Q1: Why did you choose a career in banking?
I earned my college degree in accounting and actually thought I was going to be an accountant. While in school, I was also employed at a bank. I was intrigued by banking – especially the opportunities I had to interact with customers and help them fulfill their financial goals and aspirations. My career progressed and, as I got closer to graduation, I applied for a job in the bank’s management training program which specialized in commercial credit. Everything fell into place from there and I haven’t changed lanes since.
Q2: How did you end up working for PNC?
Relationships matter! I was recruited by the PNC regional president, whom I knew personally and professionally. I joined in May of 2012 as a relationship manager for middle market commercial credit in Fort Wayne. By then, I had more than 20 years of experience in banking. My position involved handling a portfolio of established clients with whom I had the privilege to work with and help grow their business while expanding PNC’s influence in the region.
Q3: Why do you consider PNC to be a standout company in the banking industry?
PNC’s regional business model, which empowers a regional president to work with a local management team, creates a unique way to do business and gives us an edge. As a Fort Wayne native, I’m more likely to have a good understanding of the ups and downs of my community and its economy, so that can give me home field advantage. With our local team engaged, we’re able to bring solutions and ideas to our customers in a more impactful way. As a banker, it matters to me how well I know a customer and his/her environment. So, it’s strategic to have all of our partners here – not just for the simple transaction, but for planning and growth phases later on. Implementing this regional business model allows us to also create a positive reputation in the community because the hands-on involvement is supported by local employees. For a “people person” like me, I enjoy being involved in community activities and the regional brand investment is a key differentiator both for me, as an employee, and for our partners, because they know we’re here, next door.
Q4: With community participation being an integral part of the PNC culture, what aspects of volunteering have personally touched your life?
My time spent mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters here in Fort Wayne tops my list. There is something meaningful about helping to support a young, disadvantaged child. At BBBS, I have been introduced to many children who lack exposure to quality early education and often struggle to catch up academically or encounter other challenges down the road. In my current role at PNC, I have become aware of how impactful PNC’s Grow Up Great (our early childhood education initiative), is for our community. It inspires me personally. Grow Up Great helps prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life through support for quality early education programs and resources for educators and caregivers. Outside of PNC, I’m proud to be the co-chair of an early learning task force at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership which will look at the broader need for additional support for quality early education in our region. I am also the chair of the distribution committee for the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation, a private foundation that PNC Charitable Trust manages. Last year, the foundation distributed almost $6 million to regional nonprofit organizations.
Q5: Why do you think it’s important for you, a woman holding an upper management position, to serve as a role model for other women?
I like that I can be an advocate for a company that seeks diverse talent, where employees like me can be motivated to reach their full potential. It shouldn’t matter whether I am a man or a woman – but that I am appreciated for who I am and the talent, perspective and varied experiences that I bring to the table. People are often surprised to learn that 61 percent of our employees are women, including half of our managers. Corporate-wide, we have more than 1,600 PNC-Certified Women’s Business Advocates, who are dedicated to helping businesswomen develop strategies, solve problems and improve their businesses. As a business leader, I feel empowered to attract a diverse employee base, but also to meet the demands of our increasingly diverse customer base. So, my hope is that I not only serve as a role model for other women, but for any professional looking to grow and develop.