I am really proud to reflect back on an Operation HOPE partnership that in many ways, started it all with our updated HOPE Inside model: our new $20 million, four-year partnership with Truist.

Bill Rogers and John Hope Bryant

The journey between Truist and Operation HOPE began with HOPE Inside, around year 2014, when then SunTrust Bank committed to allowing Operation HOPE to open a new model financial coaching location inside of 2-3 SunTrust Bank locations.

Those original locations succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination, and the next phase was growth to approximately 25 locations between HOPE and SunTrust (now Truist).

In the midst of all of this, the federal banking regulators jointly agreed (through the FFIEC) to allow Operation HOPE to operate within FDIC insured bank branches, and to give participating banks CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) credit.

Following the merger, the new Truist Bank (the 6th largest in the nation) committed to significantly expand our partnership. And this is where we find ourselves today, with this transformational partnership that ultimately establishes 50 HOPE Inside master Hub locations, and places HOPE Inside satellites within half of their more than 2,000 bank branches nationwide.

That means that Operation HOPE will ultimately be in more than 1,000 Truist Bank locations nationwide. This, is transformation and community economic empowerment, at scale.

Truist and Operation HOPE’s expanded partnership includes:

  • Transforming and expanding the HOPE Inside coaching program to be community-based and impact-focused, encompassing 50 hub locations serving 1,000 branches in communities across the Truist market.
  • Investing in and accelerating 1MBB with a capacity-building grant and a commitment of 1,000 hours of volunteer time.
  • Collaborating to build a digital platform that will provide HOPE Inside education alongside access to Truist solutions and services, bringing touch and technology to support those underserved by financial services.
  • Collaborating to further the employee wellness platform with HOPE coaching and Truist Momentum programming.
  • Becoming a 2021 Member of HOPE to build capacity and sustainability as the partnership blooms over the next four years.
  • Serving as the lead sponsor for the HOPE Global Forums, a community designed to galvanize thought and action around building an economy that works for everyone.

But at the end of the day, the power of this transformational partnership — and a model for the American banking sector overall — was not about an organization and a bank, per se. The reality is, we don’t do business with organizations or companies, we do business with people.

The people ~ the magic sauce so to speak ~ who made all of this possible, were leaders at Truist Bank, including my friend Bill Rogers, now president of Truist Bank, Kelly King, CEO of the bank, and internal leaders such as Brant Standridge, who is head of retail community banking and a member of the executive leadership team.

I am thankful, for all who made this possible. This is history, in the making, and we plan to make a meaningful difference in the underserved communities we serve. Beginning, right. Now.

Let’s go.

John Hope Bryant

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