Atlanta, GA – November 23, 2010—Financial literacy and empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE) today announced the appointment of SunTrust Banks, Inc. Chairman and CEO James M. Wells III to the organization’s National Board.

“We are pleased to partner with Jim Wells and SunTrust as Operation HOPE continues its expansion in the Southeast,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant, who himself has been asked to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability by the Obama Administration.  “Jim Wells has dedicated a large portion of his life to providing leadership in our communities and we are delighted to have him on board.” 

Bryant noted that Wells has provided valuable leadership and support to HOPE in recent months, recruiting financial support within the banking industry and helping establish Operation HOPE in Atlanta through SunTrust and its $1,000,000 commitment to build the new HOPE Center at Ebenezer Baptist Church.  Wells also encouraged Jenner Wood, chief executive of SunTrust’s Atlanta and Georgia banking group, to take a position on the Southeastern Board.  

Wells joined a predecessor company of SunTrust as a management trainee. He was named President and CEO of SunTrust Banks, Inc. in 2007 and Chairman in 2008. He is a Director of The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Georgia Research Alliance. A graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he also attended the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. 

“I am honored to join Operation HOPE in their quest to improve the quality of life for families facing economic hardship,” said Wells. “Giving people the tools they need to move forward — and enabling them to create a stronger financial foundation for the future through education and experience — are both important steps in helping them take charge of their lives.”

SunTrust’s involvement with Operation HOPE revolves around their membership in the Financial Services Roundtable (the Roundtable), which signed a five-year framework agreement with the nonprofit at last year's HOPE Global Financial Literacy Summit. This agreement with the Roundtable — an organization representing 100 of the largest integrated financial services companies in the United States — demonstrates the industry’s commitment to financial literacy and moves to involve more financial services companies in supporting underserved communities.  

Wells will join some of the nation’s most powerful executives, decision-makers, bankers and economists; board chairman John Hope Bryant; board vice-chairs Tim Chrisman, chief executive officer of Chrisman & Company and chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; Lynn Pike, president of Capital One Bank; and Rick Hartnack, vice chairman of U.S. Bancorp; in providing insight and guidance to the nonprofit's direction. 

A complete 2010 list of HOPE's National Board may be viewed at

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