U.S. Bank Chief Diversity Officer Greg Cunningham was recognized by Twin Cities Business Magazine as one of three leaders in its annual Twin Cities Business Magazine Person of the Year special publication. Each year, the magazine highlights a top business leader. This year however, the publication chose to recognize three leaders following the themes of three significant happenings in the world and Twin Cities in 2020.
In a feature article accompanying the announcement, Cunningham talked about the challenges and opportunities during his life growing up, attending Clark College in Atlanta, his journey to Minneapolis and his leadership role at U.S. Bank. “We are sitting on a moment in history when this notion of inclusion is the biggest business opportunity that’s ever been in front of us,” he is quoted saying in the article.
Greg was recognized in a virtual event alongside Beth Ford, Land O’Lakes CEO and Dr. Andrew Bradley, Chair of Mayo Clinic’s Covid-19 research.
An excerpt from the feature article is below, including comments from U.S. Bank Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Cecere:
“If the Payroll Protection Program taught us anything, it’s that many small businesses didn’t have a bank relationship that worked,” Cunningham says. U.S. Bank committed to doubling the number of Black-owned businesses it contracts with for products and services as part of its supplier diversity program. “We’re focused on meaningful relationships with small businesses that allow those businesses to grow, create jobs, and funnel resources back into the community.”
These efforts have long been a priority at U.S. Bank, but Cecere says promoting Cunningham increases the level of awareness and intensity within the bank and beyond. ‘It allows diversity, equity, and inclusion to be front and center in our discussions.”
Cunningham knows he’s in the spotlight, but he emphasizes that this moment is larger than any one executive. “I’ve been called to service and I’m here to answer the call,” he says.
He works for the day when the bank no longer needs a diversity officer to push for equity and inclusion, and he’s already got his next job in mind. “The role will be called chief growth officer,” Cunningham says. “That’s my job of the future. I’m going to create it.”