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Farmington Hills-based businesswoman named chair of Black Professional Group.

 Farmington Hills-based businesswoman named chair of Black Professional Group.

Dwanette Williams is pictured seated at left.

Bank of America Community Relations Manager Dwanette Williams was appointed chair of the Michigan chapter of Bank of America’s Black Professional Group (BPG) on Jan. 1.

Williams, of Southfield, currently serves the bank’s Detroit market and is based in Farmington Hills. She has been with the bank since 2008, with prior roles including Financial Center Manager and Credit Business Development Representative Team Leader.

The BPG at Bank of America was one of the company’s first employee resource groups, supporting the recruitment, retention, and promotion of Black employees, and now has more than 13,000 members in chapters across the U.S., including 200 employees across metro Detroit.

Williams said she is approaching her new leadership role with the theme of “lifting as we climb.”

Dwanette Williams
Dwanette Williams

“All our programs around professional development will revolve around employees lifting others as they grow in their own careers,” Williams said. “We are the bank of opportunity, and we want to show people of color that these goals are attainable.”

BPG embraces multiple roles

The group provides mentorship to develop future leaders, and sponsors and hosts regular networking events to create awareness and encourage conversations about social and economic issues.

“When a workplace is inclusive, people perform better. We want people to see their bank team as a family,” said Williams, adding that employees at all levels are encouraged to join and that you don’t have to be Black to join BPG.

Beyond internal events and support for teammates, the group is also active in the community, which helps support the Bank’s ability to hire job candidates from Detroit and other communities of color in Michigan.

“The Black Professional Group is a platform for Bank of America employees to do a lot of volunteer work in the communities where we serve, supporting communities that look like us,” Williams said. “Our presence can give residents in these communities the idea they could be part of the Bank team.”

To commemorate Black History Month, the Michigan Chapter of the BPG will partner with Midnight Golf, which empowers metro-Detroit teens through mentoring, college preparation, community activism, financial literacy, and learning to play golf, to host professional development workshops, Feb. 15-16, on career networking, creating elevator pitches and more.

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Ed Wright

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