Bronze Valley recently added Robert Harris to its Board of Directors. Harris is Senior Vice President, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, and Director of Community Lending for BancorpSouth Bank, which is based in Tupelo, Mississippi, and operates approximately 325 full-service branch locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas.
In his current capacity with BancorpSouth, Harris is chiefly responsible for creating the intersection between the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and its core business and operational functions. These include product development, as well as community outreach efforts related to and supporting the uplift of emerging markets through Fair Lending and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) initiatives throughout the company’s nine-state footprint.
“It’s an honor to be asked to join the Bronze Valley board,” Harris said. “During its short existence, Bronze Valley has proved itself a tremendous resource for minority and women entrepreneurs seeking early-stage investment and guidance. That impact is only going to continue to grow, and it’s exciting to have this opportunity to be a part of it.”
Prior to assuming his current duties at BancorpSouth, Harris was CRA Community Development Officer for Cadence Bank, assisting in the management of all activities related to the federal Community Reinvestment Act, including forming and cultivating public-private partnerships. Before moving into that position, he served in corporate training and development and compliance training roles for Cadence. His professional career also includes work outside the banking field, including for Alabama Power and the University of Alabama, work as a third-party consultant to Mercedes Benz USA, and as a staffer or consultant for numerous local, state, and national political campaigns.
Harris is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where he completed both undergraduate and graduate-level coursework in political science, history, and organizational/business communication. He also is a graduate of the Barret School of Banking‘s commercial lending and bank profitability academies. Today, he is very active in his community, serving on the boards of several local and statewide professional and civic organizations.
“Robert is an outstanding addition to the Bronze Valley board,” said Bronze Valley President and CEO Neill Wright. “His knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we continue to support high growth, innovation, and technology-related companies created by diverse, underrepresented, and underestimated founders.”
Launched in 2017, Bronze Valley’s mission is creating and perpetuating an education-to-opportunity-to-outcome pipeline for communities that are underrepresented in technology careers and in fields where innovators are creating the future.