Michael Banks is United Way’s Managing Director for Employment Opportunities & Entrepreneurship a role in which he leads partnerships with businesses, lenders, technical assistance providers, nonprofit organizations, funders, and government entities to encourage and facilitate equitable growth in Philadelphia’s job and labor markets.
Among his responsibilities, Michael is tasked with developing, planning and executing initiatives to empower underrepresented business leaders who create wealth and employ individuals in low-income communities, train individuals who experience high barriers to the workforce for meaningful careers, and increase access and opportunity for employment and advancement in companies throughout the region. He also helps to oversee UWGPSNJ’s investment in the Job Opportunity Investment Network, develop and lead a new fund to support entrepreneurs of color, and collaborate with regional employers to promote racial equity and accessible opportunities to strengthen the region’s workforce.
Prior to joining UWGPSNJ, Michael was the executive director of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, where he worked to support the economic empowerment and growth of African-American businesses in the region. Previously, he served as a financial controller for a Philadelphia startup that he helped position for national growth, and subsequently as vice president at Citibank, where he led their equity trading desk.
Michael has served on the board of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, PHL Diversity, Mann Center for Performing Arts, Clarifi, UWGPSNJ, the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, and on the Red Cross Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He is the recipient of the Philadelphia Tribune’s “Most Influential 10 Under 40;” the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Most Talented Leaders 40 Under 40” and “Top 100 Influential Leaders in the Region;” the Philadelphia 76ers Game Changer Award; and the Community College of Philadelphia Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
He enjoys spending time with his kids doing everything from kayaking, to being their motivational coach. Additionally he is a certified indoor cycling instructor, enjoys traveling primarily to eat food in other countries, and reading books that would put most people to sleep. Spending time with family being important, he also enjoys grilling and is currently the defending BBQ champ in his family.