Founding President of Liberty Bank is the first African American to receive the award
Alden McDonald was recently honored by the Louisiana chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s history-making ceremony on May 12 as McDonald became the first African American to receive the award.
Indeed, McDonald’s career has been marked by efforts to not only grow Liberty Bank, but to improve the community.
As one of the first and now the only African American owned commercial bank in Louisiana, Liberty was founded in 1972 to provide economic opportunity to a community lacking in financial services and resources. Under Alden McDonald’s leadership, Liberty has grown from an initial asset base of $2 million to more $1 billion in assets.
Liberty Bank, which is celebrating its 50th year anniversary this year, has supported Black businesses since its inception, financing the development of thousands of businesses. McDonald also organized African American business and community leaders under the banner of the Black Economic Development Committee (BEDC) to advocate and help implement minority inclusion in both public and private ventures in New Orleans.
Headquartered in New Orleans, Liberty Bank has financial operations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Liberty Bank’s recovery from Katrina highlights McDonald’s business acumen. In the aftermath of the storm, McDonald led rebuilding efforts for his bank and the entire New Orleans region. All of the Bank’s facilities in New Orleans and Baton Rouge were severely damaged by the storm and subsequent flooding and most of the customers’ records were lost. Many of the bank’s employees suffered the loss of their homes and belongings, and the bank’s customers were scattered throughout the country. In spite of these obstacles, McDonald devised a practical and effective plan that has resulted in Liberty Bank enjoying some of its most successful and profitable years after the storm.
His extraordinary efforts in rebuilding the bank and providing guidance in the recovery of New Orleans and the rebuilding of people’s lives and their businesses has been chronicled in the New York Times.
Alden McDonald is married to the former Rhesa Ortique. They have three children and eight grandchildren. He is a former and first African American chair of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of the New Orleans Business Council. He served on the board of Stewart Enterprises, Inc. (STEI), the Port Authority of New Orleans, the BP America External Advisory Council, and Entergy New Orleans Advisory Board. He is a former board member of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the Sewerage and Water Board and former Grants Advisor for Baptist Community Ministries.