Operation HOPE is a non-profit organization focused on providing financial empowerment and investment opportunities to advance the economic development and quality of life in low and moderate income communities.
Synovus Chairman and CEO Kessel Stelling was invited to participate in a CEO perspectives panel at the January 2015 Operation HOPE Global Forum. Since then, the relationship between Synovus and Operation HOPE has grown even stronger. In April, Synovus General Counsel Allan E. Kamensky joined the Operation HOPE southeastern board of directors.
In July, Synovus opened an Operation HOPE office to deliver the HOPE Inside program to individuals throughout the Columbus, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama region. The HOPE Inside office is located in the South Columbus branch of Columbus Bank and Trust (CB&T), a division of Synovus Bank. HOPE Inside is part of Operation HOPE’s Project 5117 initiative to provide financial empowerment opportunities to underserved and under-resourced communities. The office is the first of its kind in the Columbus region.
In September, Synovus celebrated its Operation HOPE relationship with a grand opening event at the HOPE Inside office and introduced to the public HOPE Inside counselor Don Thomas. Thomas offers credit and money management counseling to consumers, plus a 700 Credit Score Communities program as well as entrepreneurial training for aspiring small business owners. Thomas also hosts workshops and provides one-on-one client support.