Bank of America

Bank of America Features Malcolm Gladwell in Speaker Series for Local Small Business Owners

Press Release   •   Nov 16, 2011 10:49 EST

Taking another step in its ongoing effort to encourage small business growth, Bank of America today announced it has conducted a series of events with Malcolm Gladwell to deliver quality education and actionable advice to small business owners in various markets throughout the country. This program, entitled “Bank of America Small Business Speaker Series: A Conversation with Malcolm Gladwell,” was held in Los Angeles on September 27, in Dallas on November 3, and in Washington, D.C., on November 15.

Gladwell is an award-winning journalist and author of four New York Times bestsellers, including “Outliers: The Story of Success,” “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference,” and “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.” Borrowing from the concepts in “Outliers,” Gladwell examined the unique attributes that define high performance and extracted lessons that small business owners could adapt in their own endeavors.

“Malcolm Gladwell has been a source of inspiration for me and my business for many years. I was thrilled that Bank of America provided the opportunity for me to hear his perspective on how hard work leads to business success,” said Tom Kristof, founder of the Sozo Center for Assisted Living and Advancement in Gainesville, Texas. “Between Gladwell’s speech, the panel discussion and the opportunity to network with other members of my local community, I found the event to be both informative and a valuable use of any small business owner’s precious time.”

Each event attracted close to 200 small business owners in Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington, D.C., and addressed core concerns and issues that were specific to their business and their city’s economy.

“Small businesses have consistently been an engine of growth for our country,” said Dean Athanasia, Preferred and Small Business Banking executive at Bank of America. “Bank of America is focused on understanding the changing needs of our small business clients, providing local expert resources backed by industry-leading cash management solutions to help their business operate effectively and grow.”

In each market, Gladwell’s presentation was preceded by a panel discussion on relationship capital, a core component of business success, moderated by a Bank of America Small Business regional leader and featuring a cross section of prominent business leaders from each local market.

“Technology and our new faster-paced lifestyles have unfortunately made personal interaction almost obsolete,” said Gene Fairbrother, lead business advisor for the National Association for the Self-Employed and president of MBA Consulting, Inc. in Dallas, Texas. “I am pleased to see that Bank of America is bucking that trend with its new small business banker program. Having access to local experts who understand the dynamics of where you work and live is extremely valuable to fellow NASE members and other small business owners who need smart solutions quickly. I have been with Bank of America for 10 years and can honestly say that they keep finding new ways to make it easier to be a small business owner.”

Bank of America’s commitment to small businesses

The Small Business Speaker Series is the latest demonstration of Bank of America’s ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of the small business community. In October 2010, Bank of America announced the addition of approximately 1,000 new small business bankers throughout the U.S. by early 2012 to provide counsel and guidance to local small business owners. Through a relationship with a Bank of America small business banker, customers will have convenient access to local small business expertise and a dedicated resource who knows their business. Small business bankers will consult with small business owners at their place of business and assess their companies' deposit, credit and cash management needs.

“To serve our four million small business clients effectively each day, we need to ensure we’re providing the full breadth of resources, solutions and expertise to address the unique and complex issues they face,” said Athanasia. “From our recently launched Business Platinum Privileges, a benefits program providing the most comprehensive rewards recognizing customer loyalty, to our suite of small business charge cards designed to help a small business better manage cash flow, to providing more grants to Community Development Financial Institutions than any other bank in the country, Bank of America is proud of the work we do to help small business owners succeed, grow and thrive.”

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 58 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,700 retail banking offices and approximately 17,750 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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