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Learn more about the 2022 Business Leaders Hall of Fame Honorees

Derek Ellington | Head of Small Business Banking, Wells Fargo 

Derek is the newly installed, Executive Vice President and Head of Small Business Banking. In this role, Derek is responsible for delivering the full spectrum of financial solutions to companies with annual sales of $10 million or less. He has oversight of the end-to-end client experience for more than 3 million customers with the assistance of 2,000+ associates nationally.

Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Derek has held various leadership roles at Bank of America for over 24 years. His career encompasses over 28 years of diverse Consumer, Commercial and Large Corporate Banking experience. The majority of this time has been spent in client facing roles delivering the full capabilities of the respective institution while developing long term relationships. His career began in the southeast at a large regional bank as a member of their management training program. Derek has held roles in relationship management, credit products, dealer financial services, treasury management and healthcare to name a few. He has also met with clients in their offices across the globe in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany and England. Helping clients achieve their goals efficiently is always at the center of everything Derek does.

Derek has been consistently active in the community. He has served on the boards of East Greensboro Now, The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, Guilford Merchants Association and the Board of Visitors of NC A&T State University.

Derek earned a B.S. with Double Majors in Computer Science and Business Administration from Troy University. He later received a Master’s Degree focused in International Business from Birmingham Southern College. Additionally, Derek completed a three-year Banking School Program offered by the North Carolina Bankers Association on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Derek is also a graduate of Leadership North Carolina. Derek’s outside interest include participation in a number of outdoor activities and spending time with his wife and four children.

  • Derek is a 2018 recipient of the David Darnell Award for Client Focus
  • Derek is a 2017 recipient of the Bank of America Global Diversity and Inclusion Award

Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. | Chancellor, NC A&T State University

Harold Lee Martin Sr., Ph.D., was elected the 12th chancellor of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University on May 22, 2009, and formally began his tenure on June 8, 2009. Martin brought more than 30 years of transformative leadership experience in higher education to the role. He is the first alumnus to serve as the university’s chief executive.

Martin’s leadership has been distinguished by a focus on long-range strategic planning and tactical leadership that have dramatically improved North Carolina A&T’s standing among the nation’s land grant, doctoral research universities, as well as among historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU). The initial strategic plan implemented under Martin’s direction, “A&T Preeminence 2020: Embracing Our Past, Creating Our Future,” saw A&T expand research contract and grant funding, boost its status as one of North Carolina’s top three public research institutions, reorganize its colleges and academic programs, increase endowment holdings by 150% and become the nation’s largest HBCU. Having surpassed numerous goals in that plan three years ahead of schedule, Martin introduced a refreshed plan in 2018, “A&T Preeminence: Taking the Momentum to 2023,” which creates bold new aspirations in student success, affordability, enrollment, research, diversity and more. More than ever, the university’s planning under Martin’s management sets it on a course for making a significant difference in the lives of its constituents and the communities they serve.

An institution recognized for its leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), N.C. A&T has expanded its focus on academic excellence to include all disciplines. Under Martin’s leadership, it has become one of the nation’s top producers of African American graduates in engineering, mathematics, statistics, agriculture, journalism, visual and performing arts, marketing and physical sciences. In 2015, the university earned the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. During Martin’s tenure, the university has continually increased student enrollment (now 12,754) while sustaining quality students and has grown its statewide economic impact to more than $1.5 billion. Martin has also been instrumental in establishing and fostering strategic partnerships such as the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering at the Gateway University Research Park (South Campus) and playing a significant role in Opportunity Greensboro, the city’s alliance between the seven colleges and universities and the business community that is intended to make Greensboro a national model for collaboration in knowledge-based economic development.

Before his election as chancellor of A&T, Martin served as senior vice president for academic affairs for the UNC System. He also served as the 11th chief administrator and seventh chancellor of Winston-Salem State University and in a number of administrative posts at A&T including vice chancellor for the Division of Academic Affairs, dean of the College of Engineering and chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering.

A proponent of community engagement, Martin lends himself to service on various boards including the American Council on Education, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Review Advisory Board, Research Triangle Institute, Piedmont Triad Regional Development Council, National Collegiate Athletic Association Limited-Resource Institutions Advisory Group.

Martin was heralded as an education and business thought leader in TIME magazine’s August 2020 edition of The Leadership Brief. In 2019, he was honored by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund with the Education Leadership Award, and in 2017 he was named America’s most influential HBCU leader by HBCU Digest, which came on the heels of him being named one of the Triad Business Journal’s 2016 Most Admired CEOs. In 2015, Martin was named to the EBONY Power 100 list alongside some of the nation’s most prominent African American thinkers, artists, government officials and business leaders.

The Winston-Salem, N.C., native received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from A&T and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi (The Engineering Honor Society), Eta Kappa Nu Association, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Martin and his wife Davida, the former county attorney for Forsyth County, North Carolina, have two adult sons and three grandchildren.


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