Washington, D.C. – Junior Achievement of Greater Washington is pleased to announce the appointment of five new Board members: Julie Coons of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, John Durrant of Capital One, Cecilia Hodges of M&T Bank, Eric Lewis of BB&T, and Neil Smith of CrossCountry Consulting.
The new members join an impressive group of the nation’s business frontrunners, Greater Washington civic leaders, and educational thought leaders, dedicated to leveling the playing field for Greater Washington youth, who serve to provide guidance and support to JA's mission of teaching young people how to succeed in a global economy and inspiring confidence in the future.
“Julie, John, Cecilia, Eric and Neil are welcome additions to the JA Board," said Ed Grenier, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Greater Washington. “They are each well-respected in the business community and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help JA expand its impact in the region."
Julie Coons is President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Voice of Business in Northern Virginia™, representing local employers with more than 500,000 regional employees. She is a transformative business leader who delivers unprecedented revenue and profit growth through innovation, operational excellence and cultural change. From 2017-2018, Julie served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Prior, she served as the President and CEO of the Electronic Retailing Association. Julie was recently named one of the 2018 DCA Live Non Profit Leaders.
John Durrant is the Executive Vice President, Product and Operations, Retail & Direct Bank at Capital One. His career encompasses almost 20 years of setting strategy and leading teams at multiple Fortune 500 financial services institutions. John joined Capital One in May 2011 and leads the Retail and Direct Bank’s Product and Operations team. In this role, he manages more than 2,000 associates who perform several functions including new product development, deposit pricing, digital, ATM, fraud prevention and operations. Prior to this role, John led the Small Business Banking group where he was responsible for customer strategy and P&L management for the small business and business banking segments
Cecilia Hodges is the Regional President, Greater Washington and Virginia, for M&T Bank. In this role, she is responsible for growing the Bank's presence in commercial, real estate, and consumer banking in the region. Cecilia has over 31 years of experience in the industry, and she and her team are responsible for managing the delivery of the Bank to its clients in order to meet their comprehensive corporate and personal banking needs. She is on the steering committee of M&T Bank's Women's Affinity Group and works to promote the career development of women and other diverse colleagues within the Bank.
Eric Lewis serves as the Area President of the Suburban Maryland market within the Greater Washington Region of BB&T. Eric is responsible for the growth, management and optimization of all commercial banking within Suburban Maryland by supervising a team of lenders and associates and making connections with executives and centers of influence in order to establish new business relationships. Eric has been with BB&T for 15 years and has worked in the banking industry for 19 years. Eric is a member of Leadership Greater Washington’s class of 2017. He also is a member of Leadership Howard County’s class of 2012.
Neil Smith is a Partner with CrossCountry Consulting, a business advisory firm headquartered in Tysons, VA. As the Finance & Operations practice leader, Neil is responsible for assisting clients with optimizing operations, finance, and accounting functions and leading organizations through complex change initiatives. In this role, Neil serves as an advisor to executives at Fortune 500 and emerging growth organizations across multiple industries. Prior, Neil served as Business Projects Director in the Finance division at Freddie Mac before returning to consulting and helping launch CrossCountry Consulting in 2011.
Since 1965, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington has been changing the game for area youth with relevant, experiential education for the real world. Our visionary philosophy and innovative hands-on approach is shaped by a passionate collective of the region’s business and civic leaders who come together as role models, partners and volunteer mentors to help young people be 100% ready for real life and work. During the 2017-2018 school year alone, JA of Greater Washington delivered its programs to almost 70,000 K-12 students in the District, Maryland and Virginia. To learn more, please visit www.myJA.org.
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