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Alden J. McDonald, Jr.

Prominent African American businessman Alden Joseph McDonald, Jr. was born on September 16, 1943, in New Orleans, Louisiana. McDonald attended Louisiana State University’s School of Banking and received his undergraduate degree. McDonald also joined Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and later attended Columbia University’s Commercial Banking Management Program.

McDonald began his banking career at International City Bank in New Orleans. In 1972, he became the President and CEO of Liberty Bank and Trust company, a position that he still holds today. Since 1972, McDonald has been an active force in the New Orleans business community. In 1987, he played a central role in the establishment of the Black Economic Development Council helping many minority businesses to secure public and private contracts for goods and services. Furthermore, he has served on almost all well known professional and social boards in the New Orleans region. As both a business leader and a community leader, he has devoted his life to community development through promoting entrepreneurship, supporting civic organizations and empowering businesses and individuals. Moreover, under his leadership, Liberty Bank and Trust’s successes helped black professionals and others settle east New Orleans and established a large African American homeownership class for the first time in the city’s history.

In 2001, McDonald received the prestigious Loving Cup from New Orleans’ major newspaper, The Times-Picayune. This award is considered the highest honor in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area. He then became the chairman of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. McDonald became the co-chair of the Greater New Orleans Education Foundation. In 2004, he became the first chairman for Greater New Orleans, Inc., established for the economic development of the New Orleans region.

In 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, McDonald led efforts toward the economic rehabilitation of New Orleans as well as his own, Liberty Bank and Trust. Katrina devastated Liberty’s headquarters, branches and spread the bank’s customers throughout the nation. Despite these obstacles, he moved back into his community to concentrate his efforts toward the economic rehabilitation of New Orleans. McDonald enacted creative policy decisions for his bank and opened new branches that helped overturn the economic downturn of the New Orleans economy, thus cutting his bank’s estimated losses dramatically.

McDonald’s Liberty Bank and Trust is one of the five largest African American owned financial institutions in the United States. The bank serves as the fiscal agent for the City of New Orleans, substantially improving the City’s cash flow and cash management practices. Furthermore, McDonald opened the Liberty Freedom Fund, the first and only mutual fund to be owned, managed and distributed by African Americans. Since its incorporation in 1972, McDonald has grown Liberty’s assets from $2 million to over $370 million.

In 2006, McDonald was named to Fortune Magazine’s highly regarded “Portraits of Power” list for 2006, extolling him for his powerful presence in the business community and his impact on the global market. He was also named to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, concentrating on the expansion of access to banking services for underserved populations. In 2008, he became a Fleur-de-lis Ambassador for New Orleans, a group of New Orleans professionals that travel across America to seek additional Katrina recovery support from businesses and philanthropic organizations.

Accession Number

A2008.060

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/25/2008

Last Name

McDonald

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Schools

Martinez Kindergarten School

Epiphany Catholic School

Valena C. Jones Elementary School

Rivers Frederick Junior High School

Xavier University Preparatory School

Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School

Xavier University of Louisiana

Straight Business School

Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University

Columbia University

First Name

Alden

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

MCD05

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Martin

Favorite Quote

Got It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

9/16/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Bank chief executive Alden J. McDonald, Jr. (1943 - ) was president and CEO of Liberty Bank and Trust, one of the five largest African American owned financial institutions in the United States. He also opened the Liberty Freedom Fund, the first and only mutual fund owned, managed and distributed by African Americans.

Employment

International City Bank and Trust Company

Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:18866,235:20855,259:32532,376:33748,407:34128,414:48280,558:55348,596:59878,608:60830,618:61663,627:62139,632:63329,643:79969,853:80816,866:84919,927:85585,942:94430,1014:95350,1023:96730,1043:100940,1078:101660,1086:119649,1397:120134,1403:128380,1437:138749,1535:141800,1578:153095,1688:153570,1694:159446,1751:159976,1757:162466,1771:162906,1777:170220,1809:170976,1818:174402,1849:175378,1859:175988,1865:176842,1874:177452,1880:179400,1890:182882,1903:191782,1958:192274,1969:193340,1985:200252,2042:202670,2074:205620,2123$0,0:19997,301:26124,417:27606,444:28152,452:29790,475:32784,494:34342,519:34670,524:35408,536:35736,541:41470,599:42670,615:43670,626:51690,733:52010,738:52490,745:57930,881:64080,953:65185,972:66120,984:66460,989:67225,1001:67650,1007:71815,1098:72665,1110:82150,1241:83852,1274:84444,1284:86030,1289:89770,1347:91300,1378:92660,1399:93425,1410:98670,1470:99272,1478:102540,1531:103142,1540:103830,1554:104432,1562:104862,1568:108130,1645:111958,1670:113353,1691:117910,1817:118468,1824:119119,1833:123024,1852:123648,1859:125190,1867:128350,1891:128800,1897:129610,1912:130420,1925:135550,1966:138088,2006:139874,2035:142036,2068:145608,2144:145984,2149:151472,2186:151852,2192:152460,2202:152764,2207:154284,2237:155956,2270:157400,2295:157856,2302:158540,2313:159756,2345:160212,2352:160896,2363:164974,2386:165504,2392:167412,2404:167676,2409:168270,2421:168600,2427:169260,2439:169524,2444:169920,2451:171702,2481:177886,2587:178246,2593:178606,2599:178966,2611:179398,2619:183900,2665:184700,2678:185020,2683:185500,2690:186300,2702:186700,2708:187260,2717:187580,2722:188300,2733:189420,2752:192140,2813:193580,2836:194060,2847:194380,2857:194780,2863:200265,2914:201305,2941:201695,2948:207025,3074:207675,3086:208260,3097:208845,3110:212302,3143:212958,3152:214270,3174:215008,3185:216070,3191
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alden J. McDonald, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his maternal family's traditions

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes the Martinez Kindergarten School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers his mother's transportation service

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers his early entrepreneurism

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers his paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his father's occupation, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his father's occupation, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers his community in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers defending himself in school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers his family's finances

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his schooling in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his educational experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers his early interest in business

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers his civil rights activities

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers the music of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers entering the banking industry

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. recalls his work for International City Bank and Trust Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. recalls the founding of Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. talks about black leaders in business and politics

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers the opening of Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes the Liberty Bank and Trust Company, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers purchasing his first home

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes the Liberty Bank and Trust Company, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his higher education in banking

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. remembers the impact of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes Liberty Bank and Trust Company's response to Hurricane Katrina, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes Liberty Bank and Trust Company's response to Hurricane Katrina, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes Liberty Bank and Trust Company's community development efforts

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his medical board service

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. talks about the Black Economic Development Council

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes the National Bankers Association

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. reflects upon his banking career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes his children

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes how he met his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. talks about his relationship with his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$8

DATitle
Alden J. McDonald, Jr. recalls the founding of Liberty Bank and Trust Company
Alden J. McDonald, Jr. describes Liberty Bank and Trust Company's response to Hurricane Katrina, pt. 2
Transcript
And in 1972, [HistoryMaker] Norman Francis came and visited with me and he asked me, he said, "We're putting this bank together." He said, "And we certainly would like you to be part of it." I turned him down three times. I had only been in banking for six years and he finally convinced me. My office was in the basement of the bank, and he finally convinced me that it's something that I might want to take a look at. So at the age of twenty-nine I was a bank president, I was the youngest bank president in the State of Louisiana as well.$$Okay.$$And from that, just a whole lot of things happened in life. We became a very successful bank and, again, a lot of it is attributed to the hard work that my parents [Celestine Bevrotte McDonald and Alden J. McDonald, Sr.] had influenced myself and my siblings with, to do hard work to, you could do anything you want to do, just be the best at it, treat people the way you want people to treat you. And all of these things during my upbringing I applied in my everyday life on the job, at work and, you know, if you give to people, people will give back to you and the more you give, the more you receive--$$Okay.$$--as--$$Well can you tell us like, who besides Dr. Francis was involved in the establishment of Liberty Bank [Liberty Bank and Trust Company, New Orleans, Louisiana]?$$C.C. DeJoie [C.C. DeJoie, Jr.], who was a guy who owned the local newspaper [The Louisiana Weekly], Dutch Morial [Ernest Morial], they had couple of white guys on the board as well, couple of black physicians, a guy on the funeral home, the leadership. Matter of fact, you know, it's really interesting because no matter where you go in America, the board members of most, if not all minority banks, makes up the black leadership of those communities. And back then, the bank was started in order to give black people an equal footing, equal access to money, equal access to economics. And those founders in black banks across the country did not look at the investment to make them rich or to, for that investment to be worth a lot of money; they did it for the good of the community.$Interesting story. Lady called from Houston, Texas, and--we had only four telephone lines--and this lady wanted to open an account from Houston, Texas, and the staff told her, "I'm sorry, we don't open accounts over the phone, you have to come in." She said, "Well, I need to speak to the president because my girlfriend had an account with Liberty Bank [Liberty Bank and Trust Company, New Orleans, Louisiana] and your bank is the only bank helping people out during this time period, and I want to bank with a bank that will let me take money out when I don't have money in the bank." So I, it caught me and I just moved back and I said, what is going on here? And what had happened is that we forgot to change some specs, and when you're offline, there's a certain amount of money you could take out of the bank and you don't know it. Well, we didn't change these specs so people were able to take out a thousand dollars a day, whether they had money or not. So, people were just using their check card and their ATM [automated teller machine] card and when we found this out, we put some controls in place to limit the amount of loss that we had. We did lose some money, but we helped a lot of people survive. We helped a lot of people get some of the necessary things in life that was absolutely needed for this worst disaster in the history of the country and our bank, even today, is helping to rebuild the City of New Orleans [Louisiana]. We put a loan program together in conjunction with the City of New Orleans when the state and the federal money wasn't here yet, they're still trying to figure out how to do it. We loaned money in the meantime to people who wanted to rebuild their house, we called it the New Orleans Fast Track Road Home [One New Orleans Road Home Fast Track] program, and we loaned money to people who had bad credit scores, people who were sincere about bringing their family back, rebuilding their homes and that happened over a year ago and to date, we haven't lost one dime and these were people that perhaps couldn't get credit pre-Katrina [Hurricane Katrina] at other financial institutions. So this institution, again, pre-Katrina, was doing things to help people improve the quality of life, helping the community grow economically, helping to change policy for quality life issues, helping to change policy for education and with the worst disaster in this country, we still continue to help people rebuild today and we're doing things that other financial institutions are not doing. We're getting ready to start another new program where we're going to go door to door now and put programs together, financial programs, to help people rebuild and we're going to help create new programs, with the city, with the state and hopefully the federal government to bridge the gap for the people who need that extra help. So we're going to be very aggressive, we're change agents. We've been change agents for the thirty-five years that we've been in business, we're going to continue to be change agents, and we're going to continue to change the community in which we live in because through economic development, we could change the world.

Willard "Chuck" Lewis

Willard “Chuck” Lewis, President and CEO of One Georgia Bank, was born on April 9, 1961, in Lagrange, Georgia. After graduating from high school in 1979, he earned his B.A. degree in banking and finance at Morehouse College in 1983.

Lewis began his career in banking by working part time at an Atlanta, Georgia, based community bank while still a college student. He has worked at every level of community banking during his twenty-four years in the business.

In June of 2005, Lewis resigned as senior executive vice president & COO from Citizens Trust Bank after twenty-two years of working there and First Southern Bank (which merged with Citizens Trust in 1998) to found One Georgia Bank. On May 5, 2006, One Georgia opened in the 1180 Peachtree Building, one of Atlanta’s most prestigious and distinctive buildings. Under Lewis’ leadership, the bank capitalized with $24.2 million and over 400 shareholders. It marked the first time that a newly chartered bank was formed with over $20 million in capital in Georgia’s history. The bank caters primarily to companies with $3 million to $50 million in revenue and features some of the highest levels of technology found in any bank. One Georgia is now one of the fastest growing community banks in Georgia.

Lewis currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Council on Economic Education; Communities in Schools of Georgia; the Georgia Chamber of Commerce; The New Century Forum at the Commerce Club (co-founder & past president); The Commerce Club Operating Board; the Metropolitan YMCA Board of Directors; Midtown Alliance Board of Directors.

His past board involvement consists of the DeKalb Medical Center Foundation (former vice chairman); the Executive Board of Berry College's Campbell Business School; the National Bankers Association (past treasurer); the Sweet Auburn Avenue Business and Improvement Association (past chairman).

In 1997, Lewis was selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Forty under Forty” rising stars in the state of Georgia. This honor recognizes the top forty leaders in Georgia under the age of forty. Nominees are judged on professional accomplishments, civic involvement, and giving back to the community.

A graduate of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 1999, Lewis is a lifetime member of the Morehouse College Alumni Association and is a member of 100 Black Men of DeKalb County. He has served as an editorial columnist for several newspapers, and he has written an entry on the history of African American Banks in Georgia for The New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Accession Number

A2006.021

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/16/2006 |and| 6/16/2006

Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Middle Name

"Chuck"

Organizations
Schools

LaGrange Boys Junior High School

LaGrange High School

Kelly Grammar School

Morehouse College

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Days, Evenings

First Name

Willard

Birth City, State, Country

LaGrange

HM ID

LEW08

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Does not matter

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Does not matter

Emergency Phone Number: (678) 553-7020

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Puerto Rico

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

4/9/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Bank chief executive Willard "Chuck" Lewis (1961 - ) founded One Georgia Bank in Atlanta after serving as senior executive vice president and COO of Citizens Trust Bank.

Employment

One Georgia Bank

Citizens Trust Bank

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:7150,67:13860,158:14300,163:26627,258:28652,293:29381,328:31001,374:31730,391:32945,407:35887,416:38812,443:43234,474:48330,573:49996,601:54210,636:63202,701:76228,932:78100,961:78490,967:79192,978:80518,997:87060,1036:87918,1048:88464,1056:89556,1074:90804,1112:97222,1212:97566,1217:97996,1223:113950,1503:114918,1516:115534,1524:117206,1541:119934,1669:155450,2068:155930,2076:158890,2122:163850,2226:164490,2238:172600,2313$0,0:13992,119:30928,304:32828,342:34500,360:35488,376:36476,392:39516,457:46440,504:49598,529:50074,534:51230,573:54630,639:56942,696:58506,741:60206,768:61634,785:62382,797:65442,864:65782,870:66190,877:73610,934:73890,939:74800,948:76270,971:76760,980:79700,1040:80680,1060:80960,1065:82080,1084:86847,1124:87282,1130:87630,1135:88935,1154:91023,1180:97026,1261:99114,1280:103116,1326:119265,1466:123500,1540:124039,1549:124424,1556:125117,1571:126965,1604:133702,1651:141682,1781:142186,1788:148066,1892:148822,1904:153520,1909:155914,1927:164376,2013:164988,2023:167232,2043:172026,2139:173046,2154:181484,2242:183850,2301:196740,2489:197220,2496:200510,2508:201049,2517:201588,2526:201896,2531:202743,2546:225678,2854:228330,2948:230124,2976:231060,2993:235900,3043
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willard "Chuck" Lewis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his maternal grandfather and maternal family name

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis remembers debating with his father over the 1968 U.S. presidential election

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes his father's influence

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Continued slating of Willard "Chuck" Lewis' interview

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis lists his favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his siblings James, Judith, and Mattie

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis remembers waiting in the white area of a segregated dentist's office with his elder sister, Joyce Lewis

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his brother Milton

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his sisters, Cheryl and Carol

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his family's achievements

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis considers his elder siblings' perspectives on their younger siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his paternal family history

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis recounts his earliest memories in LaGrange, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis remembers typical days and holidays in LaGrange, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes his childhood neighborhood and friends

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about visiting LaGrange, Georgia as an adult

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about growing up during integration

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about growing up in segregated schools and transitioning into an integrated school system

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes his childhood personality

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about attending East Depot Junior High School in LaGrange, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes his experience at LaGrange High School in LaGrange, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his favorite courses in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis reflects on the assassinations of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes political and social change in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his involvement in the bricklaying family business

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his major influences at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about the influence of Dr. Benjamin Mays and Dr. Hugh Gloster at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about internships he took while studying at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his extracurricular activities at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about who influenced his career in banking, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about who influenced his career in banking, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about HistoryMakers Deborah Wright and Jacoby Dickens

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his community involvement in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes the challenges he overcame as a young professional in banking

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about participating in Leadership Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes how his personal philosophy has changed over the years

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his bank, One Georgia Bank

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes parallels between chess and life

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Second slating of Willard "Chuck" Lewis' interview

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about how he became interested in Citizens Trust Bank in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about working for Citizens Trust Bank under the mentorship of Owen Funderberg

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about Civil Rights Movement leaders who banked at Citizens Trust Bank in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about the decline of black-owned banks across the Unites States

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his mentorship under Owen Funderberg

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his career at Citizens Trust Bank in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about leaving Citizens Trust Bank to work at First Southern Bank

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about opening bank branches for First Southern Bank

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about the social, political and economic climates of Atlanta, Georgia in the 1980s

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about music in Atlanta, Georgia in the 1980s

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about economic fallout and recovery in the 1990s

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes "Nigerian fraud schemes" that were popular in the 1990s

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about the merger of First Southern Bank and Citizens Trust Bank and the failure of Mutual Federal Savings & Loans

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about acquiring Mutual Federal Savings & Loan after its failure in 2000

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his successes at Citizens Trust Bank and First Southern Bank in the early 2000s

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his involvement in Leadership Atlanta and the program's "race day"

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about how his Leadership Atlanta experience impacted him and led to new friendships

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about establishing the New Century Club and merging with the Commerce Club in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about the history of the Commerce Club and his group's merger with it in 2001

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about conducting business across racial divides

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about the Commerce Club's activities and the vision for One Georgia Bank

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about creating the board for One Georgia Bank

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about the creation of One Georgia Bank

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes the culture he wanted to build at One Georgia Bank

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about leaving Citizens Trust Bank

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about the risks of starting One Georgia Bank and the development of its business plan

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about the role of race in the development of his business plan for One Georgia Bank

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis explains One Georgia Bank's boutique status

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about raising capital to open One Georgia Bank, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about raising capital to open One Georgia Bank, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about One Georgia Bank's opening

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his hopes for African American support for One Georgia Bank

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his goals for One Georgia Bank

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his involvement in Atlanta community organizations

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis considers what he might have done differently

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about his children

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis considers his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 11 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Willard "Chuck" Lewis narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Willard "Chuck" Lewis remembers waiting in the white area of a segregated dentist's office with his elder sister, Joyce Lewis
Willard "Chuck" Lewis talks about growing up during integration
Transcript
My next sister, Joyce Lewis, Joyce was also one of the pioneers of integration and Joyce is probably the, she--Mattie [Arnell Shelly] was salutatorian of her high school and Joyce topped that. She was valedictorian (laughter), and Joyce, she was one of the pioneers of integration at Simmons College [Boston, Massachusetts] in Boston [Massachusetts], one of the Ivy League schools [sic] up there. And she actually later in life, I did learn that a lot of the women in the South during that period of time that went to Simmons College looked up to her as a person that, a person of inspiration, as a person that came before them and a very talented person. And I'll tell you, she's the, back in--my first visit to the, she took me to the dentist, my first dentist visit. And we went to a, we went to the dentist's office. And at that time, it was during the time of obviously, the '60s [1960s], and that period it was a time of segregation. And I did come along during the latter vestiges of segregation and went through the whole integration process myself. And, but that was during a period of time when there was a white waiting room and a black waiting room. And then it was called "colored." And we were taken back to the quote, unquote the "colored" waiting room. And, and the entire time I was sitting there with my sister as a little small kid, and she's sitting there, and I didn't realize--she was just as calm as she could be, but I could, I didn't realize that it was eating her up inside to be sitting there in the, in that waiting room. So for the follow-up visit, I guarantee you she doesn't realize that I remember this, but for the follow-up visit, we went to the white waiting room. And we waited, and we sat in the white waiting room. In fact, I think the receptionist pointed toward the "colored" waiting room, but she took me into the white waiting room. And, and I sat there on the floor, and I played with a little white kid, and nothing was ever said. And after that day, I don't think that, I don't think that anyone ever looked back on that period. And I know my subsequent visits there, it was, it was integrated, you know, in every sense of the word. So I don't know if she was the first to do that, but it certainly caught my attention. And I remember it to this day.$Other memories of growing up that you want to share?$$Memories of growing up. Well, I'll tell ya, when the, the later years started to occur and going through the period of integration, I think that was a, that was a period of time that was very unique because, and my community had a sense of pride in terms of what it had accomplished, in terms of the kids that went on to college and the kids that did things--not just my family, but others--and people that achieved; and they were very proud of the teachers, the principals that really kind of dominated the community because they were the professionals. They were the ones with the shirt and tie on, and they were the professionals of the community. And they were the ones that were most revered and respected because of their educational background. And then going through integration and seeing some of these people that you know are some, have some significant talent and have produced significant product in terms of students, kind of relegated to second positions in a lot of instances. For the most part, that was the scenario. The principal of the, of the black high school was now the assistant principal. The teachers that taught the best or the top students were now teaching in the lower levels and the top positions were relegated to or given to white instructors. So I went from being in a circumstance where I was around a lot of African Americans, almost overnight to being in a scenario where I was in the--they had levels one, two and three, and I was always, from the time I went into that system I was always in level one classes, and so my teachers went from black to white almost overnight with a few exceptions. I had a fourth grade teacher and I think, just maybe my fourth grade teacher. But beyond that, all my teachers pretty much were white for the rest of time I was in school. And all of the, and most of the kids that I was around were from the white community. Me and Michael Meredith [ph.], Edna Moore [ph.] and a couple of others were in that circumstance. And I was in it a hundred percent of the time. And so a lot of times I would, I would see kids that, from the community, I would see them in the morning time, but I wouldn't see them again until--and I would barely see them when I got out of school, and it was time to go home. So I wouldn't even see kids that I used to see every day. I went from seeing them to not seeing them almost overnight. And, and I think there's some things that happen when the world is like that for young people. I think they tend to withdraw over time. I didn't, it didn't happen to me initially, but over time, through puberty, I began to withdraw a little bit and became extremely shy and kind of stayed within myself a lot and rarely ventured out. And, and, and a lot of stuff was happening with me during that period.$$But you maintained your academic prowess. You continued on level one, with the level one being the highest courses, is that right?$$Yeah. I don't know how. But (laughter)--

Alvin J. Boutte, Sr.

Alvin J. Boutte, Sr., was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on October 10, 1929. One of eight children born to a seamstress and gardener, Boutte attended Xavier University in New Orleans, earning his B.S. degree in 1951.

Two years after leaving Xavier, Boutte became president and owner of Independent Drug Stores. In 1964, Boutte co-founded Independence Bank in Chicago where he began serving as vice chairman; in 1970, he became the CEO and chairman of the bank. That same year, Boutte was named CEO of Drexel National Bank, and both institutions were put under the umbrella of Indecorp, the largest African American-owned financial institution in the United States. With Boutte serving as CEO of both banks, he was also appointed president and CEO of Indecorp; he remained in this role until his retirement in 1995.

Boutte served on the boards of directors of other organizations, including twenty years on the board of Chicago Metropolitan Insurance Company; twenty-three years on the board of Johnson Products; and eleven years with Midway Airlines. Boutte also served as president of the Small Business Administration, and was a member of the Chicago Board of Education. The Chicago Urban League named Boutte its Man of the Year in 1971, as did the Chicago Economic Development Corporation. Black Enterprise honored him in 1990 for his commitment to African American business and economic growth. Longtime residents of Chicago, Boutte and his wife, Barbara, raised four children.

Boutte passed away on April 1, 2012 at age 82.

Accession Number

A2003.038

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/6/2003

Last Name

Boutte

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Sacred Heart High School

First Name

Al

Birth City, State, Country

Lake Charles

HM ID

BOU01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica, Italy

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/10/1929

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp

Death Date

4/1/2012

Short Description

Bank chief executive and financial chief executive Alvin J. Boutte, Sr. (1929 - 2012 ) co-founded Independence Bank in Chicago in 1970. That same year, he was named CEO of Drexel National Bank, and both institutions were put under the umbrella of Indecorp, the largest African American-owned financial institution in the United States. He was president and CEO of Indecorp until his retirement in 1995.

Employment

Delete

Independence Bank

Drexel National Bank

Indecorp

Favorite Color

Dark Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3928,13:13106,107:13886,119:16110,171:17050,195:17520,201:20182,232:23987,260:24581,268:30230,298:39465,413:48130,544:48893,553:49329,558:53923,624:59210,675:59726,682:73586,828:73890,833:74878,855:85640,981:90352,1082:91492,1103:97446,1167:105020,1257:122564,1368:125972,1407:127863,1425:128415,1433:129105,1445:129588,1460:134990,1497:147328,1662:147895,1672:148147,1677:148714,1690:165833,1866:176011,1932:177170,1954:178878,1993:187750,2033:188422,2043:189382,2064:200200,2089:206027,2175$0,0:6637,58:7246,67:10348,85:11878,112:14164,119:16635,150:17013,158:17454,167:17895,176:30765,280:33927,432:34299,437:36810,510:37182,515:37554,521:39414,561:40065,570:45195,594:45620,600:46640,614:47745,633:48425,643:53525,759:53865,764:59180,785:59855,796:60230,802:73530,913:77006,939:77496,944:90861,1080:91554,1091:92093,1099:92632,1107:93248,1116:99118,1195:102808,1254:104448,1279:104776,1284:107154,1325:113910,1382:114758,1391:133010,1508:135815,1574:136495,1587:137430,1607:141425,1747:141765,1754:142445,1765:142785,1770:148588,1809:150226,1816:159534,1921:160622,1930:161166,1935:161982,1948:166156,1977:167278,2004:170023,2018:170689,2030:172350,2039:173094,2055:180774,2090:181712,2098:187500,2178:188050,2184:189260,2196:191660,2208:192684,2237:193516,2254:201043,2322:203357,2354:204425,2371:205404,2385:205760,2390:206205,2396:210560,2412:211370,2422:211730,2427:213260,2448:215150,2480:228089,2604:228454,2610:229914,2639:230425,2647:230936,2656:232688,2699:241447,2773:244450,2818:244905,2824:248636,2884:252737,2912:254200,2931:256060,2941:256588,2950:258876,2984:259404,2991:259844,2997:260284,3003:271437,3097:273010,3104:273370,3113:273802,3120:274162,3126:274666,3134:275746,3159:276610,3172:289490,3361:289965,3367:290725,3378:297023,3444
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alvin Boutte interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alvin Boutte's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alvin Boutte talks about his Creole family origins

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alvin Boutte discusses his father's background and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alvin Boutte talks about his mother's background and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alvin Boutte praises the quality of his Catholic school education in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alvin Boutte describes his boyhood hobbies

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alvin Boutte talks about his teachers and subjects in school

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alvin Boutte talks about his family life in the 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alvin Boutte talks about his activities in high school and his career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Alvin Boutte talks about his experiences attending Xavier University

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alvin Boutte talks about his experiences at Xavier, 1947-1951

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alvin Boutte recalls his experiences in the newly integrated U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alvin Boutte details his military experience in Germany during the Cold War

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alvin Boutte describes the courtship of his wife

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alvin Boutte recalls his first business venture after leaving the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alvin Boutte describes the business principles that helped his pharmacy succeed

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alvin Boutte details his entry in the banking business

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alvin Boutte talks about other black-owned banks in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alvin Boutte describes his strategies as a bank executive to finance black capitalism

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alvin Boutte talks about his strategies to create wealth in the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alvin Boutte details his company's ability to set banking trends

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alvin Boutte talks about his civic activities and his involvement in Operation Breadbasket

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alvin Boutte talks about the positive impact of Rev. Jesse Jackson

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alvin Boutte talks about how a neck injury has impeded his career

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alvin Boutte shares his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alvin Boutte talks about his legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alvin Boutte gives advice to aspiring African American business entrepreneurs

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Photo - Alvin Boutte and his wife in his first drugstore, Chicago, Illinois, 1953-1954

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Photo - Alvin Boutte with his friends at Officer Candidate Training School at Fort Riley, Kansas, 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Photo - Alvin Boutte with his friends at Officer Candidate Training School at Fort Riley, Kansas, 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Photo - Alvin Boutte at his sixtieth birthday party, 1989

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Photo - Alvin Boutte in his first home in Chatham, Illinois, 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - Alvin Boutte making a speech at dedication of new Independence Bank building, Chicago, Illinois, 1983

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Alvin Boutte vacationing in Italy, 1990

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Alvin Boutte vacationing in Jamaica, 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Alvin Boutte at home in Lake Point Tower, Chicago, Illinois, 1973-1974

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Alvin Boutte in prayer with Rev. Jesse Jackson and others, Chicago, Illinois, 1987

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Alvin Boutte at Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1947-1951

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Alvin Boutte receiving an honorary doctorate degree, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1979

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Portrait of Alvin Boutte taken upon his retirement from Independence Bank, Chicago, Illinois, 1989

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Alvin Boutte details his entry in the banking business
Alvin Boutte talks about his strategies to create wealth in the black community
Transcript
Now, tell me about how you--step-by-step how you got involved in the banking business?$$The president--the chairman of Continental [Bank, Chicago, Illinois]--I was on the board of the [National] Urban League in those days. And the chairman of Continental had been to Washington [D.C.] and in some meeting, they decided--they had to include us in the economy of the country. So they decided they were gonna give blacks banking franchises. I don't know if this was the result of [Dr. Martin Luther] King [Jr.] or whatever it was. But anyway, this guy came back to Chicago [Illinois], 'cause we knew him even though he was white. We were all, you know, on different little boards together.$$What was his name?$$You know, I can't remember his name now.$$That's okay.$$I can't, but anyway, he's the one that talked to us and at that time, we were all one group, Independence [Bank] and Seaway [Bank]. And he said, "if you all"--that's why I told you it was our money--"if you all come up with the money"--'cause we, we were not poor. We had, we were all businessmen. We had--and some of them had big businesses like George Johnson [entrepreneur]. I mean he had a huge business. But anyway, he said, "if you all come up with the money, I--you can get a bank franchise." And we did. That's how we, that's how we went into the banking business. And our bank--and after five or six years, it was on the ropes. And I had sold my company and retired really from the drugstore business. And we talked and we said, well--and I told him, I said I didn't know any--I'd never run a bank. But I knew a guy, Ted [Theodore] Roberts [banking executive], who was the executive vice president of Harris Bank [Chicago, Illinois] here. And we were very good friends. And they--I said, "Ted, how long will it take you to teach me how to, how to run a bank?" He said, "six months." And he taught me and I took over the bank. We began to prosper. I bought my second bank--I bought five banks in my career. Independence, Guaranty [Bank], which was owned by the [Black] Muslims, Gateway [Bank], Southside [Bank] and Drexel [National Bank]. My last one I bought was Drexel in 1989.$We didn't lend--lend money to buy cars. We wanted you to take our money and make it multiple and to create--to create something. If you could show, show me that you could do that, you got me.$$Now--we, we're rolling?$$Um-hum.$$Okay, good, good (unclear). I was hoping we'd get this.$$I got it.$$Yeah, all right. All right, so you're trying to seed businesses really and you're trying to multiply the effect--$$Right.$$To employ more people and to create wealth in the black community.$$And I think for the most part, from what I'm seeing and reading now, I think we succeeded. We were the first generation to start all of this, after the opportunity. Now, I know they had black businesses in the--black banks in the '20s [1920s], but they really had no real shot. We carried it beyond the black community. As a matter of fact, 'Business Week' [magazine] did a story on me in 1974 or '75 [1975] saying, "A neighborhood bank goes to Wall Street." Every--everybody was our--was our customer. I mean we didn't limit ourselves to the areas where our banks were located. And because we started getting business from white--large white companies, other blacks started doing the same thing. Blacks in the advertising business started getting--but we started it. That's what this article in 'Business Week.' We were the ones that started it, that made it--"hey, we, we will do business with these guys." I see it now, I mean it's--I'm amazed at where it is now. But that's--that was our game.$$I know part of the attraction of the black bank was the fact that it was black in the black community and people took pride in having an account at Independence Bank [Chicago, Illinois, Boutte started this bank in 1964].$$Yes, that was, that was true. There were many reasons to get business and you had to have a different theory for the business you were going--the big companies that I went after, and got, I had to convince them first that I could do what they needed to have done, and that it was safe. Let me give you an example, which started a trend in black banking. I went to General Mills [food products corporation] in Minnesota. They--the way they used to pay their withholding taxes, they used to have their bank, the local bank, just take the money out of their account. And I had done an analysis of this, how you pay your tax--how people pay their taxes and how they could benefit. And I convinced them that if they wrote a check, and I--we're not talking about five or six dollars, we're talking about millions and millions--and mailed it to me, the postmark--protects you. You would have the use of your sixteen million dollars, which you're sending to the government for taxes, for nine extra days. And here's what you can do with that sixteen million in those nine days. Here's what you could earn on that sixteen in those nine. And they had, they had never, they had never--cash management had not started. This was something new even to them. They didn't think about that. They didn't--so it was a lot of things. But you had to be creative. You had to find a reason that the person would benefit from dealing, having the relationship with you. That's what we tried to do.$$Well, it sounds like an effective--it seems like it was effective?$$Very effective. Very effective.$$It may even, you think it like changed the way other people did business?$$Oh, everybody do that now. I mean everybody do it now.

William Hudgins

Banker William Hudgins was born on April 30, 1907, in Richmond, Virginia, and was adopted by Agnes and William Hudgins at the age of two. He attended John Pierce Academy in New York for real estate and bank management after high school. Hudgins then studied business and real estate at Columbia University, and later received an honorary L.H.D. from Shaw University in 1968.

Hudgins began his career in door-to-door sales and real estate in New York City. He and real estate rival Robert Bell formed B&H Realty Corporation and, with business soaring, formed another side-venture, Best Yet Hair Products mail order company for black women, in 1943. Best Yet Hair Products had an exclusive arrangement with China and specialized in the manufacture of human hair wigs. With the success of his business arrangements, Hudgins became the first African American in the merchant's division of the Uptown Chamber of Commerce.

Hudgins organized Carver Bank with seven other community leaders in Harlem in 1948. He served as president of Carver Bank for eighteen years before resigning to join a group that included baseball great Jackie Robinson in forming the Freedom National Bank to help meet the needs of the Harlem community by providing low-cost loans to home owners and small businesses who had difficulty obtaining loans from large banks. Hudgins was the first president of Freedom National Bank, which, after six years under Hudgin's presidency, grew to be the largest bank in the United States owned and operated by African Americans. He has served on numerous business and civic boards and has received various honors. He married his wife, Dorothy, in New York City in 1979. Hudgins passed away on August 31, 2007.

Accession Number

A2002.057

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/15/2002

Last Name

Hudgins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Randolph

Organizations
Schools

Peabody Elementary School

Peabody High School

John Pierce Academy

Peabody Middle School

Petersburg High School

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

HUD01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

Keep the faith.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

4/30/1907

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tallahassee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish, Chicken, Cabbage

Death Date

8/31/2007

Short Description

Bank chief executive and banker William Hudgins (1907 - 2007 ) is the founder of both Carver Bank and Freedom National Bank. After six years under Hudgin's presidency, Freedom National Bank grew to be the largest bank in the United States owned and operated by African Americans. Hudgin also formed another side-venture, Best Yet Hair Products mail order company for black women, in 1943.

Employment

Horn & Hardart

Delete

Model Beauty Salon

Carver Federal Savings & Loan

Freedom National Bank

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willian Hudgins interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of William Hudgins interview continued: dates and location

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Hudgins's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Hudgins describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Hudgins shares memories from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Hudgins describes his adoptive parents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Hudgins discusses his early religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Hudgins recalls changes in family structure during his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Hudgins details his early travels, marriage and career pursuits

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Hudgins recalls establishing his Model Beauty Salon

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Hudgins considers the success of his hair product manufacturing business

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Hudgins describes his business relationship with China

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Hudgins talks about his future business endeavors

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Hudgins discusses his dealings in the real estate industry

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Hudgins details a profitable real estate venture

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Hudgins reflects on his success in the liquor industry

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Hudgins remembers his business advisors

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Hudgins details the founding of Carver Federal Savings Bank, Harlem, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Hudgins comments on the success of the Carver Federal Savings Bank, Harlem, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Hudgins details his involvement with Freedom National Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Hudgins details his experiences at Freedom National Bank, Harlem, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Hudgins talks about the difficulty in establishing the charter for Freedom National Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Hudgins discusses Jackie Robinson and the demise of Freedom National Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Hudgins comments on Dr. King's financial transactions at Freedom National Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Hudgins talks briefly about the Freedman's Bank during the Civil War

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Hudgins talks about other black-owned banks in the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Hudgins gives his views on African American business enterprises

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Hudgins discusses his daughter's business endeavors

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Hudgins discusses his involvement with 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Hudgins discusses his family members

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Hudgins details his family's education and business pursuits

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Hudgins comments on the legacy of wealth in African American families

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Hudgins shares political reflections

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Hudgins acknowledges influential political and business leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Hudgins reflects on the business developments of the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Hudgins remembers his foster sister

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Hudgins reflects on his life's course

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
William Hudgins recalls establishing his Model Beauty Salon
William Hudgins details the founding of Carver Federal Savings Bank, Harlem, New York
Transcript
I developed that skill steam, steaming velvets and I was offered positions as a velvet steamer in three, four different plants--dry cleaning plants. There are wholesale dry cleaners then there are the retailers and these were by wholesale companies. And they offered me, that's how I happened to get more money was because I, I told my employer I said, "I've been offered a job by X cleaner and which pays me much more than you're paying me so can you do anything about it?" So they did it a couple of times and finally they, they decided that I was greedy. I just wanted to get paid what somebody else would pay me for doing the same work and I left there and went to, that's when I went to New York. No, I was in New York. I left there and I wanted to go into the beauty business. I took a course in beauty culture and I got that idea from observation. There was a fellow who was a good looking chap in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], in New York rather and he was quite successful in the beauty business 'cause he was a handsome guy and so forth. And I looked at him and I looked in the mirror. I said, "If he's handsome enough to do it and make a success of it, I'm sure I could do it," so I did it but I didn't have any money. So I went to a bank and tried to get a loan and they told me, "No, you don't have any security you can't get a loan." So I went to a supply house and convinced him, supplied beauty products and all that sort of thing and equipped me to set up a beauty establishment and convinced him that I was good. I don't know how I did it but I did it. And he set my shop up, took notes for the money I owed him and it was a beauty, it was the most beautiful beauty parlor and I lived in Harlem [New York, New York], I worked in Harlem, most beautiful beauty parlor in the city and there were a lot of them in New York. In Harlem there was a lot of black people and I made out very well. I made money and I paid him off. But in doing that I established credit and I made profit too. For years I had it. And from there I went into the hair manufacturing business and I got that idea from dealing with people in the, in the beauty business.$$Okay. I want to take you back--,$$Okay.$$--a little bit to when you're first arriving in New York. And I mean or even let's take you back even to when you get, went to Philadelphia. But you had, your whole exposure really had been--well you had that exposure working in Atlantic City [New Jersey]. But I'm just wondering when you first came North what you saw as really different from what you, you know from Virginia and where you were raised? Was there things that were different and you know were different in terms of your adjustment or did you just fit right in?$$No, I had no part, no problem making any adjustments that I had to make because fortunately every move I made was another step progressive step that I was accomplishing as I made those moves. I, I'd been in a lot of different businesses. As you interview me it will come up.$$But Mr. Hudgins what I have a question about, you got married [to Martina Fitzgerald] what in nineteen, was it like nineteen--?$$'27 [1927].$$'27 [1927] okay. And then you, you arrive in New York really just a little bit before the depression, right? You arrive in Harlem just in--?$$In '33 [1933] I think the Depression was--.$$Oh you, I thought you were just in Philadelphia about a year and a half?$$Yeah well I was.$$Okay.$$I was there a short period of time.$$Okay. So in 1933 you're in Harlem, right?$$Yes.$$Okay. And Harlem is a bustling place, right?$$Yes.$$Okay. And you know when you're doing this dry cleaning what I'm wondering is in what year was it when you set up the beauty salon and what was it called?$$Model, Model Beauty Salon. I don't know where I got that name from. What year? It was about thirty, I think around '33 [1933], 1933 something like that.$$And Modell was M-O-D-E-L-L?$$Single L, M-O-D-E-L.$$Oh M--I keep wanting to add letters, M-O-D-E-L. You don't know where you got the name?$$No, I don't know where. Probably, my wife's name was Martina and maybe I got it from that because she did work in the shop that was--yeah she did work in the shop.$$Now where was the shop located, what street?$$132nd Street on 7th Avenue. You know New York?$$A little.$$Okay. Yeah, it was in, in the very heart of Harlem and it was, my shop was patronized by progressive people because it was something unusual. It was really a dream. Each booth, I had seven booths and each booth was a complete beauty shop. Get everything done on there, shampoo, press, curl, fingernails, the works. You don't have to move out of your booth just pull the curtain, yeah. It was wonderful, beautiful place. Had lot of people, white people coming to visit, see it, they heard about it and I had a few white customers back, way back then, yeah.$$How did you--but see I'm trying to figure out how you were able to do, you know to, to be able--who consulted with you? Why did you want to do such a high-class place and who and where did you get that from?$$Within, within, within. I saw white people were going, going to beautiful shops like that. I had a catalog with the man who sponsored me and I read and saw and I was impressed with what I saw and said, "Well they have it, why can't my people have it?" So I gave it to them and it was a total success. And from that I learned about the hair business and a need for hair, braids, bangs, chignons. You know what a chignon is? And all of those pieces I made, plus a cap, wig, the whole wig. I had twenty three women working for me in my factory. The factory was where my office building is now in New York. And well that's it.$$But let's, let's talk about that a little bit though. You, here you are, you have Model the salon.$$Um-hmm.$$And how long did you have the salon sir?$$About twelve years.$Let's talk about Carver [Federal Savings] Bank and how that came about--,$$Well--.$$--'cause you said that you know I was--that was around the time--but see you were still in the hair business.$$1948.$$I'm getting--.$$1948.$$'48 [1948] right--,$$Yeah.$$--was when you and several business people got together and organized it. And you said--.$$Carver Bank.$$Right, at Carver Bank, right.$$Yeah.$$And you said that you--so I just want--you said you were really motivated because you wanted to teach--.$$People get a better deal.$$Right.$$Black folks get a better deal. And they weren't getting a fair deal and I, I could become a part of making it possible for them to get a better--not all of them were worthy. A lot of them were not worthy of the treatment they were getting but a whole lot of them were and were successful.$$But can we talk about what was actually happening you know because banking, that's not an area that blacks had, you know--there were some black banks.$$Not in New York.$$Not in New York.$$No.$$But there were some around the country and what I'm wondering is--so that's an industry that blacks were not really in?$$That's right.$$Okay. And so but I want you to describe what was actually happening in New York. You know I mean what people had to do to get money, where there were opportunities. I'm just trying to--for you to paint the picture that existed.$$Well I had to do a lot of educating people. For instance their credit, they had to protect that. You can't borrow money if you have a poor credit history and we, we taught that. Matter of fact we had classes on Thursday night. That was our policy--it wasn't just banking, we had classes on Thursday night. People were invited to come and maybe have a piece of cake, cup of coffee and something like--just a little refreshment and as a result people began to buy houses. White, white banks wouldn't loan them money to buy houses. We knew that the real estate business is good. Not always, but you got--that's what you got to fend them yourself. I remember in Carver Bank, there was a liquor store that a man had and his father was a high ranking officer in the police department and--I just threw that in. But this man had a good liquor store about two blocks away from the bank and--but he was--business was going down, he was losing his business. So we had him to come to the classes and we found out that his, that his problem was women, buying fur coats and all that stuff for women other than his wife. His wife was a school teacher and the money she made had to go into their living and whatnot. So I asked him to come in and bring his wife. I learned, I learned this about his wife working, helping to support the needs of the family. And she, we had a meeting with her and I asked her how did she feel about him getting a loan? She said, "Mr. Hudgins, I don't think he can pay a loan off and keep on doing the things he's doing." That's what she said. I said, "Well, I will give him the loan. I will have the board to approve a loan." I couldn't give him the loan. I had him--credit board. "I'll have the board to give him a loan if you will sign on the paper." She said, "Oh no, no!" Two weeks later she called me up said, "Mr. Hudgins that offer you made, I'll take it." I said, "Well come on in, sign the papers." She came in, the credit manager worked with her and so forth and she stayed on top of him to be sure that he didn't buy anymore fur coats and he didn't buy anymore anything unless it was going into his home. And that's what we had to do and we a loan and she saw to it, but he paid that loan off. It was an ed-, not just banking but we had to do an education job too and that was, that's what we did. That was our policy and that bank is moving, thriving. It's thriving now.