Tag Archives: Straight Allies

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

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Ally Profile: Arnold Evans

Arnold Evans_FP

Arnold Evans is the Central Florida Division President for SunTrust Bank, based in Orlando. In that capacity, he leads a team that provides the full range of traditional and capital markets products and advice for privately-owned companies, and not-for-profit, educational and governmental entities. Arnold was previously SunTrust’s Regional President for Jacksonville.  Prior to his move to commercial banking, Mr. Evans spent 17 years as an investment banker, including nine years in the Equity Originations Group at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in Atlanta, GA, and eight in Equity Capital Markets at J.P. Morgan in New York City.

Arnold previously served as an Air Defense Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army.  During his 5+ years on active duty, he served in roles ranging from Platoon Leader to Battery, Battalion, Brigade and General’s Staff Advisor in geographic locations including the United States, Europe and South West Asia.  He completed his military service at the rank of Captain. In addition to his work responsibilities, he currently serves as a Trustee for the Darden School Foundation (Charlottesville, VA) and as head of that entity’s Investment Committee. He and his wife Joyce have two daughters, Asha and Aaren.

Arnold believes in LGBT Equality because as a City, as a State, and as a Country, we don’t have the luxury to exclude anyone.  “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.

Ally Profile: Chevara Orrin

Chevara Orrin_FP

“Being an ally isn’t an option, it is a way of life. I recall my mother, a white Jewish woman saying to us when we were little girls, ‘It is absolutely the responsibility of those in positions of power and privilege – the oppressors (whatever form that takes) to be actively engaged in the liberation of those who are being oppressed.’ I believe that as human beings, we are inextricably bound.”

With a passion for social justice, a rich legacy of civil rights, and the ability to inspire and engage, Chevara Orrin founded and co-created, We Are Straight Allies in direct response to the August 2012 Jacksonville City Council vote rejecting Bill 2012-296, better known as the Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) which would have added sexual orientation to the current non-discrimination policy.

Chevara has worked in the profit and higher education sectors for more than 20 years and has served as a community advocate for more than 40 years. She is an award-winning diversity & inclusion strategist, social entrepreneur, published author, social justice activist, independent filmmaker and dynamic public speaker. Her earliest memory of activism was as a three-year old, sleeping in concrete building tubes across the street from the White House in support of the Bangladesh Liberation War and protesting famine in Pakistan.

Chevara is a forward-thinking catalyst who is passionate about igniting organizational transformation. In her current role as Chief Creative Catalyst for Collective Concepts, she is best known for having conceived and co-created We Are Allies, a national advertising campaign to support equality and move towards passage of inclusive policies to protect the LGBTQ community and #WhiteAndWoke™ an initiative to raise awareness about racial inequality and promote equity through intentional action.

The Allies campaign has drawn the participation of prominent figures such as feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Olympic gold medalist and civil rights attorney Nancy Hogshead-Makar, cultural and faith leaders, and superstars from the corporate world, including the CEOs of Florida Blue and SunTrust Bank. Chevara is executive producer of an independent documentary, “The Story of Denise” that explores the transgender experience and family acceptance.

Chevara’s work and passion lives at the intersection of gender parity, racial equity, LGBTQ equality and arts activism. She is an innovative leader with more than 20 years of experience ranging from senior management in the arts and higher education sectors to consulting with Fortune 500 clients. Chevara is a frequent conference presenter, lecturer and motivational speaker. An outspoken advocate for the eradication of sexual violence against women and girls, Chevara founded WhiteSpace SafeSpace, a monthly support group and forum for incest survivors and will soon be published in  #LoveWITHAccountability, a collection of writings that examine how accountability is a powerful and necessary form of love needed to address child sexual abuse.

Chevara is deeply inspired by the legacy of her parents. She is the daughter of a white, Jewish mother who served as the lead coordinator for the 1967 March on the Pentagon in opposition of the Vietnam War and a Black father who was a fiery top lieutenant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a driving force behind many critical civil rights campaigns of the 1960s, including the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade, 1965 Selma to Montgomery March and Voting Rights Act. Chevara is also a survivor of childhood poverty, incest, teenage pregnancy, and domestic violence. It is because of, not in spite of, her personal journey of tragedy and triumph that she is inspired to use her experiences and voice as a catalyst to ignite social transformation.

While serving as an administrator at a university in North Carolina, Chevara co-founded the first-ever Gay-Straight Student Alliance. Seven months later, she was instrumental in the drafting and subsequent passage of the university’s first non-discrimination policy inclusive of sexual orientation. It was a unanimous decision by the Board of Trustees. This trailblazing work caught the attention of the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Chevara has collaborated with numerous LGBTQ organizations, including the Campaign for Southern Equality, PFLAG, and Equality Florida.

Chevara has been recognized by the White House and the Human Rights Campaign as a leader, advocate and ally for the LGBTQ community and featured in publications including The Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Feminist Wire. She has also been a featured guest on SiriusXM Radio and highlighted in John Blake’s 2007 book Children of the Movement, a powerful glimpse into the heart and soul of the Freedom Movement of the Sixties as seen by its children. Her numerous awards for community service include the Hands on Jacksonville Unity in Action award, University of North Florida Woman of Influence, Jacksonville “Who’s Who for Justice award, Jacksonville Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women honoree, Girls Inc. Jacksonville “Women of Vision” award, Spelman College Game Changers award, Triad Business Journal “Forty under 40” and Winston-Salem Urban League Community Leader of the Year. Chevara is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Winston-Salem and a current member of the Leadership Broward Class XXXVII.

Chevara has facilitated workshops and dialogues across the U.S. from TEDx Jacksonville to serving as keynote speaker for the NSA (National Security Agency) Diversity Speaker Series to co-hosting ‘Jazz Under the Bridge’ with legendary Tony award-winner, Ben Vereen.

She believes that “There is a human cost when we fail to connect. Ideas unborn. Dreams unrealized. Communities un-ignited.”

A native of Washington, D.C., Chevara was raised in Memphis, Tennessee and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Memphis. She is a 2017 graduate of Georgetown University’s Strategic Diversity and Inclusive Management Program. She is the proud mother of Michael, a graduate of Columbia University and senior trainer with The Posse Foundation, and William, an actor, yogi and college student in Atlanta, GA who is featured in “Wait No Longer,” the true story of the 1964 race riots in St. Augustine, Florida.

 

Ally Profile: Mayor Andrew Gillum

Mayor Gillum_FP

With a passion for public service, and the ability to motivate and mobilize people to action, Mayor Andrew D. Gillum is recognized statewide, in Florida, and nationally as an emerging leader. He is the Democratic Party nominee for governor of Florida in the 2018 election. At the age of 23, Gillum became the youngest person ever elected to the Tallahassee City Commission in February 2003. At the time of the election, Gillum was a student at Florida A&M University (FAMU), majoring in political science. In August 2004, Mr. Gillum was re-elected to serve for a full four-year term, and was subsequently re-elected in 2008 and August 2012. He was elected Mayor of Tallahassee in August 2014.

Andrew has always been a staunch supporter of LGBTQ rights during his years as a public leader. As a City Commissioner, Gillum led the charge to expand domestic partner benefits for City employees. As Mayor, when more than a dozen counties were refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Florida, Gillum raised his voice in opposition and extended an invitation for couples to get married in Florida’s capital – Tallahassee. In the wake of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy, he spoke up unapologetically for the victims and their families.

During his 12 years of service Mayor Gillum has played a leadership role in countless community initiatives including the Landlord Tenant Mediation Program, the Code Enforcement Amnesty Program, Good Neighbor energy assistance program, and the creation of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Park. He also served as the City’s chief negotiator for the consolidation of our community’s Fire and EMS services, and has spearheaded several initiatives to boost economic growth through commercial utility deposit rebates, land exchanges with Florida State University, and the development of seven-day guarantee permitting. In 2010, Mayor Gillum was instrumental in converting a former neighborhood recreational center into the Palmer-Monroe Teen Center, which works daily to meet the emotional, physical, artistic and educational needs of area teens, and also runs a restorative justice program called Community Connections that serves to deter youth away from the Court system and toward productive and constructive activity.

As Mayor, Andrew has launched numerous transformative initiatives, such as: The Tallahassee Future Leaders Academy, a summer jobs program for over 100 Tallahassee youth; Operation Safe Neighborhoods, which is designed to empower neighbors and help deter acts of violence; he has spearheaded efforts to bring TEDx back to Tallahassee and hosted a Startup weekend in the Capital City; and he has started the Family First agenda, which is moving Tallahassee towards a more nurturing and dynamic place for children and families to grow strong.  After experiencing intense discrimination and unwelcomeness from his community as a child, Mayor Gillum’s brother moved from the State of Florida to a place where he could live safe and free as a gay man.  It is a primary reason why the Mayor chose to be a part of the We Are Straight Allies campaign.

“Being an ally is important to me because love is never wrong, and equality must continue to be a part of the progress we work to drive in our community, our state, and in our country.  Nothing would please me more than if my brother could come back home and live in his home State of Florida.”

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Mayor Gillum has received numerous awards and recognitions for his passion and service over the years, and has been named an emerging leader by the Congressional Black Caucus, Jet Magazine, Ebony Magazine, the Association of Trial Lawyers for America (ATLA), The Drum Major Institute, IMPACT, and the Washington Post. He has also been regularly featured on several local and national news mediums including MSNBC, CNN, the Huffington Post, and the Tallahassee Democrat on various civic and social justice issues.

In addition to his work as Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew works for the People for the American Way Foundation as the National Director of Leadership Programs and the Founder and Executive Director of the Young Elected Officials Network.

Andrew and his wife R. Jai live in Tallahassee, Florida with their beautiful children.

Ally Profile: SunTrust Bank

SunTrust_FP_Group

“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

We Are Straight Allies welcomes our newest additions to our growing chorus for LGBT Equality across the State of Florida.  We are proud to have Arnold Evans, Division President, Central Florida; Tanya Powers, Senior Vice President and Division Sales Manager, Georgia-North Florida Division; Wendy McSweeney, Senior Vice President and Enterprise Inclusion Leader; and Todd Feintuch, Senior Managing Director for SunTrust Private Wealth, North Florida and Coastal GA Regions

Arnold Evans is the Central Florida Division President for SunTrust Bank, based in Orlando. In that capacity, he leads a team that provides the full range of traditional and capital markets products and advice for privately-owned companies, and not-for-profit, educational and governmental entities. Arnold was previously SunTrust’s Regional President for Jacksonville.  Prior to his move to commercial banking, Mr. Evans spent 17 years as an investment banker, including nine years in the Equity Originations Group at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in Atlanta, GA, and eight in Equity Capital Markets at J.P. Morgan in New York City.

Arnold previously served as an Air Defense Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army.  During his 5+ years on active duty, he served in roles ranging from Platoon Leader to Battery, Battalion, Brigade and General’s Staff Advisor in geographic locations including the United States, Europe and South West Asia.  He completed his military service at the rank of Captain. In addition to his work responsibilities, he currently serves as a Trustee for the Darden School Foundation (Charlottesville, VA) and as head of that entity’s Investment Committee. He and his wife Joyce have two daughters, Asha and Aaren.

Tanya Powers is a Senior Vice President and Division Sales Manager for the Georgia-North Florida Division. In this role, she is responsible for driving sales strategy, training and sales management effectiveness for the division. Tanya is based in Jacksonville, Florida. She joined SunTrust in 1992, as a part time teller her last year of college. She spent 12 years as an Area Manager managing the 25 banking centers within the Jacksonville market. In this role, Tanya focused on integrating the company’s business and sales strategy as well as achievement of revenue goals. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Johns Country Day School.

Tanya is a Straight Ally because everyone has the right to be treated equally and fairly.

 Wendy McSweeney is a Senior Vice President and Enterprise Inclusion Leader for SunTrust Bank, 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, Wendy 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.

Wendy serves on the board of directors of The Brian Jordan Foundation. In 2014, Black Enterprise Magazine named her 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. 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.

Wendy has the opportunity to support the LGBT community each and every day by enabling a more inclusive culture through opportunities and conversation with her LGBT teammates.  We all know someone that is a member of the LGBT community and Wendy wants each of them to feel valued and connected to the organization and to each other.

Todd Feintuch is the Senior Managing Director for SunTrust Private Wealth in the North Florida and Coastal GA Regions. His Team consists of Client Advisors and Specialists in North Florida and Coastal Georgia markets. Todd has been in Wealth Management for over 10 years, both as a Managing Director and as a Wealth Advisor. He is currently earning his Juris Doctor from Barry Law School.

As a registered representative of SunTrust Investment Services, Todd holds FINRA series 7, 66, and 24 registrations and Florida Life and Health and Variable Licenses and holds a CFP® Designation.

Todd believes that we should all have the freedom to be who they are and he believes strongly in equal rights for everyone.