Linda D. Forte
Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
Linda Forte’s interest in a career in business was triggered by the observation of a professor. She explains, “My undergraduate degree was in education, but I had a professor who told me I had a great business aptitude.” Following her bachelor’s degree at Bowling Green State University, and while working at Comerica, she obtained an M.B.A in finance and accounting from the University of Michigan and discovered that the field tapped into her passion.
Forte began her banking career at Comerica in 1974, holding management positions in business banking, municipalities, U.S. banking and loan administration, and human resources. Today, as senior vice president for business affairs and chief diversity officer, she is responsible for driving business strategies that establishes Comerica as a leader in diversity and work-life practices. A member of the bank’s senior leadership team, she is also responsible for the Comerica Charitable Foundation, Comerica Contributions and Civic Affairs. “When I lead a work team, I say, ‘we’re going to work hard, but have fun doing it.’ And fun can be as simple as humor. We get to bring out laughter but still press on and get the work done,” she says.
With awards and accolades from a host of organizations and publications, Forte attributes her accomplishments to an abiding faith in God, combined with hard work. “When you work hard, you get to own the lessons. You earn the respect, credibility, and the reputation.”
Forte travels abroad to relax with her husband, and stays true to her five-day-a-week fitness regimen. She serves her community as a director of the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit, the Neighborhood Development Corporation of the City of Detroit, the Henry Ford Health System, and New Detroit, and as a board member and chair of the Local Development Finance Authority.