Anthony (Tony) Grant and Helen Nelson Grant are a husband and wife team who epitomize success as business and life partners. Tony Grant is the founder and CEO of Grant Business Strategies, Inc. (GBSI), a strategic and financial advisory firm, and Helen Nelson Grant serves as Vice Chairman and Secretary.
The company has completed more than $800 million in commercial financing for churches, office buildings, apartment complexes, student housing, buildings on university campuses and grocery stores, and national religious organizations such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church, national sororities and fraternities, and the National Baptist Convention headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. The Grants are also the parents of four children. Helen Nelson Grant was the first African American and the youngest person to hold the position of Chairman of the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, Columbia College in South Carolina, serving on the board for 12 years. A licensed attorney for 25 years, Helen Nelson Grant applies her expertise and professional background in the law and civic affairs to GBSI. She is Of Counsel to The Charleston Group law firm based in Fayetteville, North Carolina and has provided services in employment and commercial law. Grant was formerly a partner in the law firm of Gergel, Nickles & Grant, P.A. in Columbia, South Carolina, where her practice was focused in the areas of employment, domestic relations and other civil litigation matters. She has extensive experience in administrative hearings before local school boards representing educational employees. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in 1981 from Columbia College and her Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law in 1984.
Her community involvement and service includes the Board of the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties, South Carolina; the Board of Directors for the Richland Memorial Hospital Center for Cancer Treatment and Research, Richland County School District One Blue Ribbon Steering Committee, and the Duke University School of Law Advisory Board. She has served as a member of the American Bar Association, the Richland County Bar Association, the Columbia Lawyers Association, the South Carolina Black Lawyers Association and the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association. The Columbia native is also an active member of Bethel A.M.E. Church and volunteers at her children’s schools.
Tony Grant has a proven track record of initiating and executing highly successful, mutually beneficial, strategic alliances with national and highly respected organizations. Before forming GNSI, he was the Business Banking Division Executive for North and South Carolina, and was responsible for a $3 billion business banking portfolio and profit center, and all government lending and community markets president activities. He also served as national president of Bank of America’s Multicultural Banking Group. As Chairman of Asset Quality Review for NationsBank Corporation, he played a key leadership role in many high profile banking mergers and portfolio management.
Gant received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest state honor a civilian can achieve, for this his role as a pioneering banking executive and business entrepreneur and his dedicated service to improving the quality of life of South Carolina citizens. He serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Business Advisory Board at his alma mater, South Carolina State University, the United Negro College Fund Campaign in Charlotte and a two-time chairman of the United Negro College Fund’s annual scholarship campaign in Columbia. He has served on the Executive Committee of the National Urban League Board of Trustees and was a founding member of the 100 Black Men in Columbia. He has served on numerous other boards, including The United Way of Central Carolinas Alexis de Tocqueville Society and the United Way of America’s National Leadership Council. Grant’s recognition also includes the National Distinguished Alumnus Award from South Carolina State University, the National Urban League’s Volunteer Services Award, the Charlotte Post’s People of Prominence Award in 2001, and the 2001 Maya Angelou/United Negro College Fund Tribute to Achievement Award. He also received Omega Psi Phi’s Eagle Award, and was inducted into the fraternity’s Hall of Fame in 1999. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Columbia Urban League and continues to serve the organization as its Board Treasurer. He serves as financial counsel and board member for the United Methodist Church Global Council of Finance and Administration.