MEMPHIS, Tenn. —Luke Yancy has been at the helm of the mid-south minority business council continuum-- but he will soon retire from his position as Chief Executive Officer.
While his professional career may be coming to a close how he got there is a very interesting story it started with a walk through the bank on a hot summer day.
"So to get cool I walked all the way through the lobby of the bank and I noticed these people sitting at desks with suits on the air was blowing real high and I said to myself this is what I want to do when I grow up "
Yancy got his start in the banking business just out of college. When he was hired in a management training program at union planters-- in 1971 that was not common.
" And I remember the customer's lack of acceptance when I got on the desk side and was advising customers about investment products and such, I was not received well"
Yancy says despite the challenges he faced in his professional career-- it was his mother's spirit that encouraged him.
"And her thing was never ever giving up and that was not part of my spirit. "
He says it was that spirit and persistence that made him a successful commercial lender.
"Within three years I had the biggest portfolio in the bank, I was banking national companies, I was banking billionaires so on and so forth because I had the knack for it."
He says he worked his way up the management ladder and eventually became president o the first American bank-- in charge of banking in all of west Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
But he says his most rewarding career move was to the mid-south minority business council continuum and that it is crucial to minority businesses involved in Memphis to move the city forward.
"That is a game changer if we get it right, we as a community, in my opinion, are obligated to get it right. and until we get it we are going to continue to see the increasing rise in poverty, illiteracy, lack of home ownership, all of the ills that economically make Memphis the community that it is. "