First Midwest BankFirst Midwest Bank logoArrow DownIcon of an arrow pointing downwardsArrow LeftIcon of an arrow pointing to the leftArrow RightIcon of an arrow pointing to the rightArrow UpIcon of an arrow pointing upwardsBank IconIcon of a bank buildingCheck IconIcon of a bank checkCheckmark IconIcon of a checkmarkCredit-Card IconIcon of a credit-cardFunds IconIcon of hands holding a bag of moneyAlert IconIcon of an exclaimation markIdea IconIcon of a bright light bulbKey IconIcon of a keyLock IconIcon of a padlockMail IconIcon of an envelopeMobile Banking IconIcon of a mobile phone with a dollar sign in a speech bubbleMoney in Home IconIcon of a dollar sign inside of a housePhone IconIcon of a phone handsetPlanning IconIcon of a compassReload IconIcon of two arrows pointing head to tail in a circleSearch IconIcon of a magnifying glassFacebook IconIcon of the Facebook logoLinkedIn IconIcon of the LinkedIn LogoXX Symbol, typically used to close a menu
Skip to nav Skip to content

Old National’s African American Impact Network: Relaunched, Retooled, and Rewarding

The first employee resource group (or Impact Network as they are named at Old National Bank) was created more than 50 years ago when the Xerox National Black Employees Caucus was founded to advocate for inclusion and change at Xerox in 1970. Today, in 2024, approximately 90% of Fortune 500 companies foster and support various resource groups for their employees.

Old National is no exception and has benefitted from strong team member leadership.

Nadine Johnson and Andrea McGordon both came to Old National from banks that did not have Impact Networks. Both were pleased to discover upon joining the bank that Old National, among its seven resource groups, had an African American Impact Network. The group had been inactive, but Johnson and McGordon, in light of their leadership roles at their former banks, were asked if they were interested in co-chairing the African American Impact Network through its relaunch, and “jumped at the opportunity.”

“We have a strong belief in the importance of Impact Networks and business resource groups and recognize that it is an absolute privilege to be able to serve in this role,” said McGordon, a Community Development Manager, SR, VP, based in Indiana. “Doing this work and driving impact is critical -- we see how important it is based on what's happening in our current climate, in corporate America, and in some of the most vulnerable communities we serve.”

Johnson, a Treasury Management Consultant, SR, SVP, based in Illinois, says the African American Impact Network benefits from a strong three-way working relationship between the group, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) department, and support from Old National leadership.

“It’s one thing to have the resource group, but it's another to know that there's a commitment from leadership to make sure that these resource groups have what they need to move the work forward,” Johnson said. “We have our executive sponsor Roland Shelton, and we have grown to six markets in Chicago, Indianapolis, Evansville, Wisconsin, Minneapolis and Michigan.”

In less than two years, Johnson and McGordon have grown the group’s footprint, activities, and impact to include:

  • The Evansville, Ind., chapter launch this month on Feb. 29 at the Evansville African American Museum
  • A launch in 2024 of a Wellness Series partnering with Aligned Modern Health focusing on physical health (heart health, diet, etc.) and unique concerns for African Americans
  • Partnering with Old National’s Talent Acquisition group to discuss opportunities around business enablement, recruitment, and driving diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Developing an internal and external mentorship program
  • Engaging in community volunteer activities throughout the ONB footprint
  • A planned Wisconsin chapter launch in Q4 of 2024

McGordon acknowledges that support from executive leadership and collaboration with internal and external partners will grow and sustain their collective vision for the network. Leaning into the three pillars of business enablement, community engagement and professional development; each opportunity/event is strategically planned to increase corporate visibility, the talent pipeline and team member engagement while simultaneously creating opportunities for minority owned businesses.

In February during Black History Month the group is also supporting an “Inclusive Conversation” throughout the entire organization led by the DEI department spotlighting “African Americans and the Arts.”

According to McGordon, the momentum for the relaunch of the African American Impact Network started two years prior when she was serving on the CEO Council, a next-level leadership initiative at Old National, when George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minn.

“During that time, we saw where the leader of our organization (Jim Ryan) was very vocal about his support of African Americans and the issue of race in corporate Americans, specifically within our bank,” McGordon said. “There was a demonstrated commitment to supporting African Americans within the bank and recognizing that there were unique challenges, and that there had to be a focused effort on doing this.”

The co-chairs point out that the current membership in Old National’s African American Impact Network is diverse, and both maintain that “allies,” or members that do not necessarily meet the group demographic, are critically important to supporting and lifting the organization. Old National actively encourages team members who may not share an identity with the Impact Network to get engaged and to join multiple groups as a pathway to learning and deeper understanding of cultures different from their own. 

“Like Old National team allies that support other Impact Networks like PRIDE (LBGTQ+) or TODOS (Latino/Hispanic), it helps to have allies who are from a different demographic,” Johnson says. “Everyone is welcome to be a member of the African American Impact Network. We want to continue to drive that message of inclusiveness and the opportunity to learn and to grow together.”

For more information or to join a regional African American Impact Network, email Nadine Johnson or Andrea McGordon. For more information about Old National Impact Networks, click here.

Subscribe for Insights