Comerica’s Senior Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer Linda D. Forte has announced her plans to retire in August 2016 following a 42-year career with the bank. Comerica Senior Vice President of Talent Acquisition Nathaniel Bennett has been named as Comerica’s new Chief Diversity Officer, reporting to Megan D. Burkhart, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. In addition to his new responsibilities, Bennett will continue his role as the leader of Talent Acquisition at Comerica, which will allow for strong synergies.
“I have been blessed with a career in which I could fulfill my passion to empower others,” said Forte, who has helped define and drive business strategies to establish Comerica as a leader in diversity and work life practices. “It has been a privilege to help raise appreciation and support for the diverse members of our community, as well as make our communities better through corporate contributions and volunteerism.”
“Under Linda’s leadership, Comerica has contributed millions of dollars to nonprofits in the communities we serve, provided our colleagues meaningful community volunteer opportunities, and driven our diversity program forward, making it one of the best and most recognized in the country,” said Ralph W. Babb, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“Diversity and community involvement are core values at Comerica. As Chief Diversity Officer, Nathan will reinforce our deep commitment to a diverse workforce, community and customer base. This fits perfectly with Nathan’s focus on talent acquisition, since we know that when our workforce truly reflects the demographics of our markets, we will better serve our customers, grow our business and build an even stronger organization,” Babb added.
Among Forte’s significant accomplishments during her 42-year career with Comerica, which began in 1974, are the:
*formation of employee teams designed to develop and nurture business relationships with diverse business owners, professionals and community influencers;
*development of employee networking groups, which coordinate hundreds of professional development opportunities for colleagues while supporting communities the bank serves through volunteer projects and events;
*launch of the bank’s well regarded Master of Diversity Awareness program, which supports understanding of the value of an inclusive workplace environment; and
*annual reporting of thousands of volunteer hours in the bank’s “Comerica Cares” program, which has received national recognition for its impact on communities served.
Forte, in addition to her service on a number of boards, has earned considerable recognition during her tenure with the bank, including as a 2014 Network Journal “25 Influential Black Women in Business” honoree; a recipient of the 2014 Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion Annual Humanitarian Award, as the 2014 Michigan Women’s Foundation Woman of Achievement and Courage, and as a 2013 Inductee into the “Academy of Distinguished Alumni” for Bowling Green State University. She also was recognized in 2016 by Black Enterprise’s “Top Executives in Diversity.”