Alumnus to Spearhead Social Equality Work at Financial Bank
By Hazel Scott/ASU
Alabama State University alumnus Eddie Alford has become the first Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Pinnacle Financial Partners, a bank headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, operating in Tennessee and North and South Carolina, Virginia and Atlanta.
Alford will lead and coordinate work on diversity, inclusion and related issues across all areas of the firm and will join its leadership team. He will develop concrete, action-oriented initiatives to build on Pinnacle’s foundation as a great place to work. Alford also will serve as a thought leader who centers diversity, inclusion and equity in all of the firm’s work with clients and in the community.
“I’m honored that the company felt like I was the right person for the position. I’m also mindful of the responsibilities of making sure we are doing things that really make an impact. I don’t want to pay lip service to diversity and inclusion; I want to do things that really make an impact within our organization as well as make a diversified investment in the community,” Alford said. “I’m looking forward to challenge.”
Alford noted that his focus is to ensure that Pinnacle has a diverse team with a strong sense of belonging, empowerment and ownership.
“This is critical to achieving our vision of being the best financial services firm and the best place to work in the Southeast,” Alford said. “This foundation gives us so much potential for being a force for change both within our walls and cascading out into the communities we serve. My mission now is to unlock that potential so we can ensure our successful model for doing business can benefit all people equally.”
Alford has served on Pinnacle’s learning and development team since joining the firm in 2005. He played a key role in building Pinnacle’s leadership development curriculum.
Alford likes to think his support and experience at Pinnacle helped earn the company a spot on the 2020 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For® in the U.S. (its fourth consecutive appearance) and for American Banker recognizing Pinnacle as one of America’s Best Banks to Work For seven years in a row.
Prior to working at Pinnacle, Alford served as vice president of training and development at PrimeTrust Bank and as a regional training officer at Nashville Bank of Commerce (NBC). While at NBC, Alford was also the community development officer for Nashville, working with dozens of branches to ensure the bank was meeting the needs of the low- to moderate-income community
Alford earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from Alabama State University and his MBA from Middle Tennessee State University. He said that ASU played a critical part in his success.
“Graduating from ASU prepared me to go on to grad school and be successful there. It also helped instill a level of confidence in me. I learned so many things at ASU. My success is a testament to the education and experience I received at Alabama State University,” Alford said.
Alford said ASU’s support system was another integral part of his success.
“This little boy from Columbus, Georgia, is thankful to ASU -- this school that gave me so much. I will always bleed black and gold,” he added.