By Sasha Smith
Local leaders bring expertise in workforce development, inclusive growth, social justice and more to M&T Bank’s Rochester region board of advisors to bring more support to the Rochester community.
The Director Advisory Council will provide insights to support the bank’s ongoing efforts to identify local challenges and customize service models and solutions to grow the city of Rochester’s financial state.
“Our purpose as a company is to make a difference in people’s lives, and we know our greatest impact will be achieved by collaborating with our community,” said Dan Burns, M&T Bank Rochester Regional President.
Notably, Dr. DeAnna Burt-Nanna, president of Monroe Community College and Dr. Seanelle Hawkins, president and CEO of the Urban League of Rochester were recently appointed as members of the council. Both come with a wealth of knowledge and experience, Burns said Dr. Burt-Nanna and Dr. Hawkins perspectives will strengthen the council and ensure M&T is contributing to positive change here in the city.
Dr. Burt-Nanna became Monroe Community College’s 6th president in May of 2021, and has since worked to expand higher education and training, encouraging lifelong learning and regional workforce development. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership, a master’s in Business Administration and a bachelors in Computer Information Systems and has over 20 years of experience in higher education, both at the faculty and administrative levels. She is a committed advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as educational access.
Dr. Hawkins also has over 20 years working in her field. Hawkins made history as the first woman to serve as president and CEO of the Urban League of Rochester and now focuses on strengthening its future as the region’s leading civil rights organization. She has led the Urban League to exceed its goals for program performance, fundraising and community engagement. Hawkins’ is an expert in community engagement and cultural change, introducing a new Equity and advocacy division at the Urban League. She has held numerous leadership roles for non profits and community focused programs in a consulting capacity and is an active board member for the Council of Agency Executives, RochesterWorks!, the Greater Rochester Housing Partnership and the Excellus Rochester Regional Advisory Board.
Hawkins also launched the INTERRUPT RACISM initiative, which has encouraged community-wide conversations and actions and provides anti-racism training for the Greater Rochester area.
“I’m extremely grateful Dr. Burt-Nanna and Dr. Hawkins have joined the council. I admire their commitment to our community and their impressive experience in advocating for social justice, inclusion and equitable access to opportunities,” Burns said.
The 20 member panel will meet on a regular basis to discuss business, customers and community issues. Burt-Nanna and Hawkins are just 2 of the twenty advisory council members from various business and community sectors that includes Marlene Bessette, president & CEO of Catholic Family Center; William Buckingham, retired M&T Bank executive; Danny Chessin and Jocelyn Goldberg-Schaible, president of the Rochester Research Group and more.
M&T employs more than 425 people in its Greater Rochester region, 30 offices that cover Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Wayne and Yates counties with regional headquarters at 3 City Center in downtown Rochester.
“Working together, this panel helps us develop new ways to uplift our communities and grow the Rochester economy,” said Burns.