The Dickinson College of Business at Oklahoma Baptist University will host Dr. Cornell Wesley for a guest lecture titled, “Economic Development in Black Communities: How to Stimulate Success.” The lecture will take place Monday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m. in the Tulsa Royalties Auditorium in Bailey Business Center. This lecture is part of the College’s Black History Month series.
Wesley currently serves as economic development representative for the United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) in Oklahoma City, a position he has held since 2015. He is the primary point-of-contact for EDA programs in the state of Oklahoma and North Texas. Notably, he is the first African American EDA representative in the state of Oklahoma in over 22 years to be based and living in the state.
Prior to this position, he was the financial services and economic development manager for East Arkansas Planning and Development District. In this role, he developed and implemented lending policies, underwriting guidelines, and approval processes for the district's EDA Revolving Loan Fund. He was responsible for lending and economic development projects in 117 cities from a 12 county region. He previously served within the EDA as an economic development representative.
A Morehouse College graduate, Wesley earned an MBA from Mercer University and a Master of Divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He has served in various positions at Bank of America, SunTrust Bank of Atlanta, Fidelity Bank, and CBC National Bank, overseeing multi-million dollar portfolios, loans, and credit lines, as well as government guaranteed lending. As an SBA lender, he managed an expansive 49 state lending territory.
He was recently selected as one of 51 participants in this year’s Leadership Oklahoma class, the state's most prestigious leadership program where selectees travel the state to learn about the critical issues facing Oklahoma.He has been recognized as a member of the “Top 40 Under 40” by Oklahoma Magazine, a past fellow of the Delta Entrepreneur Network, and proudly volunteers on various boards, including the Black Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma City.