President & Chief Executive Officer, Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. LLC, Detroit, Mich.
Suzanne Shank has been the president and chief executive officer of Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. L.L.C. since the municipal finance firm opened nationally in October 1996, managing its financial and administrative operations in its 12 offices across the nation. Shank is a founder and co-owner of the company and a member of its board of directors, Siebert Brandford Shank has participated in municipal financings totaling more than $356 billion. Shank has led financings for large-scale projects for many issuers, including in the Northeast, the cities of New York, Philadelphia and the State of Connecticut.
Shank graduated from The Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a M.B.A. in finance. She worked as a design engineer with General Dynamics Corp.’s Electric Boat division before transitioning to a financial services career 16 years ago.
Although she has achieved success in the financial world, Shank says her childhood dream of becoming a social worker is still close to her heart. Her deep commitment to and passion for public service is evident in her contribution to charities that help those less fortunate. She spearheaded the formation of the Detroit Summer Finance Institute, an internship program that has introduced more than 70 high school students to the financial world in the past three years. She also is vice president of the founding board of W.A.V.E., an initiative to help poor residents pay their water utility bills.
Shank says her most important role is that of mother to her two daughters. “My favorite undertaking in life is raising my two daughters, Devin and Camryn, with my husband,” she says. Many would attribute her success solely to her hard work, but Shank says she has plenty for which to thank her parents, Mary and Roger Shank, her partners in Siebert, Napoleon Brandford and Muriel Siebert, and the experience of watching her previous employer’s firm fold.
Shank has been recognized as an influential woman in business by the Madame C. J. Walker Center and by Black Enterprise Magazine.