Community Banker Spotlight

Chiquita Board

A dream becomes reality

Chiquita Board
Vice President and Foundation Specialist, Truist Foundation, Austin

Year after year, community banks are continuing to grow and evolve, as do their communities. But when it comes to the banking industry, Chiquita Board believes in making an impact.

“It’s evolution. While technology is at the intersection of the digital age, the banking industry still relies on people,” Board said.

Today, Board serves as vice president and a foundation specialist at Truist Foundation in Austin. She consults with local market leaders to execute Truist Foundation’s grant-making strategies, processes and procedures, reviews grant applications, provides technical assistance, adheres to the foundation’s governance structure and policies and manages seven markets in the United States.

Getting into banking

Born in Rochester, New York and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, Board graduated high school at the tender age of 15. By age 16, she had enrolled in college at Anderson University, where she received her associate degree.

“We had three generations of college graduates,” added Board. “All eyes were on me, the fourth generation, to enroll in college at 16.”

In 1983, Board decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia and after 10 years, she went on to pursue her bachelor’s degree in business administration at Shorter University.

Board kicked off her career as the director of financial education and county extension agent at the Cooperative Extension Service in Atlanta. There, she managed and trained staff to deliver multiple consumer education programs to address the rising unemployment, foreclosures, underserved and increased bankruptcy filings.

In 2005, Board joined Get Checking Inc. as a financial capability consultant. There, she managed the delivery of various financial literacy programs for low- to moderate-income audiences. In 2015, she relocated to Austin and accepted the role of part-time coordinator at the Dream Come True Foundation, a nonprofit organization that identifies high potential individuals and families and helps them to achieve their dreams. She had several roles from director to executive director during her tenure.

Board took on the position of vice president and foundation specialist at Truist Foundation in 2019 and has hit the ground running ever since. At Truist, her dream quickly became a reality — to manage corporate philanthropy giving across 12 regions.

In 2020, Board joined the Texas Bankers Foundation Board of Directors. As a first-term board member, she helps to manage various Foundation initiatives such as financial literacy, diverse scholarships and more.

About Truist Financial Corporation

SunTrust and BB&T combined in a historic merger of equals to create Truist Financial Corporation, the sixth-largest U.S. commercial bank, in December 2019. With 275 years of combined history serving clients and communities in high-growth markets, the bank is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspiring and building better lives and communities.

“Every day, the pursuit of better drives us. And we’re committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and boldly believe in the power of what we can achieve together,” Board said.

The bank operates nearly 2,000 branches in 17 states and Washington, D.C., and offers consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services.

Making a commitment to its communities

The Truist Foundation, a charitable arm of Truist Financial Corporation, focuses its efforts on strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life.

Truist partners with more than 400 community and national organizations, including UNCF, NAAAP, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE) Executives, National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc., National Hispanic Corporate Council and the National LGBTQ Task Force, to name a few.

The bank also provides funding for HBCUs and Hispanic-Serving Institutions through leadership development, community development projects, student workforce development and scholarships.

“When it comes to community, we’re committed to helping the cities, communities and neighborhoods we serve thrive,” added Board. “We awarded grants serving a high percentage of 51% in low- and moderate-income areas. At Truist, our mission is to inspire and build better lives throughout our footprint.”

Last year, Truist launched its Truist Cares initiative in March — a cooperative effort between Truist Financial Corporation, Truist Foundation Inc. and Truist Charitable Fund — to provide communities, organizations and individuals disaster relief and assistance during the COVID-19 crisis and in September, helped to establish CornerSquare Community Capital, a new national nonprofit fund that will support selected community development financial institutions (CDFIs).

The bank also has a three-year $60 billion community benefits plan focused on rural and urban community development and investment, affordable housing and more.

Life outside of banking

Board enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, their children Anthony, Alisha, Cathleen, Preston and Andrew and their six beautiful grandchildren.

When she’s not in the office, she enjoys traveling to visit her children, knitting and crocheting or watching a great film.

Who is your hero?
I have a tribe that includes my mom, Bertha Jones Dawson, the head of the Truist Foundation, Lynette Bell and my mentors Alisha K. Alexander (daughter), Beverly Dabney and Charlotte Snowden-King.

What is your favorite book?
The book I read every day is the Bible.

What is your favorite movie?
I am an avid movie watcher. I enjoy genres such as box-office drama films, musical-romances, action, black and white films and documentaries.

Who is your favorite President?
I have several favorites across both parties.

What is your favorite sports team?
Chicago Bulls

What is your favorite quote?
“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing.” — Theodore Roosevelt