JA Dallas Board Member Highlight: Rudy S. Walker

Rudy S. Walker

Senior Vice President
Texas - Consumer Banking Manager

JA Dallas Board Member,  JA Board DEI Committee Chair & Past JA Board Chair

Rudy Walker joined Regions in 2003 as a Consumer Sales Manager for West Tennessee. Recently, Walker relocated to Dallas, Texas, in the role of Consumer Sales Manager. In this role, he is responsible for leading a team of nearly 20 branch managers. Walker’s additional responsibilities include developing associates and scripting and implementing sales strategies to enhance the customer experience and grow market share.

Walker has received numerous awards for his success in leading multiple teams. In February 2014, Walker was presented with Regions’ Better Life Award, the bank’s most prestigious honor. The Regions Better Life Award recognizes bank associates for outstanding dedication and job performance. Recipients of the Better Life Award have gone above and beyond to  fulfill the bank’s mission to make life better for their colleagues, customers and community.

Originally from Georgia, Walker now resides in Dallas, Texas. He completed his undergraduate studies at Southern Arkansas University and earned an Executive Diploma from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.  Walker has served on numerous boards and was a founding board member of Veritas College Prep Charter School.  Currently, Walker serves on the Junior Achievement of Dallas and Emily’s Place boards of directors. He also teaches financial education classes to clients served by both nonprofits.

Q: Reflecting on your involvement with JA Dallas, what makes you proud to be a part of this organization?

A: There are many things that make me proud, but I am especially excited about our commitment to providing financial education to young scholars. Our mission is simple, but very powerful. Our team has also developed new and innovative ways to continue delivering programs during these unusual times.

Q: Can you share your own experiences/challenges that you have experienced in your professional career? How did you overcome them?

A: During my early years as a professional, I was very eager to make an impact on the world.  I wanted to lead and inspire people. As I matured professionally, I learned the value and power of collaboration and empowering others. Leadership looks completely different than management.

Q: Even as an adult, has the JA curriculum, mission or experience taught you something you didn’t already know? Has it impacted you in a profound way?

A: Being a volunteer in the classroom has been humbling. I really like teaching second- and third-graders about financial education. Their genuine curiosity fires me up to be my best when presenting to them. There is nothing more rewarding than experiencing learning at these levels. After a day of volunteering, you know you’ve made an impact in someone’s life; it ranks among the best days of the year!

Q: Talk to me about the importance of DEI in our nation and in this world. Why is it important? How do you think JA has “shown up” to fight against racism?

A: DEI is very important for many reasons. DEI fosters a sense of hope, inspiration and pride.  It is healthy for our nation!  The beauty of DEI is that it challenges everyone to be curious about others and to listen and consider other points of view. I am very excited about the bold steps JA has taken to expand our board and staff diversity. It helps in ensuring that we resemble the students and the community we serve.

Q: What is your opinion on business environment now? Importance of small business? How do you think JA can help?

A: Small business is vital to our communities and to our economy. 2020 reinforced that small business is the engine that drives our cities and towns. Many small-business owners and operators had to essentially transition their business models overnight to continue serving their customers and remain in business. The approaches entrepreneurs have developed offer a great example for JA students related to creativity and critical thinking in business. JA can help by inviting entrepreneurs to share their stories and encouraging our network to support local business whenever possible.

Q: Do you believe in JA’s entrepreneurship pillar? What do you think about the stat that says 53% JA alumni start their own business? Why do you think that’s powerful in today’s business world?

A: JA’s approach to bringing entrepreneurship discussions to high schoolers is valuable and outstanding.  Encouraging scholars to dream big and explore business ownership early in life positions them to be more intentional in achieving their own goals of business ownership.  Good leadership and well-run businesses are always in demand.