The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Charles Teamer, Sr.

Banker and civic leader Charles Teamer, Sr. was born on May 20, 1933 in Shelby, North Carolina to B.T. Teamer and Mary Teamer. He received his B.S. degree from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1954. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, and later received his M.A. degree from the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Teamer worked in the office of the business manager at South Carolina State University in 1954. He then became assistant business manager at Tennessee State University in 1958; and, in 1962, Teamer was hired as business manager at Wiley College. In 1965, Teamer became vice president of finance at Dillard University and was promoted to chief financial officer in 1968. In 1983, he was appointed by Louisiana Governor David Treen as the first African American on the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. From 1985 to 1988, Teamer served as the national president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. In 1993, Teamer co-founded the Dryades Savings Bank and served as chairman. He later retired from Dillard University in 1997, and continued to work as a consultant to Clark Atlanta University. In 2001, Teamer led a partnership of investors in opening The Cotton Exchange and Holiday Inn Express Hotel in downtown New Orleans, and became president of the World Trade Center of New Orleans in 2003.

Former executive director of the Amistad Research Center and a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, Teamer has held numerous board appointments on the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church, the Ford Foundation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Common Fund, the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officers, the Ochsner Medical Foundation and the Audubon Institute. Teamer also served as board chair for the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, the Metropolitan Area Committee, Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the United Way. He was a member of the business and higher-education council for the University of New Orleans and served on the board of the Southern Education Foundation. Teamer was president of the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers and vice president of fiscal affairs at Dillard University and Clark Atlanta University. He was a member of the board of supervisors for the University of Louisiana System and was on the board of administrators of Tulane University. Teamer was also the director of Entergy New Orleans.

Teamer was married for forty-seven years to the late Mary Dixon Teamer. They have three children: Charles, Jr., Roderic, Sr. and Cheryl. Teamer has six grandchildren.

Charles Teamer, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 28, 2008 and April 27, 2019.

Accession Number

A2008.061

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/28/2008

3/28/2008 |and| 4/27/2019

Last Name

Teamer

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Schools

Clark Atlanta University

Cleveland School

Tulane University

J.C. Price High School

University of Nebraska-Omaha

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Shelby

HM ID

TEA01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Boule Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any golf course

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

5/20/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All food

Short Description

Banker and civic leader Charles Teamer, Sr. (1933 - ) served as chief financial officer at Dillard University for over thirty years and co-founded Dryades Savings Bank and served as chairman.

Employment

Texas Southern University

Wiley College

Dillard University

Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B.

Tennessee State University

South Carolina State College

Clark Atlanta University

World Trade Center

U.S. Army

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black and Gold

Timing Pairs
0,0:770,16:1694,54:2002,59:3311,133:6880,166:7280,171:14080,259:14580,265:21454,314:21718,319:25084,432:25678,442:27394,485:27790,492:28780,511:30364,548:31486,586:59486,843:69250,973:69775,981:70900,1000:71725,1015:82764,1137:86820,1176:98286,1291:99294,1306:99726,1313:115490,1550:116290,1563:116690,1569:119490,1613:131256,1781:136559,1841:137126,1849:137450,1854:150328,1983:151960,2017:152708,2026:154680,2059:164135,2198:164475,2207:165750,2234:170808,2280:171116,2285:171501,2291:172040,2300:172502,2308:172887,2314:185650,2513:186574,2523:191870,2565$0,0:666,25:5106,148:8325,248:9102,256:16612,380:17404,392:18052,402:20850,418:31900,558:32290,564:33772,584:42981,749:43366,755:46138,809:46754,824:49130,830:49922,850:52990,871:53234,876:53722,887:54027,893:54515,902:55491,927:58053,989:70904,1151:77600,1230:77900,1235:83300,1368:83825,1377:84650,1392:85325,1403:90800,1475:91625,1492:92375,1505:96141,1515:98066,1549:99914,1584:100530,1594:103240,1608:107676,1629:110050,1640:110809,1665:111430,1675:111706,1680:118544,1769:119156,1779:119904,1794:121128,1864:123100,1925:123576,1933:126228,2042:132098,2079:132616,2088:132912,2093:141570,2259:148960,2307:149404,2315:149996,2325:150884,2334:151180,2339:158194,2408:158579,2414:161428,2457:164592,2484:166209,2493:176400,2552:177048,2561:177615,2575:179559,2605:180288,2616:180936,2625:181260,2630:182811,2639:184116,2656:185508,2674:186030,2681:197495,2800:208290,2913:211060,2925:215000,2971
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Teamer, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his induction into the Masonry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Boy Scouts of America, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Boy Scouts of America, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes Salisbury, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls the Cleveland County Training School in Shelby, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his early interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers Joe Louis' boxing matches

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his early awareness of African American history

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers J.C. Price High School in Salisbury, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls the faculty of Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the influence of communism

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his teachers at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls pledging Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers his U.S. Army service

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes interstate travel during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls a sit-in at the Hotel Marshall in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers Hobart S. Jarrett

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about the influence of African American leaders

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers moving to New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about the Mardi Gras krewe of Rex

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his introduction to corporate board service

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls serving on the Boy Scouts of America council

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls working at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls founding the Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his work for Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the impact of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his role as grand sire of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the role of Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his hopes for New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls acquiring the Historic Cotton Exchange in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his work with the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his children

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the role of Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana
Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls acquiring the Historic Cotton Exchange in New Orleans, Louisiana
Transcript
Fast forwarding back to New Orleans [Louisiana] as we talk about the bank [Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B., New Orleans, Louisiana] and where we're going, a part of the role that I see is that the p- the percentage of people in the community who are underserved still remain. They're unbanked. And especially as we talk about rebuilding the community, you've been here for several days now and you've driven through the city and you recognize that you can be in a--what we would call a pretty good neighborhood, you're on one street, it seems to be growing and prospering, you go on the next street it's like, is this the same neighborhood? The patterns are so unpredictable. Let me give you an example. As I told you my wife [Mary Dixon Teamer] passed away in 2004. The storm [Hurricane Katrina] occurred in 2005. I had not completed the succession of the estate when, when the storm occurred. If something had happened to me, my children would've been in a terrible problem because the estate would still be open and the question would be who actually owns the property. If you transform that to people who are less informed you find incident after incident where the title to the property is unclear. New Orleans is a very old city. Its traditions are very old, so you might have generations of people living in the same house and they do not know where the title is. In the 9th Ward [New Orleans, Louisiana], for example, I'm told, that there's home after home in which the mortgages had been paid, the people have been there for years, there was no flood insurance. So flood insurance is mandatory when you have a mortgage, well if you don't have a mortgage you have no flood insurance and obviously then you're not gonna have any wind in- wind storm insurance. So consequently, the problems of redeveloping these properties becomes even more severe. What we are doing looking for innovative ways to serve the people in our community to, to, to, to come up with new products, but maybe more than new products just to be available to work and talk with the people in our community on a one-to-one basis. While everybody wants to use the Internet and the computer, the challenge is that the people who really need the services probably are not computer savvy. So that means that the cost of doing business is a little more expensive for hands on, but that's the only way we're gonna do it. And so what we're trying to do is create a way to do what needs to be done in our community while at the same time being a profitable and viable institution.$Tell me about the Cotton Exchange [Historic Cotton Exchange, New Orleans, Louisiana] and the Holiday Inn Express, now you were--$$Happy to.$$Okay.$$When we developed the franchise, the bank [Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B., New Orleans, Louisiana], I learned from actually our congressman, [HistoryMaker] William Jefferson, that there were opportunities available for us in terms of purchase of buildings that had housed banks by the RTC [Resolution Trust Corporation]. And through my relationships with people in the real estate business, I identified two or three properties of which this was one, this--that we would be interested in. One day somebody came and said to me, Charlie Teamer [HistoryMaker Charles Teamer, Sr.] there's some--there's a white group interested in your building, so to speak. So I decided that I would make an inquiry. I went to my bank, the bank that I was doing business with and talked with the people there and said I'm interested in purchasing the Cotton Exchange. No, I said I need a half million dollars. They in turn said, "What are you gonna do?" I said, "I'm gonna put a bid on the Cotton Exchange building." Because of my experience with them and having been a customer for a long time, they realized that the Cotton Exchange building was worth more than I was gonna pay for it. So they said, "We'll cover you." So I led a group of investors. We bought the building that we're in for considerably less than $500,000, eight story building, it was empty at the time. We purchased the building, moved the bank into the building, leased the first two floors to the bank for ninety-nine years, and decided that we would do something else with floors three through eight. We tried a number of things. We wanted to, to develop something like the Equal Opportunity [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] building in New York [New York], you know, where the United--where the Negro College Fund [United Negro College Fund] and Urban League [National Urban League] and all--but we weren't able to do that. So the first couple of years, three or four years, the third through the eighth floor was vacant. And then one day one of my acquaintances came in and said, you know, we are in the process of developing empty buildings, boutique hotels, and therefore, we'd like to develop a hotel in this building, floors three through eight. We created a partnership with three groups, our Cotton Exchange partners, one, which own this building to create a hotel. We sold floors one through two to our partnership, invested three through eight into a new partnership, bought the building next door and created a hotel, which we call the Cotton Exchange Hotel, it's a Holiday Inn franchise. So we are one-third owners of the hotel property that is next door. So therefore, we own these two floors and we're one-third owners of the building next door.$$Okay, okay.$$So we are substantial hoteliers in downtown New Orleans [Louisiana].