Al Bass has over 47 years’ experience in commercial lending and community development. As a retired Executive Vice President at Self-Help Credit Union and Ventures Fund, Al directed the leaders of teams responsible for managing the organization’s commercial and mortgage assets, lending to large commercial businesses, supporting Self-Help’s information technology needs, and handling fund-raising and development activities. Additionally, Al served as a member of Self-Help’s Coordinating Committee, which advises the CEO on organizational strategy and development.
Al had oversight of Self-Help’s Seaway Division in Chicago. Seaway Bank, prior to its failure was at one point one of the largest minority owned and operated financial institutions in the country, serving the South and West sides of Chicago and Milwaukee Wisconsin. Al led merger integration and served as President until handing off that role to the newly installed president. In the oversight role Al provided leadership, overseeing strategy development, commercial and mortgage lending, and community outreach.
Prior to joining Self-Help, Al was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Mutual Community Savings Bank in Durham, NC. In that role he was responsible for the growth, profitability and soundness of the bank’s loan portfolio. Al also held the position of Senior Vice President and Credit Group Executive at Mechanics and Farmers Bank, one of the nation’s oldest minority-owned banks, with primary responsibility for the growth and profitability of the bank’s loan programs. In each of these roles, he was also responsible for community development efforts throughout the banks’ footprints.
Al maintains active involvement in several community service organizations. Currently, he serves as board chair of UDI Community Development Corporation and board chair of St. Joseph’s Elderly Center. He previously served on the credit committee for Vital Healthcare Capital, a non-profit supporting quality health care in low-income communities. Al was previously board chair for Downtown Durham, Inc., and a board member with a host of other community organizations, including the Durham Convention Center Authority, Red Cross of Durham, YMCA, Salvation Army and Hayti Development Corporation.
Al is a graduate of North Carolina AT&T State University and the Carolina School of Banking at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.