OREANDA-NEWS. BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) today announced that Chief Corporate Communications Officer and Senior Executive Vice President Cynthia A. Williams will retire effective June 30, 2016.

Williams will complete a remarkable 30-year career as an audit, banking and communications professional. Named to the BB&T Executive Management team in 2012, Williams leads all internal and external communications for the corporation including brand and advertising strategy, corporate communications and social media, as well as CRA and community development, multicultural banking and corporate philanthropy. She also serves as chair of BB&T's Executive Diversity Council.

"We will sorely miss the thoughtful and thorough approach Cynthia has brought to our executive management team," said BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kelly S. King. "During one of the most challenging and tumultuous times our industry has ever faced, Cynthia's dedication to shaping our steady voice helped BB&T weather the storm and set the right tone for the future. I also appreciate her tireless and enthusiastic contributions to further strengthening BB&T's commitment to workforce diversity and inclusion. We all wish her the best as she begins a brand new phase of life."

After auditing banks in her first job, Williams began her banking career with First Virginia Bank Inc. in 1986 eventually becoming general auditor. She spent more than seven years in retail bank sales and administration before joining BB&T in 2003 through the First Virginia merger. After her first role at BB&T as a regional branch operations manager, Williams eventually managed Sarbanes-Oxley compliance before being named chief corporate communications officer in 2009.

"Through Cynthia's unique brand of leadership, we've modernized our communication functions, shined a brighter light on our community service and investments, and built the foundation for a new digital marketing approach," said BB&T Chief Marketing Officer and Lending Group Manager Steve Wiggs. "Cynthia is also a sterling example of the fact that mergers add value well beyond loans and deposits. They infuse us with talented leaders like Cynthia who have a tremendous impact on the future success of our company."

The daughter of a U.S. Army veteran, Williams was born in Yokohama, Japan, and moved to America with her parents when she was 1. With a bachelor's degree in accounting from Wayne State University and an MBA in information security from James Madison University, she is also an honors graduate of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking and a graduate of the advanced management program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

"It's been an honor to work with the best management team in the industry," Williams said. "I entered banking because I believed it was an honorable profession. Even after so much negativity toward bankers in the aftermath of the financial crisis, I continue to believe in the integrity of our profession. The trustworthy bankers who wake up every morning intent on serving our financial needs in a responsible way are the best people I know."

Williams's leadership skills are recognized at BB&T, throughout the financial services industry and her communities. She has served on the boards of The Arts Council of Winston-Salem, North Carolina Bankers Association, North Carolina Black Repertory Company's National Black Theatre Festival, Northwest Piedmont Workforce Development, Winston-Salem Foundation, Winston-Salem State University Foundation and The Piedmont Club. She is also a member of the BB&T Women's Leadership Council and Winston-Salem Chapter of The Links Inc.

Through the years, Williams has been recognized for a multitude of achievements. In 2005, she won a BB&T Chairman's Innovation Award. In 2009, the Winston-Salem Urban League named her "Person of the Year/Corporate Leadership." In 2010, she was named one of the "Top Women in Finance" by Women of Color magazine. In 2012, the city of Winston-Salem, N.C., named her "Outstanding Women's Leader." In 2013, Black Enterprise magazine recognized her as one of the top corporate executives in America and, in 2012 and 2014; Savoy magazine named Williams one of the "Most Influential Women in Corporate America."

About BB&T

BB&T is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $212.4 billion in assets and market capitalization of $26.0 billion, as of March 31, 2016. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company operates 2,137 financial centers in 15 states and Washington, D.C., and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services. A Fortune 500 company, BB&T is consistently recognized for outstanding client satisfaction by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Greenwich Associates and others.