William Teddy McDaniel, III
“I’m a midwesterner by heart,” said Teddy McDaniel, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia but raised in Columbus, Ohio. His parents met while students at Morehouse and Spelman. His dad, a Memphis native, directed college bands in the 1970s and ultimately became chair of Ohio State University’s Jazz and Black Studies departments.
“We’re all about Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” he continued.
Having interned at age 16 with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and developing mentee relationships with Black business owners that remains today, McDaniel went to Morehouse College to study finance upon graduating high school – making him a third generation Morehouse Man.
His first job out of college put him on Wall Street at Chase Manhattan. He went on to work for various banks, growing in experience. As he moved up, he developed a niche for franchise restaurant finance. He talents landed him a job at Banco Popular De Puerto Rico where he managed a $50 million portfolio in mixed-use real estate properties and loans to McDonald’s franchisees.
In 1998, McDaniel took a job at a boutique finance firm in Greenwich, Connecticut, where the deals got bigger. Also while there, a friend, knowing McDaniel’s parents were college educators, introduced him to 100 Black Men of Stanford, Connecticut and asked him to volunteer. He joined and they took over a high school. Among that group included an Urban League president, who eventually tapped McDaniel to join his organization.
He became a member and a founder of the Stamford Urban League’s Young Professional chapter, an idea that spread through Urban Leagues across the nation. “I caught the Urban League bug,” he said. “We sent twenty-four kids to college.”
That’s when the light turned on, that he could help send black children to college.
McDaniel received an offer to consider working for GE Capital just days prior to planning a move back to Columbus. He intended to attend graduate school, but this opportunity moved him to Scottsdale, Arizona and back into banking. Six months later, he was introduced to the president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Urban League and joined the board. He served as the board treasurer and president of the Young Professional’s chapter. In fact, he met his wife at an Urban League event.
“At one point, I served as president of the volunteer auxiliary and she as secretary,” McDaniel explained. “We live this.”
In 2008, he separated from GE Capital and shortly thereafter became the Chief Operating Officer of the Greater Phoenix Urban League. “That position was one where I truly found my passion.” In 2012, he moved to Austin, TX to become CEO of that Urban League. He turned it around and eventually Charlotte called.
Still fairly new to the area, he’s been in Charlotte now since August 2017.
When asked about the transition from private to public sector work, McDaniel said, “I do well by doing good. I’m doing business but I’m doing it for the people.”.
His vision for the Urban League of Central Carolinas is to help African-Americans and all underserved communities to achieve social and economic empowerment. “We need to be an agency that focuses on closing the racial wealth gap. We all have to be focused on financial empowerment.”
McDaniel said he’s unapologetic about black excellence and all of the potential our young people possess and we all need to invest in them. That’s his personal mantra.
“There’s a world of opportunity in Charlotte,” he said, “but success is going to come from leadership with integrity.”
William “Teddy” McDaniel, III is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.