimination their daughter could experience as a child whose parents are gay. Living in the conservative South, they were also concerned about the discrimination she may face, being a black child with white parents.

Like any good parent, these concerns required further introspection. Michelle and Serena hosted weekly bible study groups in their home. The group would pray over the ultrasound picture, for a healthy baby and guidance in raising their daughter. They came to understand that if God was allowing them to have this child, then God had great plans for that child.

On May 21, 2007, 8-week old Jayda Danielle joined the Dunham Family. Today Jayda is a happy, healthy third-grader who loves science, drama and, most of all, traveling. She is a great athlete, student and recently, received the award for “Terrific Kid” from her school, which, of course, we think fits pretty well! One of the things Jayda loves the most, is helping Michelle work with the homeless Veterans program at Christmas. “Home for Holidays” takes homeless veteran families off the streets and places them in a hotel for 30-days. Santa Claus comes to visit the children and Jayda gets to be Santa’s helper.

As a family, we believe in the basic principle, “To love one another as God first loved us.” We do this without judgment or prejudiced towards others and we strive to teach others by leading a good example. It is our goal to raise Jayda into a well-rounded person. We have taught her to extend God’s Love and grace to everyone, and instilled the importance of the needs of others. She has learned that, despite the world’s differences, all lives are important and matter.

We stand up for Straight Allies because we want our children to grow up in a world that is equal to all people, regardless of race, color, or sexual orientation. We must educate people and reach out across the barriers to see the rainbow inside all of us.

Ally Profile: Wendy McSweeney

Wendy McSweeney_FP

Wendy McSweeney is the Enterprise Inclusion Leader for SunTrust Banks, Inc., responsible for developing and executing growth and engagement strategies, consulting with executive leaders and driving enterprise wide inclusion and diversity at SunTrust. With a focus on deliberate and inclusive connections with teammates, communities and clients, McSweeney is accountable for linking the internal and external activities of Suntrust’s Teammate Networks to business goals and objectives, providing transformative learning opportunities and effectively communicating the company’s commitment to inclusion. She is excited to have the opportunity to create an environment where her LGBT teammates feel safe and valued for their contribution to the company.

A 20-year veteran of the financial services industry, McSweeney has extensive inclusion and diversity, leadership, program management, relationship management, coaching and consulting experience. She chairs the SunTrust Enterprise Inclusion Council and serves as a member of the SunTrust Executive Inclusion Committee. In 2014, Black Enterprise Magazine named McSweeney one of the “Top Executives for Diversity & Inclusion” and the Georgia Diversity Council named her one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women” in Georgia.

Before joining SunTrust in 2013, McSweeney served as the diverse segments development leader at Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA). In that role, she designed programs to increase productivity and retention of diverse financial advisors and managers and led the new financial advisor sourcing program to recruit new advisors to the business. During her 11 years with WFA, she served in increasingly responsible positions to include business & administration manager of the national sales group and business manager of the business development group. Prior to joining WFA, McSweeney served as a conversion manager for SunTrust Bank’s Retirement Group where she partnered with organizations in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

McSweeney also serves on the Board of Directors of The Brian Jordan Foundation. She is a member of The Network Journal’s 2012 Class of “Forty under 40” leaders in business and a 2010 graduate of the St Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellow’s Leadership Program. She earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Virginia Union University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Wendy is a registered general securities representative with a Series 7 license.

We Are Straight Allies Announces Statewide Expansion of LGBT Human Rights Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2015

CONTACT:
Chevara Orrin
678.637.9041 or contact@wearestraightallies.com

Jacksonville, FL – As part of its statewide expansion plan, We Are Straight Allies (WASA) will feature executives from SunTrust Bank and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the highly successful human rights marketing and public awareness campaign, launched in August 2013. A primary focus of the expansion will be to engage cities, and leaders, in Florida previously receiving a low Equality Index rating from the Human Rights Campaign, as well as create a comprehensive initiative to gain understanding and acceptance for the Transgender Community. Partnering with Equality Florida, WASA aims to broaden the reach of its educational efforts as the organization continues to raise awareness about the challenges still facing the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, despite recent national gains in policy, such as marriage equality.

“Equality Florida is thrilled to partner with We Are Straight Allies as they expand their campaign statewide. This innovative initiative has been effective in raising awareness, educating communities and building support across our state. We look forward to a continued partnership that amplifies allies’ voices in support of LGBTA equality,” says Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida.

The WASA campaign features prominent allies the likes of feminist icon and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Gloria Steinem; Florida Blue CEO, Pat Geraghty; and Olympic gold medalist and attorney, Nancy Hogshead-Makar. Other allies include highly regarded members of the faith, business and nonprofit community. We Are Straight Allies is recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as a valued partner in championing for LGBT equality. “WASA has been instrumental in the cultural shift that is occurring in Jacksonville, FL, as it relates to our community moving closer to passage of a fully comprehensive Human Right Ordinance (HRO) and creating a more safe community,” says founder and co-creator, Chevara Orrin. “We have offered ally trainings across our city to corporate, community and faith leaders who are helping change hearts and minds, one person at a time.”

We Are Straight Allies seeks to educate, engage and “call to action” the business, faith-based, military, government, nonprofit, educational, arts and private sectors as we move towards passage of comprehensive polices that protect our LGBT community against discrimination in the state of Florida. The strategic educational and awareness efforts are targeted toward city and faith based leaders, as well as citizens, to ensure greater equity for the LGBT community in employment, housing and public accommodation. The campaign is designed to reaffirm those supporting fundamental human rights for all citizens and further engage the ambivalent, those who voted against comprehensive protections, and the uninformed about real challenges facing members of our LGBT community.

For additional information, visit the WASA website: www.wearestraightallies.com

# # #

WASA_Logo_Black