2023 Onyx Woman Leadership Awards Honoree Cassandra A. Cooper


Cassandra A. Cooper is the Vice-President, Diversity & Inclusion Manager of First National Bank

She is a dynamic presenter, facilitator, and leader with over 30 years of professional experience in the airlines, banking, and healthcare industries.  Her experience in these industries encompasses Sales & Service Management, Organizational Development, Operations, and Learning and Development.  Cassandra is a graduate of Duquesne University, where she completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies and served as an adjunct faculty member from 2007-2018, teaching Business and Leadership courses.  

Cassandra is currently the Diversity & Inclusion Officer for First National Bank (FNB) and works to execute the goals of the Diversity & Inclusion strategy she created for the organization.  Before joining FNB in 2022, she served as a Manager in UPMC’s Center for Engagement and Inclusion for five years, where she created the Diversity & Inclusion curriculum and oversaw the learning activities for the organization, managed its Employee Resource Groups and Inclusion Councils, and provided leadership support on D&I initiatives throughout the company.  As a diversity practitioner, she recognizes the importance of ensuring a culture that understands the importance of diversity and what it truly means to be inclusive of others. She is active in her community, where she holds leadership roles at her church and as a member of various organizations and boards.

One of the most important things to Cassandra is helping others to engage in their life journey, not just exist in it.  Life is a gift from God, and we should embrace it as so!  This means being actively engaged in the decisions and choices we make.  Her energy and passion for learning and teaching contribute to her success in the classroom and in the business world.

This year, our focus is on leadership and self-care. We want you to tell our readers how you incorporate self-care into your busy life.

Leading the Diversity & Inclusion efforts for a $44 billion bank with a presence in seven states is both challenging and fulfilling.  I know that in order to do this successfully, I have to take the time to nourish my mind, body, and spirit.  A strong prayer life is essential, in addition to time spent in the Word of God daily.  I am a walker and walk on my treadmill or around the North Shore a few times a week.  I also spend time with my sissies and my family doing things that bring me joy!  I also think it’s good to take time out every once in a while and do things on my own; a day at the spa is a great way to do this.  All of this helps me to be well-rounded and grounded, humble, and to lead more effectively.

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