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First Tennessee Bank - Female Executive of the Year

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Company: First Tennessee Bank, Memphis, TN
Entry Submitted By: Trust Marketing Inc
Company Description: First Tennessee, part of the First Horizon National Corporation, is a financial services company based in Memphis, Tennessee. First Tennessee provides financial services through more than 180 locations in and around Tennessee.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year – Consumer Services –More Than 2,500 Employees

Nomination Title: Lynne Walker, EVP, Director of Affinity Strategy - First Tennessee Bank/First Horizon Corp.

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

As one of four children, Lynne Walker grew up in a unique family where education was non-negotiable, thanks to her father who was raised by aunts with PHDs. Now, she understands those great life lessons her father taught her. He put their family in situations where they were forced to learn how to find affinities and engage in broad and diverse circles. He was a change agent. He integrated a neighborhood just outside of Princeton, N.J. Lynne was often the only African-American student in classes or in friendship circles. She didn’t realize how those challenging experiences would impact her life and career choices, especially now as head of Diversity and Affinity Strategy.

Historically, the banking industry has not been a paragon of diversity & inclusion. The senior management, rising stars and new hires were predominately white males. That was the environment Lynne Walker had to navigate when she began her career as a corporate banker at Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo) in NC. But she recognized enormous needs and when she joined First Citizens Bank in Charlotte, she created a specialized lending group focused on small, women and minority owned businesses and low/moderate income mortgages. She made things better and garnered a plethora of awards, but she was far from finished.

Currently, Ms. Walker is Executive Vice President, Director of Affinity Strategy for the First Horizon National Corporation, the Southeast’s 4th largest banking company. Before assuming the role, she wanted to understand their level of commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce and marketplace at the very top of the organization. CEO Bryan Jordan and president/chief operating officer David Popwell more than convinced her of their total dedication to changing the cultural complexion of the corporation. Unlike many other corporations, Lynne has no intermediaries. She reports directly to the president, David Popwell.

Although 2017 was only year two for Lynne in diversity and affinity strategy at First Horizon:

-The percentage of women and people of color in the Top 3 salary levels increased by 18%
-The percentage of hires, promotions and career moves for people of color doubled in the top three levels of the bank.
-Ms. Walker hosted a two-day professional development trip to bank headquarters in Memphis, TN for twenty-seven racially/ethnically diverse students from the University of Tennessee. It resulted in the hiring of 23 students as summer interns.
-Ms. Walker directed the launch of an inclusive Women and Wealth customer strategy. The strategy generated $34 Million in closed business from just two (2) pilot markets in 2017.

First Horizon’s 2017 Diversity & Inclusion Awards: Working Mother 100 Best Companies, National Association of Female Executives Top Companies for Women, Fortune's Best Workplaces for Women, Fortune's Best Workplaces for Working Parents, Fortune's Best Workplaces for Diversity (Finalist), Profiles in Diversity Journal: Innovations in Diversity, Working Mother's Best Companies for Multi-Cultural Women, Profiles in Diversity: 2017 Diversity Leader Award

During 2017, First Horizon National Corporation made enormous strides, and it is more inclusive now than ever before in its' 154-year history. Things are better than Lynne Walker found them. That's what change agents and Female Executives of the Year do.

Thank you.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):

Lynne Walker is Executive Vice President and Director of Affinity Strategy for First Tennessee Bank, a role she assumed in July 2015. Walker brings extensive expertise to executive leadership across all markets to advance and support bank-wide strategies, tactics and goals to ensure workforce, workplace and marketplace recognition as BEST IN CLASS for diversity and inclusion.

Walker has more than 30 years of banking experience, beginning her career as a cash management consultant for Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo) where she provided objective cash flow analyses to companies of all sizes. Additionally, she pioneered the concept of specialized lending for small businesses and affordable housing by creating and managing a community development group for First Citizens Bank in Charlotte, NC.