In 2019 JPMorgan Chase Business Resource Group, BOLD, set their sights on the theme “Be EMBOLDENED” for the year. And wow, were they ever. We sat down with a member of their board leadership team, Niko Harbosky, to break down how this ELEVATE Award Finalist made the most of a very important year.
Q: Let’s jump right in. Why was 2019 such a stellar year for BOLD?
A: Honestly, it was a big year for BOLD, JPMorgan Chase AND Indianapolis. Indianapolis was privileged to host the National Urban League Annual Conference. JPMC had a huge presence from both a national and local level at this conference, with BOLD leading the way in the National Urban League Volunteer Zone. We recruited over 120 volunteers from our firm to participate in many different activities. BOLD led an internal supply drive to help collect items for one of the volunteer zone tasks: creating donation kits for new moms, those experiencing homelessness, domestic violence survivors and students. The goal was to collect 200 items and we collected over 1,600. It was an extraordinary opportunity and I felt so privileged to be a part.
BOLD and JPMC also position themselves for a year with a greater emphasis on financial literacy – especially educating the next generation with our “Currency Conversations.” Currency Conversations is part of a National campaign with Essence magazine to encourage women – particularly women of color – to make a commitment to themselves to save. This campaign, combined with JPMorgan’s Advancing Black Pathways program, fosters local communities of black women to inspire each other and provide digital access to a national network of experts and coaches helping with education, inspiration and vital solutions to support their financial goals. The BOLD group talked with 359 women at the conference about making that pledge to themselves.
Q: Two great examples of a fabulous year. Share with us a little bit more about BOLD’s role within the JPMC culture.
A: BOLD stands for Black Organization for Leadership Development. All our business resource groups are open to all, but BOLD provides employees, and specifically those of African descent, with an empowering environment that focuses on professional and personal development in support of the company’s business goals and initiatives. We are about 200 members strong across the state of Indiana.
Q: When you think back on your own journey as a new employee, what drew you to BOLD?
A: I’ve always felt a passion for community, but shortly after joining JPMC I heard about an annual event titled, “Celebrating Black Leaders.” I was intrigued that JPMC would give a platform for so many of the black leaders in our company to shine and be recognized. I attended a phenomenal talk by Rodney Miller, a gentleman born in Indianapolis and graduate of Indiana University. Today Rodney is the Vice Chairman of Mergers and Acquisitions of JPMC in New York City. He simply and eloquently shared his story and there were so many instances that I could see myself in his journey. This was the first time I encountered the faces that make up BOLD. I had to know more. So, I just started attending events – early. I’d help with setup. I’d stay late and break down. I introduced myself to everyone. After some time, the rest of the board saw my earnest passion and took time to develop me. Now I can say that being a part of BOLD has given me greater visibility within the organization, and pushed me to challenge myself.
Q: In your experience, why are business resource groups so important to organizations today?
It’s the BEST way to attract and retain talent! Our members can develop valuable leadership skills, practice their public speaking, engage with various community partners, flex strategic muscles and interact with different lines of business. BRG’s contribute to training the most effective leaders within the workforce. And, when an opportunity arises within the organization, the C-suite has a pool of individuals they can call upon, confidently.
Q: Anything you’d like to say to JPMorgan Chase leadership for supporting BOLD?
A: Well, I think first I’d like to shout out the general body and the leadership board. It’s been a great year of hard, rewarding work. But yes, the diversity counsel and market leadership team set the platform for us to stand on. Their continued leadership and vision is so important and they give the confidence to BE EMBOLDENED.
Don’t forget to vote for JPMorgan Chase BOLD for BRG of the Year as your People’s Choice winner. Voting ends at 8:15 p.m. on February 29th.
Is “teamwork makes the dream work” to cheesy to close out this profile?Perhaps. We will stick with BE EMBOLDENED.