At times, who you know can be more important than what you know. And for the educated ladies at Spelman College, a business leader on their Board of Trustees will help students learn even more! Read the full release from Spelman below to learn how Suzanne Shank is driving innovation and business initiatives at the College!

Siebert Williams Shank & Co. LLC., the nation’s top-ranked minority and woman-owned investment banking firm, recently announced plans to support educational programs for the next generation of African American innovative business leaders. 

Suzanne Shank, president, CEO and majority owner of SWS, and a member of the Spelman College Board of Trustees, will partner with Christopher Williams, chairman of SWS,and equity partner Gary Hall, to provide a monetary gift in support of a new fellowship designed to support bourgeoning business leaders. 

In partnership with Spelman’s Innovation Lab, a campus-wide resource for creative inquiry, the fellowship will support students as they learn key elements of business strategy and entrepreneurship. 

Courtesy of Biography Tribune

“Even prior to my joining the board, I knew Spelman College was a strong training ground for women who lead and excel in their careers and communities,”  said SWS President and CEO Suzanne Shank, who has been a member of the Spelman College Board of Trustees since 2011. “I knew this first-hand, as my mother was a Spelman graduate who gave me an appreciation for the impact of a quality education on changing the trajectory of one’s life. Supporting an educational institution that has a rich history of matriculating Black leaders in many fields, including business, is the perfect way to kick off Black History Month.”

During the year-long program, students will develop their professional skills, create a sustainable business model, and have access to mentorship and internship programs. 

“We are grateful for this generous gift from  Siebert Williams Shank to Spelman’s Innovation Lab, a space on campus that enables students to experiment with technology to realize their entrepreneurial and creative efforts,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman.

Founded in 2016 within the Division for the Arts, the Innovation Lab serves as a center for creativity at the intersections of science, art, engineering and technology. Through the Lab, students have access to 3D printers, laser cutters, 4-axis CNC routers, 3D scanners and other conventional hand and power tools that make prototyping possible.

America’s top-ranked women- and minority-owned investment bank, Siebert Williams Shank. Left to Right: Henry Cisneros, Vice Chairman, Suzanne Shank, President and Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Williams Chairman of the Board of Directors. (Courtesy of Travis Curry)

A veteran of the business industry, Shank joined the Spelman’s Board of Trustees in 2011. She has been widely recognized in the industry, including being named one of the Top 25 Women in Finance by U.S. Banker and one of the 50 Most Influential Black Women in Business by Black Enterprise.

Siebert Williams Shank & Co., is dually headquartered in New York City and Oakland, California. With more than 20 offices throughout the country, the firm is among the most diverse in its industry, with 64 percent of its workforce comprised of women and minorities.

The firm will also gift Howard University’s School of Business with a donation in support of its 50th anniversary strategic initiatives.