CBA Applauds Award Recipients at CBA LIVE 2023

March 29, 2023

The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) today announced U.S. Bank as the 2023 Joe Belew Award recipient, recognizing the bank for its efforts to reduce the wealth gap. U.S. Bank was one of 14 banks to submit applications showcasing the impact of their initiatives designed to uplift underserved communities.

CBA also announced its Community Reinvestment Committee as the recipient of the Steve Zeisel Award for outstanding commitment to its mission. In addition, CBA recognized PNC’s Kaley Keeley with the Tem Wooldridge Award for excellence demonstrated at CBA’s Executive Banking School.  

Entering its 12th year, the Joe Belew award theme changes annually to reflect the current issues most impacting communities. The winner was selected by a panel of judges with decades of industry expertise. Wells Fargo previously received the award in 2021 and was recognized for their continued commitment to serve their communities at CBA LIVE 2022. .

“Congratulations to U.S. Bank and all its employees for going above and beyond to serve communities through the Access Commitment program,” said CBA President & CEO Lindsey Johnson. “Addressing the growing wealth gap is a priority for the banking industry and CBA, and we are encouraged by the efforts that all of our member have devoted to addressing this issue and ensuring individuals and businesses have access to the banking tools they need to fulfill the American Dream.

Johnson continued, “Importantly, the work that banks are doing to increase financial inclusion and better financial outcomes for all is working – with the most recent FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households reporting the number of unbanked households is estimated at 4.5 percent,, the lowest in the survey’s history.  But more work needs to be done, which is why the efforts of U.S. Bank Access Commitment ™ and so many other initiatives at CBA member banks are as important as ever today.”

Greg Cunningham, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, U.S. Bank, said: “It is an honor to accept the Joe Belew award on behalf of U.S. Bank and our 77,000 employees who have worked hard to provide access to financial opportunity to more Americans. U.S. Bank is deeply committed to lifting up individuals, families and small businesses in the communities we serve, especially those who have been most affected by the growing wealth gap.”

“Our team goes to work each day with one thing in mind – using our hearts and minds to power human potential. A critical piece of this is improving historical inequities for underserved communities,” Tim Welsh, Vice Chair, Consumer and Business Banking, U.S. Bank, and a member of the CBA Board of Directors, said. “Through Access Commitment™, U.S. Bank has made great strides in advancing equity in banking, including key areas such as access to wealth and capital in addition to business and home lending. There’s more work to be done, but a special thank you to our industry partners for supporting these efforts, especially the Consumer Bankers Association.”

About U.S. Bank Access Commitment™       

U.S. Bank Access Commitment™ launched in February 2021, building on initial commitments the company made in June 2020 to ensure the bank’s workforce reflects the communities it serves, support Black-owned businesses through grants and supplier relationships, and support nonprofits and community institutions working toward racial equity.

The goal of Access Commitment is to contribute to closing the racial wealth gap by mobilizing the entire U.S. Bank organization to help accelerate wealth building in communities most impacted in the United States. The company’s efforts support employees, families and businesses and communities. More information can be found at

About the Joe Belew Award

The Joe Belew Award was established in 2011 in memory of Joe Belew, former CBA president, to honor his commitment to community development. The annual award recognizes the efforts of CBA member-banks whose innovative solutions address pressing social and community issues. Previous award winners include Citizens Bank, Discover Bank, First Niagara Financial Group, and PNC Financial Services. For more than a decade, the focuses of the award have ranged from job creation to low- and moderate-income housing programs and small business support. The 2023 Joe Belew Award was presented to the CBA member-bank applicant with the most responsive and impactful program aimed at reducing the wealth gap.

U.S. Bank was one in a field of fourteen applicants who all made strong submissions for this year’s award for their programs established to close the wealth gap. Other applicants include Bank of America, Banner Bank, Berkshire Bank, BMO Harris Bank, Citi, Citizens Bank, Eastern Bank, First Horizon Bank, SoFi Banking, Liberty Bank, Synchrony Bank, Truist Bank, and Woodforest National Bank. To view the full list of 2023 applications as well as a list of previous award recipients, click HERE.

About the Steve Zeisel Committee of Excellence Award: Recognizing CBA's Community Reinvestment Committee

This award honors the life and legacy of Steve Zeisel, CBA’s former Executive Vice President and General Counsel for his service to CBA and the financial services community.

This is the second presentation of the Steve Zeisel Award honoring the CBA committee. Last year, in recognition of their work to provide relief to America’s small businesses, CBA’s Small Business Committee, led by Chairs Richard Foster from Frost Bank and Kris Puskar from Eastern Bank, was awarded the inaugural Steve Zeisel Committee of Excellence Award at CBA LIVE 2022.

About the Tem Wooldridge Award Winner: Honoring Standouts of CBA's Executive Banking School

Established in 2002 to honor long-time faculty member, Tem Leslie Wooldridge, this award recognizes the top Executive Banking School student each year who demonstrates outstanding academic performance, high integrity and a strong work ethic. In addition to academic merit, Tem Wooldridge Award winners possess the necessary character and leadership skills to bring out the best in their teammates. Award winners are selected by EBS faculty, with input from senior class peers.