Black History Month: Which Icon is the "Epitome of Black Excellence" for Jonathan McEachnie?

Jonathan McEachnie

February 18, 2019 - Our Communities DC, DE, MD, VA Florida Maine New England New Jersey, New York and PA North and South Carolina

Oprah Winfrey is more than just a renowned celebrity for Jonathan McEachnie, Human Resources Advice Partner for TD Bank in Toronto.

She is "the epitome of Black Excellence to me," Jonathan said. "Strong, authentic, enduring, impactful, purposeful and passionate, a visionary and beacon for others.  Refusing to accept labels or limitations, she is the author of her OWN story."

The 14-year TD veteran provided additional insights below about Black Excellence and Leaving a Legacy

How do you define Black Excellence?   

Excellence is excellence.  However, excellence is not always seen or celebrated with the Black Community as we must first break through additional layers of unconscious bias and systematic barriers.  To me, Black Excellence is achieved when we find the courage, strength, dedication and passion needed to push past the layers, so that our light may shine.

How do you exhibit Black Excellence personally and professionally?

Being present and being passionate.  Show up, be present both personally and professionally, and give it everything you got, nothing less, only your best and authentic self.  Excellence will follow.

How does Black Excellence equate to your work at TD Bank?    

Excellence is not only measured by the end result, but also by how you got there.  I'm aware that any excellence I may achieve, is not solely my own.  It has been paid for by those who came before me.  Therefore, I give 100% in the work I do at TD, and value opportunities to give back and help others find their excellence.

For Black History Month, how does this fairly new terminology shape how you view the month?

During Black History Month, we showcase and celebrate the accomplishments and journeys of our predecessors and those within our lifetimes who have impacted change.  The terminology of Black Excellence and Black Legacy encourages us to think about what impact we will have today, and what inheritance we will leave for tomorrow.

In one word, what does Black History Month mean to you?


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