Memphis Business Journal Guest Column: Bo Allen – President, First Horizon-West Tennessee | Published April 22, 2021
Memphis has a reputation for its grit, grind, and its unrivaled generosity — all of which, I believe, has shaped Memphis’ distinctive culture. Our intrinsic desire to give and give back continues to cultivate a pipeline of talent and ideas.
At First Horizon, we hold a strong belief that in order for us to be successful, the communities in which we serve must be successful. So how do we ensure that shared success? We practice Memphis’ guiding principle of giving. We invest.
First, we encourage our 1,632 local associates to actively seek out opportunities to volunteer and engage with the community. Especially during a pandemic year when the widespread needs have never been greater, our employees stepped up to provide a helping hand as volunteers, board members, and contributors.
Second, we invest funds through our First Horizon Foundation to nonprofit organizations who advance our community. By empowering local nonprofits, we can directly amplify their programming efforts, therefore engaging more people and helping make the city a better place.
As a lifelong Memphian, the process has been extremely meaningful to see and support. In Memphis, we invest in causes including food security and access and high-quality, affordable health care as well as the arts. And because there are so many arts groups in our area, ArtsMemphis has stepped up as our ArtsFirst grant administrator, digging into the process as a critical partner. Our goal is to distribute funds to arts organizations who are producing impactful and accessible programming for all ages.
ArtsMemphis ensures our dollars are being delivered to a range of groups, helping us answer the questions: Are we ensuring diversity in not only art forms, but also diversity both culturally and geographically? Are we supporting both established organizations and startups? ArtsMemphis’ expertise and intuitive understanding of our arts community guides us through these answers.
This ecosystem relies on continued reinvestment in our people, businesses, and culture. It’s our path to growth as a city.
I urge all of our associates and all Memphians to become active contributors and join us as we invest in the arts today for a powerful return in the future.
Bo Allen is First Horizon Bank’s president of West Tennessee and board member of ArtsMemphis