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First African American Trillionaire

Whenever we think of Wall Street, more often than not, the image we have is of rich men rather than women.  Though it is still a predominately male dominated area, women have  become very active in the business arena.  One of these powerful and iconic females in 2017 is Suzanne Shank.  She is the first African American woman to lead a publicly traded financial organization, and is considered one of the most prominent figures on Wall Street today.


Image Courtesy of: Wharton Magazine

Suzanne Shank grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and strived for excellence from a very early age.  After receiving straight A’s in high school in 1979 she went on to study civil engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Though Shank studied in this field for her undergraduate program, she felt led to study finance.  She didn’t receive the support from day one from her family she still went on to receive her MBA at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  

Soon after achieving much success in the financial field, Shank went on to co-found Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. LLC (SBSCO) along with Napoleon Brandford III and Muriel Siebert in 1996.  The company did not achieve its present level of success over night, but after a considerable number of years, began to oversee rather large accounts from both the investment banking and their other offered financial services.  Today it is now Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. LLC, and is the number-one-ranked minority-owned firm in the nation. From its inception in 1996 through to 2015, it had served as a managing underwriter for public financings exceeding $1 trillion.

In a recent interview with Wharton Magazine, Shank says, “Within the firm, I feel like I’m a role model…. you also have to set the culture for the organization, and the way you do that is not by just what you say and dictate but best exemplified by how you conduct yourself.” 

In many ways, she has executed honorable and exceptional qualities that have assisted in propelling the company forward for the past 20 years and has landed it at the top in numerous areas across the board.  She goes on to say that her parents were her role models growing up as they worked long and arduous jobs, thus teaching her the value of a “strong work ethic” and determination.  As a woman she balances both a work life and a homes life being a wife and a mother of two daughters ages 14 and 18. 

Being a woman of such levels of success many can draw inspiration from such a driven individual. Though Suzanne Shank is successful in the world of finance, she possesses qualities and or attributes that can be useful in any field.  As an artist and designer, I believe that much like Shank, taking a risk or a “leap of faith” in the direction that you think you need to be going.  Family and friends should be will give advice, but at the end of the day you must be very receptive to what you feel that you should be doing or the steps that you should be taking next.  One should capitalize on opportunity and continue to evolve as a person.  Striving for excellence and or balance in all aspects of life is key and becomes very important tools to truly succeeding in life.


Courtesy of: Imgrum (Imgrum.net)

I am currently a college student sutdying Jewelry Design.  Fashion and all things chocolate, eventhough they may not have connections to each other, are my muses! I personally love travelling and writing about life's experiences because I feel like there is so much to be shared particularly in a positive light! 
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