Margot James Copeland

Margot James Copeland

Margot James Copeland is Executive Vice President and Director of Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based multiline financial services companies. In her role, Copeland also serves as Chair & CEO of the KeyBank Foundation, guiding the company’s strategic philanthropic investments, in student’s academic success, workforce development and community service. Under Copeland’s leadership, the KeyBank Foundation was named to The Civic 50 in 2013 and 2014, as one of America’s fifty most community-minded companies, by the National Conference on Citizenship and Points of Light, and in 2014 ranked #1 in corporate giving in the financial services sector. Formerly Copeland served as Chief Diversity Officer at Key and under her leadership Key was consistently ranked as a Top 50 or Most Noteworthy Company for Diversity by DiversityInc.

Recognizing that business and community prosperity go hand in hand, Copeland leads Key’s commitment to transforming and sustaining communities. She currently serves as trustee of Kent State University, (chairing the Academic Excellence and Student Success Committee), the Thomas White Foundation; Kenneth Scott Foundation and University Hospitals. She participates in the Executive Mentorship Program at Morehouse College; and is a member of the Business School Advisory board at Hampton University. Copeland is the 15th National President of The Links, Incorporated, and also a member of the Executive Leadership Council.

Copeland was a delegate to the White House Conference on America’s Future. In addition to her experience leading the Greater Cleveland Roundtable and Leadership Cleveland, Copeland’s public service is marked by her appointment to Vice Chairperson of the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission and subsequently the Cleveland Millennium Commission by former Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White, whose second term Inaugural Committee she chaired. She also served on the Transition Committee for current Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

Among her many distinguished awards and honors are:

  • American Banker Magazine, Community Impact Award
  • Alumni of the Year, Hampton University, 2013
  • Esteemed Alumni, The Ohio State University/100 Years of African American Achievement
  • “25 Influential Black Women in Business”, The Network Journal
  • “Top Influential Women in Corporate America”, Savoy magazine
  • “100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America”, Savoy magazine
  • “Top Executives in Diversity”, Black Enterprise magazine
  • Academy of Game Changers, Spelman College
  • “One of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Ohio”, Diversity First
  • Woman of Influence – Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio
  • “100 Most Powerful Women in Cleveland”, New Cleveland Woman magazine
  • “Cleveland Woman of Influence”, Crain’s Cleveland Business
  • “Master Innovator” , Smart Business Network magazine
  • YWCA Career Woman of Achievement Award
  • Black Professional of the Year – Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation
  • O. Walker Excellence in Community Service Award, Call and Post newspaper
  • Diversity and Inclusion Award, Murtis Taylor Human Services System
  • Singular Sensation Award, Ohio Cancer Research Associates
  • The National Council of Negro Women, Cleveland Section, Community Service Award
  • Coalition of 100 Black Women, Community Service Award
  • Business Person of the Year, National Black MBA, Cleveland Chapter
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Community Service Award
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Community Service Award

Copeland holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Hampton University, where she has received the distinguished 2013 Alumnus of the Year Award, and a Master of Arts degree, Educational Development, College of Education, at The Ohio State University, where she was recognized as an esteemed Alumnus. A native Virginian, she resides in Cleveland, Ohio and is the mother of three adult children, Reverend Kimberley S. Copeland, Dr. Garrison E. Copeland and Michael Patterson Taylor Copeland.

Leadership Team

George A. Weiss is the chairman of Say Yes To Education, Inc., a national non-profit foundation committed to opening access to post-secondary education for high poverty youth.

Gene Chasin is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Say Yes to Education. He joined the national nonprofit organization in 2008.

Our Team

Cynthia D. Shapira is President of the Shapira Foundation.  With her husband David, she leads the development and implementation of the foundation’s initiatives, such as Onward Israel (which transforms young adults through…

Dallas native Elizabeth Carlock Phillips graduated from Southern Methodist University with degrees in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs and French. She started a jewelry business in high school that became…

Jarmaine Ollivierre is a Senior Aerospace Engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Since beginning at NASA in 2009, Jarmaine’s duties have included analyzing mission profiles and objectives…

Julie Franklin has devoted much of her time over the past 15 years in the not-for-profit arena. Her passion for education and social justice have dictated how she has spent…

Contact Us

Are you inspired by the goals and approach of Say Yes? We invite you to reach out to the Say Yes National office or to a Say Yes chapter, to learn more about how you can get involved.