I am pleased to report that Bill Rogers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SunTrust Bank, is confirmed to speak at the HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit in November, 2012.  

Rarely do you meet a real gentleman. Such is the case with Bill Rogers.  Frankly, he seems to be the exact man that he represents himself to be.  From my personal experience, he is one step better.  I met Bill Rogers through his predecessor, my friend and HOPE national board member Jim Wells, the former chairman and CEO of the bank.  In any case, Jim and the bank made a $1 million commitment to support our HOPE Financial Dignity Center at Ebenezer, and a successor could have simply said "we have done our part, thank you very much."  Bill Rogers did just the opposite.

In the weeks and months that followed him becoming the new chairman and CEO, Bill surprisingly pressed on the accelerator; introducing me to other C-Suite executives in Greater Atlanta, hosting breakfast discussions for Operation HOPE and myself, and calling leaders personally.  Most recently, Bill even attending a face to face meeting with me and a local Fortune 1000 company CEO.  Purpose?  To communicate, in the strongest manner possible, his endorsement and support for what we are doing.  In this day and age, this sort of real authentic, no-games, no-ego style of leadership is in short supply.  That is why I call Bill Rogers a 'gentleman-CEO' for our time.  He is also my friend.

Recently Mr. Rogers gave a speech on financial literacy to the Rotary Club in Atlanta before a group of C-Suite leaders.  Not on the global markets, or his loan performance, nor national or state politics, nor even all the great things he believes his bank is doing and should be credited for. He dedicated his speech to the one thing he believes that Washington, D.C. policy makers 'should' be encouraging bankers to do, almost out obligation, and that is financial literacy.  And now you know why I respect, admire, and even like this man so.

Mr. William H. Rogers, Jr., is Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer of SunTrust Banks Inc. He has been a director since 2011 and has served as Chairman of Board since January 1, 2012. He was named Chief Executive Officer in June 2011 after having served as Chief Operating Officer since November 2010 and President since December 2008. Mr. Rogers began his career in 1980 in the commercial bank training program of Trust Company of Georgia, a SunTrust predecessor company. He is a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Books-a-Million, Inc. Mr. Rogers earned an MBA from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is on the board of directors and executive committee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and serves as a Trustee Emeritus of The Lovett School and on the board, audit committee and compensation committee of Books-a-Million, Inc.


John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama.  Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S. He is also a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum.   Mr. Bryant serves on the board of directors of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation, an NYSE Euronext publicly traded company, and a division of $54 billion Ares Capital.

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