This is Part I of a two-part series on Ramsey L. Harris, and the native Baltimorean’s ascension up the PNC corporate ladder.
Ramsey L. Harris is Vice President and Territory CRA Business Advisor in the Retail Lending Distribution Management division at PNC Bank. Harris is responsible for overseeing and executing strategic plans that enable the bank to achieve specific Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) focused goals and measures of lending to businesses located within designated, inner-city/Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) areas. These areas include Greater Maryland, and Greater Washington/D.C.
At just 36, Harris’ many accomplishments read like a corporate success story. He credits his grandfather —the late Bishop Huey L. Harris, Sr. — with his success. Bishop Harris, Sr. was the founder and pastor of Abundant Life Worship Center in Elkton, Maryland. Harris believes that had it not been for his grandfather, his story might have played out much differently.
“I was born in West Baltimore,” said Harris. “We then moved to East Baltimore, and then to Baltimore County. My father was a chemist. He worked for DuPont, but was relocated to Houston, Texas. My grandparents stepped in to help my mother. They wanted to make sure I was not another young man in Baltimore without guidance, or another statistic, or involved in a life of crime..”
He added, “I began getting in trouble and my grandfather stepped in. He had me with my mom throughout the week and with him in Delaware on the weekends. I accepted my call to ministry at the age of 14 at my grandfather’s church. I graduated from Eastern Tech High School and really did well academically. I wanted to go to Morehouse College, but my grandfather refused to let me go to Morehouse.”
Harris explained: “We agreed that if I went away for four or five years to Atlanta, I would miss his tutelage,” said Harris. “I went to the University of Delaware, which allowed me to be close to him and active in his church. While I was at the University of Delaware, I did work study at Bank of America to make money while I was in school. I found that banking was applicable in ministry. I was working in the finance department at my grandfather’s church as a trustee and assistant treasurer and was always around money. It was a natural fit.”
He added, “I also majored in English at the University of Delaware because I wanted to have a good handle on communications. I also knew it would help me in ministry. I decided I wanted to get into banking because I heard there were good programs for college graduates to make money. I thought I would do this through Bank of America. But, a recruiter from PNC reached out to me. She made sure I got into PNC’s leadership program, and the rest is history.”
Harris has over 18 years of management, consultation, small business banking and lending, community development, and financial services experience. Prior to joining PNC, Harris started his banking career as a Sales Consultant at Bank of America. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in Business & Technical Writing from the University of Delaware.