Michelle A. Thornhill
Senior Vice President, Diverse Segments
Wells Fargo, Charlotte, N.C.
From her offices in Charlotte, N.C., Michelle A. Thornhill aspires to be a global citizen. Through her participation in a prestigious exchange program in 1988, she traveled to Finland, Sweden and the Soviet Union. “Twenty-two years later, I am still talking about the impact this journey had on helping me to chart the course for my career and encouraging others to do the same,” she states.
Thornhill puts inspiration to action every day in her position as senior vice president of Diverse Segments at Wells Fargo/Wachovia. With enterprisewide responsibility for the African-American segment, she works closely with product groups and the Regional Bank to ensure the corporation’s success in this area.
Thornhill was an entrepreneur before she joined Wells Fargo. In 1993, she founded Harvest Financial Services, a tax-preparation business that grew to serve more than 100 clients a year. Her educational background blends finance and public policy. She has a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a master’s in administration from Central Michigan University and a master’s in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 2005, she was accepted to The Ph.D. Project: Business Doctoral Programs for Minorities, established by The KPMG Foundation in 1994.
The idea of living abroad with her husband and two sons is appealing if she had the time and resources to do so, Thornhill says. She credits this nuclear family with keeping her balanced. But there’s a great deal to do stateside, she says. “If I can use my power and influence to create opportunities for the African-American community to work together to prepare the next generation of leaders and provide the right tools and resources to help our community achieve financial success, then the world will be a better place,” she affirms.