Friday, October 24, 2014
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Unconventional Leader: Senior Vice President of U.S. Bank, Darrell Brown is not only a leader, but also a friend and mentor (Photos By: Valerie Goodloe)

Senior Vice President of U.S. Bank Darrell Brown makes community priority

The tallest building in downtown Los Angeles can be seen peering through the others, rising slightly above to make its notable presence. That building is the U.S. Bank Tower and on the 30th floor of that tower, sits an office that belongs to Senior Vice President and Greater Los Angeles Coastal Region Manager of U.S. Bank, Darrell Brown. Upon entering his office, you’ll see pictures along the windowsill and the many awards Brown has received over his career. You never see a picture of him standing alone; you see pictures with his team and his family and peers. Seeing the interaction with him and coworkers is a reminder that Brown is not like any executive banking professional that I have ever met. In fact, he is more of a mentor or respected friend – one that many can count on. Although the view from his 30th floor office is breathtaking, you won’t find him there often. Instead, you’ll find him on the ground in the communities that he serves.

“I play a big role in our diversity inclusion strategies. I play a big role in our company government relations and where the customer experience [is at]. When I think about the commonality in interaction, it requires making a difference and creating a legacy of service,” Brown said.

As senior vice president of U.S. Bank, Brown’s responsibilities are to run the retail bank here in greater Los Angeles, which includes 228 bank branches and 2,731 U.S. Bank employees. The areas he oversees include San Fernando Valley, Santa Barbara, San Louis Obispo, Bakersfield, Palmdale, Ventura and Lancaster. These duties also include small business efforts. Brown, as a part of his commitment to U.S. Bank’s mission statement, keeps close relationships with his employees by thriving on interaction. The importance of relationships is something he strongly believes in. He also spends a lot of time traveling, as a representative or voice of U.S. Bank. Besides all of his duties, he takes a huge personal interest in the community. Born and raised in Watts, California, Brown has seen it all including the highs and the lows in his own life. Growing up, he attended Dorsey High School and attended UCLA.

Brown’s mother was very involved in the community as he was growing up and participated in various historical events such as marching with Cesar Chavez. His grandfather was a minister and founder of Bethel Baptist Church and as a child Brown would participate as a junior deacon and counted the tithe for the church. His love for numbers was inevitable and his career in banking was almost destined. He’s been in the banking industry for around 38 years. Those who work with Brown say he is an inspiration and a great motivator.

“I was sincere when I said he’s been almost like a mentor to me,” Sean Foley, executive vice president at U.S. Bank said. Foley works specifically with Brown in coordinating their community outreach amongst other duties.

“It’s one thing to participate in the community because your company asks you, but the way Darrell does that, is he cares. He does it because he has a deep passion for Los Angeles, for making it a better place to live and work,” Foley continued. 

Growing up in Watts and currently living in View Park, Darrell spends his time out in the community, supporting local businesses and non-profits. One of the non-profits that he and U.S. Bank support is Brotherhood Crusade.

The non-profit’s President and CEO, Charisse Bremond Weaver says that Brown and U.S. Bank are important to the community because of the support that they give.

That support also goes to the children and teens that participate at the Brotherhood Crusade Youth Source Center on Crenshaw Blvd. who are actively getting help in the areas of education, mental health and health services. With the support of US Bank and Brown, the facility is able to get the funds it needs to keep the services up to date with proper learning tools and equipment. Participants and workers of Brotherhood Crusade’s NEOP (Nutritional Educational Obesity Prevention) conversed with Brown saying that being at Brotherhood Crusade has changed their lives and that they are inspired and thankful for his support.

“Hearing that and meeting you is what the Brotherhood Crusade did for me. It showed me that there’s hope. Like you just said, you’re from a small city called Watts… and just looking at [you] coming from Watts – it lets us know that anything is possible,” a Brotherhood Crusade participant said.

Brown let the participants know that anything is possible with a few tips.

“If you nurture the community between your ears and your minds, you can do just about anything. Where you start is irrelevant. I’ve never thought that I wouldn’t be successful. The gift of choice, I chose to go, as you said, in a direction that was important and to really make a difference. Not everybody can say that, but you guys are a testimony that we’re doing some really great stuff,” Brown said to the participants as he turned to Bremond Weaver to clap for her hard work.

The support is also seen in local businesses, like Dulan’s Soul Food, where Brown has been dining at for years. In fact, it was this very business that served Brown in an unfortunate situation.

“One of the most touching things is when my dad died, I was very close to my dad, and I remember the word got out. The doorbell rang and there was Greg Dulan with just trays of food. I could get all choked up right now because we didn’t expect that,” Brown said.

Brown says that business like Dulan’s are important for the community.

“Dulans is the brand in our community…You walk in here and you see smiling faces [and they’re] quick to respond. Our economy is thriving because of his service and people recognizing that you’re going to get a great experience here at Dulan’s,” Brown said.

All of the support that Brown has been able to provide all wraps up into a main ideal for the senior vice president and it’s an ideal that reaches far beyond the here and now.

“It’s all those things that speak to the same thing we are trying to get to – and that’s making a difference for our community, planting seeds for those who are younger, so we can bear fruit as we get older and feel comfortable in knowing that the legacy is going to live long beyond my years,” Brown said. 

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