2021 Newsmaker: Renee Tabben

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Renee Tabben

Grand Rapids Market President

Bank of America

Bank of America was a major player in promoting economic mobility in West Michigan in 2021.

After helping to establish the New Community Transformation Fund in 2020 just weeks before the pandemic hit — a venture fund aimed at boosting businesses owned and/or led by people of color in West Michigan — which included $200,000 in startup capital, Bank of America in January 2021 contributed another undisclosed sum to the fund, bringing it closer to the $10 million goal mark for NCTF to begin making investments in the community.

“To continue to grow and prosper, West Michigan must have healthy and diverse communities,” said Renee Tabben, the Grand Rapids market president for Bank of America, who serves on the NCTF board of directors. “Our additional investment in the NCTF and ongoing support of ethnic and racial diversity in business ownership comes at a critical time.”

Bank of America also supported the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2021. 

In December, Bank of America named the Hispanic chamber a 2021 Neighborhood Champion — an award that came with a $50,000, two-year grant and an opportunity for executive leadership coaching delivered by national experts in the nonprofit sector.

In addition, the bank awarded the chamber a $100,000 grant to advance economic opportunity for Hispanic-owned small businesses and develop a strong Latino talent pipeline and employment opportunities. The funding is supporting two key chamber initiatives: Transformando West Michigan and Building Bridges through Education (BBTE).

“The West Michigan Hispanic Chamber has provided critical leadership in our community,” Tabben said. 

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