Chicago - Exelon Vice President and Treasurer Chaka Patterson was honored last Thursday with the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce's Dr. Arthur Fletcher Outstanding Leadership Award for Patterson's personal and professional commitment to fostering minority and community bank relationships across the communities Exelon serves.
"Chaka Patterson is creating new opportunities for minority banks to participate in financial transactions in ways that previously didn't exist," said Larry Ivory, president and CEO of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce. "He plays a unique role within Exelon to promote diversity and create an environment for economic empowerment in the community."
Last year, Exelon and its subsidiaries ComEd and PECO entered into new credit agreements with 26 minority and community banks in Chicago, Philadelphia and other regions that Exelon serves. Seaway Bank and Trust Company, Riverside Community Bank and the United Bank of Philadelphia arranged the credit agreements, with JPMorgan Chase serving as the administrative agent.
The agreements, totaling $67 million, provide the companies with an additional source of credit, while offering minority and community banks the opportunity to grow their relationships with Fortune 500 companies. Patterson played a key role in expanding Exelon's reliance on minority and community banks. The company is currently in the process of finalizing the program for 2010.
Since Patterson became Exelon's treasurer in February 2009, Exelon has increased its spending with minority- and women-owned investment banks by five-fold. In 2010 to date, Exelon's fees with these banks are nearly $2.5 million and represent 9 percent of its total spending with relationship banks. Across the organization, Exelon's total spending with minority- and women-owned enterprises was more than $450 million in 2009.
"We are very proud of Chaka's work in fostering these relationships, which are unique in the utility industry and have broken new ground in terms of lender diversity," said Ruth Ann Gillis, executive vice president and chief administrative and diversity officer, Exelon Corporation, and president, Exelon Business Services Company. "These credit agreements are an important component of Exelon's ongoing efforts to invest in the communities we serve and demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion in all our business relationships."
The award is named for the late Dr. Arthur Fletcher, who laid claim to the title of "father of affirmative action," served as an advisor to four U.S. presidents and served as executive director of the United Negro College Fund.