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Truist starts a foundation led by veteran SunTrust exec Lynette Bell

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Truist Financial is starting a new foundation that will replace an existing one operated by SunTrust Banks. BB&T, which merged to form Charlotte-based Truist, has run its charitable operation through its existing business and hasn’t had a separate foundation.

Veteran SunTrust executive Lynette Bell will head the Truist Foundation as president. She and seven other senior Truist executives will be on the foundation’s board, led by President William Rogers Jr. Truist CEO Kelly King, who is slated to retire in mid-2021, is not on the board.

Lynette Bell, via the Truist Foundation

The board will also include three outsiders: Harold Martin Sr., chancellor of N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro, which is the largest historically black university in the United States; Charlotte lawyer Ernie Reigel of the Moore & Van Allen law firm; and Ingrid Saunders Jones, a former Coca-Cola executive who chaired the Atlanta-based beverage company’s foundation from 1991 to 2013. Bell will be moving to Charlotte from Atlanta to lead the group.

The Truist Foundation plans to focus on four areas: leadership development; economic mobility; thriving communities and educational equity in underserved communities.

Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply for a grant from the Truist Foundation at www.truist.com/truist-foundation/grant-application.

Truist became the nation’s sixth-biggest commercial banking company with the December merger of Winston-Salem-based BB&T and Atlanta-based SunTrust.

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