Pinnacle Financial Partners Gift to the UofM’s Hooks Institute to Honor Life and Work of Herman Strickland 

March 4, 2022 – Pinnacle Financial Partners is presenting a $15,000 financial gift to the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute in the name of Herman Strickland, a long-time Pinnacle leader and pillar of the community with countless contributions to Memphis and the Mid-South. In addition to the contribution, the director’s office at the Hooks Institute is now named in Strickland’s honor. 

“Herman embraced community and was passionate about being a change agent in and around Memphis,” said Steve Swain, community lending manager for Pinnacle and board member at the Hooks Institute. “Herman was connected to the community and felt a personal responsibility for making it better. At Pinnacle, we always want to take everybody with us to make sure everyone has an opportunity to participate in the economies we support, and Herman embodied this philosophy.” 

“Mr. Strickland was deeply committed to the Hooks Institute because he believed our efforts to eliminate disparities among African Americans and other marginalized groups as critical to creating prosperity for individuals, the City of Memphis and Shelby County,” said Daphene McFerren, Hooks Institute executive director. “As an as an advisory board member, Mr. Strickland worked with the Institute staff to help shape Hooks Institute programs. He made personal monetary gifts and secured financial donations from Pinnacle to support Institute efforts, including the Hooks African American Male Initiative, a program focused on eliminating disparities among African American male students attending the University of Memphis. The contributions of Mr. Strickland to the Hooks Institute, to the lives of students and others in the community will create positive outcomes for years to come.”  

The Hooks Institute implements its mission of teaching, studying and promoting civil rights and social change through research, education and direct intervention programs. For 25 years, they have addressed disparities related to race, education, diversity and inclusion and economic mobility. 

“The work of the Hooks Institute was very important to Herman, as it is to all of us at Pinnacle, and he served on the board for many years,” Swain said. “After his passing, Pinnacle remained involved, and I am honored to serve on the board today. This gift will ensure Herman’s legacy is always remembered and continued as the good people at Hooks continue educating, engaging and empowering the community, making a lasting impact on our hometown.” 

Pinnacle continues to support the Memphis area through several initiatives, from organized and individual volunteer efforts to lending and financial services for underserved communities and populations. Offices like the one Swain manages in Whitehaven bring the firm closer to communities that often struggle with access to financial services. Support for small businesses and home ownership will grow in 2022 as Pinnacle builds on its incredible momentum to launch an ambitious hub for services to address needs all along the journey to economic equity. 

“Our community lending work, which was nurtured and grown by Herman during his time at Pinnacle, will serve as a model for how we can all better respond to our neighbor’s needs,” Swain said. “The plans we have for expanding that reach and engaging even more of our city are exciting and will be ready to unveil very soon.”