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• Feb 25, 2019

For TD Bank Store Manager Tiffanie Talley-Baines, challenging the norms and pushing the envelope is both a way of life and how she strives to achieve Black Excellence.

"For me – it's synonymous. I hold leaders accountable. Most importantly, I hold myself accountable," said Tiffanie who is a Store Manager in Medford, NJ. To help guide her actions, Tiffanie asks herself the questions below:

  • How can I help the buying power of our community?
  • How can I pay homage to those before me?
  • How can I be an example to others, leaving a legacy, and inspire?
  • How can I pay it forward? I challenge myself every day to be better than I was the day before (mentally, physically and spiritually).

The 3-year TD Bank veteran provided additional insights below about Black Excellence and Leaving a Legacy.

How do you define Black Excellence?

Black Excellence is someone from my community that exemplifies the highest standard or morals, work ethic and ability to make the black community proud while continuing to serve as an ally for other communities. It isn't set or defined by any socio or economic barriers. Defining Black Excellence can be complex. It encompasses much more than community impact. It's recognizing blackness as amazing, beautiful and wonderful.

Who exemplifies Black Excellence and how does (or has) this person left a legacy that impacts everyone?

Nina Simone. While many know of her manic outbursts on stage and bouts of depression, this simply reflects her humanity. Her significant contributions and legacy includes studying classical music at Julliard and selling out Carnegie Hall.

She started playing the piano at the age of 3. As a 12-year-old, Ms. Simone refused to play at her music recital unless her parents were invited to sit up front during the time when African Americans were forced to sit or stand in the back of the auditorium.

At a time when such hashtags as #blackexcellence #blackgirlsrock #melaninqueen didn't exist, Ms. Simone wrote and performed songs celebrating the different shades of our brown women, the coarseness of our hair and the fullness in our lips.

Nina Simone epitomizes Black Excellence (courageous, talented, and passionate). No surprise I named my only daughter after her, Tyana Simone Talley, who works at TD Bank as a Digital Media Banking Specialist, Social Media.

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How does Black Excellence equate to your work at TD Bank?

In my "day to day role" I have a wonderful network that lends support, thus allowing me to reach back and mentor, coach and develop others in my community.

For Black History Month, how does this fairly new terminology shape how you view the month?

The month has always been about Black Excellence in our community whether recognition to the proud single mothers to the recently promoted exec, Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, Michelle Obama, the married couples celebrating black love 5-50 years, the list goes on.

All in all, the terminology does not make it any different than what's it's been. We have always taken this month to identify our black culture, those who have molded it and the millennials that are carrying it on.

In one word, what does Black History Month mean to you?

Resilience

Want to learn more about Diversity & Inclusion?
TD Bank Continues to Rise in the Rankings on Prestigious Annual Diversity Lists
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