Linda Forte’s 42-year career at Comerica Bank will come to a close in August.

Based in Detroit and a longtime community activist, the senior vice president of business affairs and chief diversity officer announced Thursday that she will retire from the company.

Nathaniel Bennett, senior vice president of talent acquisition, will add the title of chief diversity officer after Forte’s retirement. He will continue to be based in the bank’s headquarters city of Dallas.

“I have been blessed with a career in which I could fulfill my passion to empower others,” Forte said in a statement. “It has been a privilege to help raise appreciation and support for the diverse members of our community, as well as make our communities stronger through corporate contributions and volunteerism.”

Forte has been actively involved in the city of Detroit, serving on boards for the Economic Development Corp., Local Development Finance Authority, Neighborhood Development Corp., Henry Ford Health System, New Detroit and Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone. Forte was also appointed as a commissioner for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in 2011 by Mayor Dave Bing.

“Under Linda’s leadership, Comerica has contributed millions of dollars to nonprofits in the communities we serve, provided our colleagues meaningful community volunteer opportunities, and driven our diversity program forward, making it one of the best and most recognized in the country,” Ralph W. Babb Jr., chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Forte has earned several awards during her career at Comerica, including the 2014 Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion Annual Humanitarian Award, the 2014 Michigan Women’s Foundation Woman of Achievement and Courage and was recognized in 2016 byBlack Enterprises’ “Top Executives in Diversity,” according to the release.

She was named to Crain’sMost Influential Women list in 2007 and 100 Black Business Leaders list in 1998.

Bennett, 44, became vice president of corporate human resources in 2009 and has been included in Comerica’s diversity program since then. He was promoted to senior vice president in 2010, making him responsible for all talent acquisition at Comerica. He graduated from Rice University with a degree in political science.

“When I joined Comerica, I recognized immediately the robustness and vigor around our diversity and inclusion efforts, and I am very enthusiastic about carrying that baton forward,” Bennett said in a statement.

Originally posted: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20160616/NEWS/160619844/linda-forte-comericas-chief-diversity-officer-to-retire-after-42

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