Thasunda Duckett is the first African American to be CEO of JP Morgan & Chase Consumer Banking. Despite her humble means growing up, today Thasunda is responsible for overseeing a banking network with more than $684 billion in deposits and investments, nearly 50,000 employees, over 5,000 bank branches, and 16,000 ATMs.
Rather than let her past limit her, Thasunda embraces it and uses it for inspiration to help ordinary families and households believe that they, too, can not only obtain financial success but become great leaders. She believes her story is not unique, but one that follows the trajectory of the true American Dream.
“My ancestors and the people who started here at JPMorgan Chase couldn’t imagine someone that looked like me leading the consumer business,” she comments. “… So when I think about my legacy, I think about giving homage to the people before me – the people who were cleaning the buildings of banks – and how now, we can have more than a way to take care of our families, and even ascend to become CEOs.”
As CEO of one of the largest banks in the world, and Thasunda says her mission is to inspire people to take their savings seriously. Not only does she want individuals to invest in themselves with intention; she also wants them to realize that the word “savings” doesn’t just apply to the future – it applies to everyday life.
“I’m passionate about the question, ‘What are you saving for?’ because savings is not just about investing or planning for your retirement,” she explains. “While those are so important, so is short term savings!”
A true inspiration
In addition to being a successful business woman, Thasunda is also one of the 16 women who inspired Lebron’s James 16th sneaker for Nike and his first shoe for women. She is featured in the campaign with the shoe’s designers, and with tennis champion Serena Williams.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from the University of Houston, and earned an MBA from Baylor University. Her advice to others is while navigating your career and life, “reach as you climb.”
Follow her on Twitter @Thasunda
Watch her inspirational interview on CNN: