The Center for Economic Inclusion (Center) named four new members to its board of directors: Dionne Gumbs, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, GenEQTY; Karen Hudson, Chief Sales Officer, Grant Thornton LLP; Elliot Jaffee, Executive Vice President and Head of Strategy, Corporate & Commercial Banking, U.S. Bank; and Sam Yamoah, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Cambia Health Solutions.
“The Center for Economic Inclusion is uniquely positioned to drive shared accountability for closing racial wealth gaps,” said Tawanna A. Black, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Center for Economic Inclusion. “Our board, who serve as ambassadors for racial and economic justice, equity, and freedom, position us to fulfill this mission. We are honored to welcome and work alongside such accomplished leaders who have embraced the work of dismantling systemic racism in their respective sectors as a principal driver to fuel inclusive and equitable economic growth. Dionne, Elliot, Karen, and Sam each offer compelling and diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives that will elevate our efforts to equip public- and private-sector employers with the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to create anti-racist and thriving organizations that build inclusive and equitable economies.”
Is a visionary Chief Executive Officer, problem solver, and business-expansion leader with deep domain expertise in financial services and a passion for digital transformation and social impact.
With two decades in banking and a track record of success across sales, product development, and strategy, Dionne Gumbs founded GenEQTY, a cloud-based financial technology platform delivering a smarter banking solution intentionally built to improve financial performance, business health, and capital access for owners and entrepreneurs. The product leverages artificial intelligence to eliminate bias and offer expedited access to financing built on real-time data, fully digital business accounts, dynamic data visualization of key financial ratios, sales and cash flow metrics, a proprietary business health score. Users save time and money and benefit from predictive analytics, push notifications, and data-driven insights that tells them how they are doing while also revealing potential pitfalls.
Gumbs’ work has been highlighted in Wharton Magazine, The Business Journal, Bank Beat Magazine, George W. Bush Institute’s The Catalyst magazine, Yum Brands International. She is featured on podcasts discussing leadership, inclusive finance, and equity. In 2021, she was recognized by Twin Cities Business as a Notable Leader in Finance.
Gumbs earned her M.B.A. from Columbia University and her B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Division I varsity athlete. She later obtained a post-baccalaureate degree in Accounting from the Wharton School. A native New Yorker, Gumbs resides in the Twin Cities with her husband and two children.
”The Twin Cities has found itself at the epicenter of social change in the last year and a half due to the horrific murder of George Floyd. We now have a unique opportunity to be evolutionary change agents for social, racial, and economic justice,” says Gumbs. “I am excited and honored to serve on the board with this committed group at the Center for Economic Inclusion. They and many other great organizations have been doing the hard work necessary to push us forward.”
Karen Hudson is the Chief Sales Officer at Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Hudson leads the firm’s national business development team, which is responsible for building long-term client relationships, understanding client business strategy and challenges, and bringing the breadth of Grant Thornton’s expertise and services to provide client value. Her role includes sales recruiting, training, and enablement and sales compensation, as well as advising on broader growth strategies and initiatives. She serves on Grant Thornton’s Growth Committee and National Leadership Team.
Hudson an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, revised Grant Thorton’s approach to hiring and onboarding — ensuring that recruiters seek out diverse candidates and all hiring managers know that diversity is a priority. She has led unconscious-bias small-group discussions across the entire sales team, to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at Grant Thornton and its clients, and within the broader community.
Hudson lives in St Paul with her husband and has three young adult children. She also serves on the board of the Minnesota Technology Association and the board of Women Winning.
“This region has an unprecedented opportunity to seize the moment and create real and lasting change for our community and for the generations to come. Creating change requires businesses of all sizes to work hand-in-hand with government entities and community organizations. Only then can we bridge the pervasive racial, wealth and opportunity gaps that have existed for many years,” said Hudson, affirming her sense of the importance of the Center’s work.
Elliot Jaffee, Executive Vice President and Head of Strategy, Corporate & Commercial Banking at U.S. Bank, leads the development and implementation of strategic priorities ensuring the business can succeed while responding to changes in the banking industry and the economy.
Jaffee has served as head of Commercial Banking leading a team of professionals that supported middle-market businesses across the entire U.S. Bank footprint. He has also served as Twin Cities Market President, leading the bank’s local business activities. Prior to joining U.S. Bank, Jaffee held corporate banking positions at Bank of America in New York and Chicago.
Jaffee serves on the boards of directors of the Economic Club of Minnesota, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Jaffee has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he graduated with honors.
He said the Center cam address critical and urgent gaps in our social and economic systems.
Sam Yamoah drives Cambia’s strategic framework to serve customers with groundbreaking health care solutions. Prior to Cambia, he worked for McKinsey and Company as an associate partner and leader in the health care and public sector providing counsel to clients on top-management agenda topics focused on strategy, profitable growth, and large-scale performance transformations. Passionate about service and improving health disparities, Yamoah was the health care leader for McKinsey’s Institute for Black Economic Mobility, a research institute and think-tank dedicated to advancing racial equity and inclusive growth globally.
Yamoah grew up in Liberia and Ghana, earned a bachelor’s degree from Luther College and an MBA from The University of Chicago. He is co-founder of Brain Builders, a nonprofit that distributes books to schools, libraries, and other learning centers in Ghana.
Yamoah serves on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association Twin Cities and the alumni board of Luther College.
He said he hopes the Center can accelerate the pace and scale impact of the Center.
The Center for Economic Inclusion says it is committed to increasing the number of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian workers earning family-sustaining wages in the Twin Cities region by 10 percent over the next five years. Learn more at CenterforEconomicInclusion.org.