Newly Elected Board Chair Profile: Hugh (Beau) Cummins, III
On June 11, 2018, Hugh (Beau) Cummins, III was elected to serve as the fourth chair of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta’s board of directors. Cummins is the co-chief operating officer of SunTrust Banks Inc. where he leads the Wholesale division and also oversees the Enterprise Efficiency Office. Previously, Cummins held numerous leadership positions with SunTrust including the chairman, president and CEO at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey (STRH) which is SunTrust’s corporate and investment banking division. He began his investment banking career at Citibank in its global derivative products business then moved to Bank of America where he served in many leadership positions such as global head of foreign exchange.
As part of every internship with the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, intern Xan-Rhea Bilal, student at Georgia State University, was recently given the opportunity to interview Cummins in an effort to learn more about his professional growth as well as his thoughts on the importance and impact the Council has on the Atlanta community. “Whatever you’re doing, you need to know why” said Cummins when asked about developing a successful career. The ‘why’ is “a key element of a successful career, finding something you are passionate about, which will allow you to be authentic.” He believes that this is what SunTrust does by Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being; enabling people to find the true value of their endeavors, whether it is buying a house or earning a degree. Cummins is able to see the interconnectedness of global finance on a daily basis through his work at SunTrust.
“I wake up every day making sure we have a competitive advantage,” he explained. One unique way SunTrust, as a company, and Beau, as an individual, has driven innovation is through open dialogue with members of the Atlanta community. He does this by actively participating as a board member of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, and now as the chair of its board of directors. The Council provides a rare environment for people from various industries and walks of life, from students to CEOs, to vigorously participate in discussion involving the global issues that affect Atlanta’s businesses, civil society, governmental organizations, and individual citizens.
The World Affairs Council of Atlanta’s members, staff, and leadership team are thrilled to have Beau as their fourth board chair as they continue to expand its reach and fulfill its mission.
Written By: Chase Stell, Program Coordinator, World Affairs Council of Atlanta