ROI Influencers: People of Color 2022
New Jersey market president
Bank of America
Writing a check: That’s the easy play for any company or top executive. And, when you happen to be the leader of the biggest bank in New Jersey, well, it literally is the main role of the institution.
But that’s not what Alberto Garofalo and Bank of America are about. It hasn’t been since Garofalo assumed the role of New Jersey market president at the close of 2019 — just weeks before the pandemic brought everything to a halt.
Garofalo, who longed to be deeply involved in the communities that BofA serves, wanted to be a leader whose impact transcended more than financial assistance. He’s proven to be just that — overcoming all obstacles along the way.
From programs that are training high school students for jobs of the future to assisting college students in career planning to helping with food insecurity issues during the pandemic to helping those in underserved communities get home loans to contributing to efforts by employees to buy electric vehicles to helping with housing to supporting the arts, Garofalo has shown leadership — and done so with a special emphasis for underserved communities.
It is for all these reasons and more that Garofalo is the No. 1 selection for the 2022 ROI Influencers: People of Color.
For all the accomplishments of Garofalo and BofA, their efforts with Liberty Science Center to create the High School of the Future may be the most unique — and have the greatest impact.
Working with high schools in Jersey City (Ferris) and West New York (Memorial), the pilot program will train 20-30 students from each school with the aim of teaching them career-ready skills that are highly valuable for high-earning careers and the rapidly developing STEM labor markets — starting with cybersecurity.
The training will lead to internships and jobs at Bank of America and elsewhere.
It’s hard to be more committed to communities than that.
“Our goals in partnering with Liberty Science Center on the High Schools of the Future initiative include addressing minority scholarship, professional training programs and curriculum building to help ensure student success while also uplifting underserved communities through workforce development,” Garofalo said at the time.
We couldn’t agree more.
What was left unsaid: Garofalo and BofA are committed to doing so much more than just writing a check.
BOX: Past No. 1 selections
A look back at the previous four No. 1 selections of the ROI Influencers: People of Color:
2021: John Harmon, African American Chamber of Commerce of N.J.
2019: Gurbir Grewal, state attorney general
2018: Ras Baraka, mayor of Newark
A look at the honorees:
- People of Color: No. 1 Garofalo
- People of Color: Top 20
- People of Color: Next Gen
- People of Color: A to D