Detroit area resident Wall Street powerhouse Suzanne Shank was honored at the star-studded Black Girls Rock! 2017 Awards, the annual BET television network celebration of top African-American women in the fields of entertainment, finance, politics and more, which will air Aug. 22.
Ms. Shank, the CEO, co-founder and majority owner of one of the nation’s top minority and woman owned investment firms, Siebert Cisneros Shank (SCSCO), earned the 2017 Shot Caller Award. She was recognized for being an accomplished pioneer in the world of finance and a role model for African-American women and girls throughout the country.
She was presented the honor by actor Wood Harris, of the films “Remember the Titans” and “Creed,” as well as the hit TV show “the Wire,” at the Aug. 5 ceremony at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.
Other award winners included U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, whose impassioned speeches extolling progressive principles has made her a viral video sensation; iconic singer Roberta Flack whose hit songs include “Killing Me Softly with His Song” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love;” actress Yara Shaidi from the hit show “Black-ish;” Isaa Rae, the writer, actress, producer and creator of “Insecure”; pop star Solange Knowles and community organizers Derrica Wilson and Natalie Wilson of the Black & Missing Children Foundation.
The event was hosted by “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson and featured performances by SZA, Anthony Hamilton and Ledisi.
“I am humbled to share the stage with these talented and dynamic black women,” said Ms. Shank. “I came from modest beginnings but had encouragement from my parents and mentors that allowed me to achieve a level of success I never imagined. I hope my path serves as an example and provides encouragement to girls and young women to dream big and to pursue their dreams fully. Investment bankers don’t often get to walk the red carpet, rub elbows with Hollywood A-listers and hold up statues. It was a thrill and an honor to be recognized by Beverly Bond, the show’s creator, and BET.”
Ms. Shank co-founded her firm, which finances some of the nation’s most significant spublic and corporate infrastructure, in 1996 along with Muriel Siebert, herself a pioneer as the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
Partners in the in the firm include former U.S. HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros and former New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson.
Dually headquartered in New York and Oakland, CA, SCSCO has 17 offices nationwide. It has transacted more than $1.4 trillion of municipal bonds and $1.1 trillion of corporate bond and equity transactions since its founding. In 2010, it became the first minority-owned firm in America to rank among the top 10 senior managers of municipal bonds. The firm ranked as the No. 1 minority- and woman-owned municipal finance firm for 18 consecutive years.