Emma Carolyn Chappell founded United Bank of Philadelphia, in 1992 after a five-year effort to raise the required five million dollars Pennsylvania regulators told her she needed to capitalize the bank. She raised three million from the black community by selling shares in $500 blocks. She then raised another three million from big investors one million more than was required. With assets around $87.5 million United Bank of Philadelphia is dedicated to fostering community development by providing quality, personalized, comprehensive banking services to businesses and individuals in the Greater Philadelphia Region. Today, the bank is considered a leader in lending to minorities.
Chappell started her career as a clerk-photographer for Continental Bank. Where she worked for more than 30 years, slowly moving up the ranks. She eventually became the first woman to go through its executive training program and before becoming vice-president of the community business loan and development department.
She was tapped by Reverend Jesse Jackson to become treasurer of his Presidential campaign in 1984. She was also instrumental in helping to found Operation PUSH, a nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving financial equality for minorities.