This is Part Two of a Two-Part Series on Ramsey L. Harris, Vice President and Territory CRA Business Advisor in the Retail Lending Distribution Management division at PNC Bank.
Baltimore native Ramsey Harris had taken the advice of his grandfather Bishop Huey L. Harris, Sr., founder of Abundant Life Church in Elkton, Maryland. He had passed on an opportunity to go away to Morehouse College and instead attend Delaware State University. Remaining in close proximity to the elder Harris allowed the younger Harris to be groomed in ministry by his grandfather. It also allowed him to be in the right place at the right time to talk to a PNC Bank recruiter about promising employment opportunities.
Minister Harris would begin a successful career at PNC. However, the day would come when he would be ‘called’ back to Baltimore.
“My mom got sick,” recalled Minister Harris. “I voluntarily made the decision to make sure I came back home to take care of my mother. I asked if I could relocate, and PNC provided me with an opportunity.”
After his return to Baltimore, Minister Harris would work with Annie Spain, branch manager of PNC’s Charles Village location. Like Harris’ grandfather, Spain would also take the young Harris under her wing.
“Annie Spain was my mentor in the banking industry,” said Minister Harris. “Meeting her opened up my eyes to the possibilities of climbing the corporate ladder at PNC. She created a career pathway. I attribute my stability in the banking industry to her. She had 30-plus years in banking. She also had insight and knowledge as to what it takes for minorities to be successful in the banking industry. We also shared a commonality in ministry.”
Under Spain’s tutelage, Harris would take flight up PNC’s corporate banking ladder. Over his ten-year tenure with PNC, the 36-year-old has served in positions, which have included branch manager of PNC’s Uptown Banking Center, and as Business Banker covering branches located in both East and West Baltimore.
As Business Banker, Minister Harris advised business clients with annual revenues of up to $10 million, prospected and created new PNC customer relationships, and retained and grew existing relationships through implementation of PNC’s brand of integrated Cash Flow Optimized solutions.
Harris currently serves as Vice President and Territory CRA Business Advisor in the Retail Lending Distribution Management division at PNC Bank. Harris is responsible for overseeing executing strategic plans that enable the bank to achieve specific Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) focused goals, and measures of lending to businesses located within designated, inner-city/Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) geographies.
“It’s an opportunity to take what I was doing locally in Baltimore and expand where PNC has presence,” said Minister Harris. “I am responsible for that piece of the pie for the East Coast. PNC is looking within those states to lend to small and minority businesses. PNC’s approach is to have someone lead that charge.”
The University of Delaware graduate currently serves on several boards, which include the Pimlico Community Development Authority (PCDA). He has been a mentor/facilitator for the “Stocks in the Future” Program in conjunction and partnership with Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education. He is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Harris is now embarking upon the next chapter of his calling and ministry as Pastor/Founder of City Sanctuary™. This new, evangelistic church in Northeast Baltimore is preparing to launch in 2018 with an emphasis on addressing and alleviating the holistic needs of the community.
“We want to develop ministry that merges my background by establishing an actionable plan to make a difference in the lives of those in Baltimore City,” said Minister Harris. “All of what I do has everything to do with uplifting and empowering the community. My main goal is to take my knowledge and skill-set and pour that back into the community. I want to help people become homeowners and successful in business. That is part of my ministerial calling. I am called by God to merge corporate with church.”
He added, “That is what is next for me. I believe in this city, I am from this city, and God has something great for me to do here.”