Diverse financial institutions across the United States make crucial investments in their communities but are often overlooked for business opportunities by potential clients in favor of bigger Wall Street firms. Citi helps such minority-owned banks, equipping them with the tools to be competitive and participate more fully in the financial services industry. Building access to these financial resources at an institutional level is an important step in addressing the racial wealth gap.
In this episode of Good Things Happen, we talk with Susan Plumb, Chair and CEO of Bank of Cherokee County, Dominik Mjartan, President and CEO of Optus Bank, and Harold Butler, Head of Citi’s Diverse Financial Institutions Group about what meaningful work looks like for diverse, mission-driven banks, and how the banking industry is being transformed.
Citibank N.A. (“Citi”), Bank of Cherokee County and Optus Bank are not affiliated and are independent companies, though Citi has a nominal equity investment in both the Bank of Cherokee County and Optus Bank. The speakers’ views are their own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Citi or any of its affiliates.
All opinions are subject to change without notice. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. The expressions of opinion are not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results.
Dominik Mjartan is President and CEO of Optus Bank, a U.S. Treasury certified CDFI and an MDI (FDIC designated Minority Depository Institution). He spent more than a decade as a senior executive officer at a community development bank, Southern Bancorp, most recently as the Executive Vice President of Southern Bancorp, Inc. (SBI), a holding company for Southern Bancorp Bank and CEO of an affiliated lending company Southern Bancorp Community Partners (SBCP). He is past Chair of the CDFI Coalition and a current director of the Community Development Bankers Association and the National Bankers Association, D.C. based advocacy organizations.
He is also finance chair of Midlands Arts Conservatory and serves on the finance committee of Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network. Dominik also serves on the board of directors of the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development and South Carolina Bankers Association. He earned an MBA at the University of Ulster in United Kingdom, graduating with distinction. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and as a Donaghey Scholar with a B.S. in management from University of Arkansas Little Rock.
His wife Georgia is nationally recognized leader and director of South Carolina First Steps, an agency focused on delivering high quality early childhood education services to all children in South Carolina. They strive to live their personal and professional lives according to their family’s mission statement “to ensure that all people have a fair chance to live productive lives.” Dominik came to Optus Bank in the fall of 2017 as President/CEO. He, along with his family, joined successful entrepreneurs Chairman Mitchell and Director Loyd as an investor to build the bank into a transformational wealth building ministry that serves all people regardless where they are on their wealth building journey. Under his leadership, Optus Bank reached over $185 million in assets up from the low of $47 million while directing nearly 90% of loans to underserved communities, businesses and people.
Harold E. Butler, Jr. is a leader in Markets Financing and Securitization group and is responsible for leading Citi’s Diverse Financial Institutions Group that consists of support for Minority Deposit Institutions, Diverse Broker Dealers and Asset Managers. He manages and delivers a composition of capital markets, transactional, consumer and corporate banking solutions to a number of small and mid-sized financial institutions. He advises on risk, strategic planning and provides executive coaching to C-Suite leaders. Harold is also responsible for the support of the U.S. Treasury’s Mentor Protégé Bank program, where he leads opportunities and the integration of minority banks onto federal contracts and teaming arrangements. He advises on government best practices, and minority banking.
Harold joined Citi in 2006, and currently serves as the Co-Head of the Diversity Operating Committee for Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory, which focuses on talent recruitment, retention and enrichment. He serves as a founding member of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board within Citi’s Institutional Clients Group. Harold has over 35 years of experience supporting the U.S. government, as a member of the armed forces and as a technologist and banker. Harold is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served at XVIII Airborne Corps and 1st Corps Support Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and with NATO in Mons, Belgium. Subsequently, he led various business development efforts during a decade at Microsoft and spent eight years at Freddie Mac as the lead technologist for the Securities, Sales and Trading Group.
Harold has been engaged in numerous leadership, charitable and mentoring initiatives over the years. He currently serves as Chair of the National Bankers Association Advisory Board, he serves on board of trustees for PREP for PREP and he has held board positions at several non-profit child development and welfare centers, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and Leadership Fairfax.
Harold holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland.
Susan Chapman Plumb was appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Oklahoma City Branch Board of Directors in 2017.
Ms. Chapman Plumb serves as board chair and chief executive officer at Bank of Cherokee County, headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, heart of the Cherokee Nation. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Ms. Chapman Plumb received her Journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and her law degree from the University of Tulsa and holds a certificate from the school’s American Indian law program. Bank of Cherokee County was one of the first Native Owned CDFIs Certified by the U.S. Treasury. Ms. Chapman Plumb has been in banking for over 20 years and previously practiced law in Cherokee County where she represented Cherokee families and children upholding the Indian Child Welfare Act on some of the first cases of the type in the Cherokee Nation. She also serves as a board member on the Tahlequah Hospital Foundation and Markoma Christian Ministries. Ms. Chapman Plumb has served as a delegate to the Cherokee National Constitutional Convention, Chairperson of the Cherokee Nation Election Commission and is a trustee for the Cherokee National Historical Society. She and her husband Loyal have four daughters, four grandsons and three granddaughters, and live on the Upper Illinois River in Cherokee County, Oklahoma.