Pam DeCandio

Women in Leadership Spotlight – Pam DeCandio | Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending | Alexandria, VA

1. Please provide a brief description of yourself and your role as Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending at John Marshall Bank’s Alexandria, VA branch

As SVP, Commercial Lending, my job is to help businesses reach their financial goals, whether it be through lines of credit, financing equipment needed for growth, or helping them purchase their first office condominium or building. One of the most satisfying benefits of my job is to be able to partner with businesses to help them succeed. I’ve been able to do this with John Marshall Bank for nearly 10 years (as of November 2020). I attended George Washington University and I completed some night classes at Georgetown University after I had my children. 

2. What led you to the banking profession?

It was certainly not a traditional path. I began by working part-time reconciling GL accounts at George Washington National Bank in Alexandria, VA in 1994. Prior to this, I was a full-time mom and I had been very active in the community through nonprofit work and my children’s activities. I was coming off a long involvement with a nonprofit as chair and serving on the Board. At that time, banking was a great way to reenter the workforce since my children were getting older. Within 6 months I transitioned into a full-time position and after two years, I was promoted to a bank officer.

3. Who is the most influential woman you know? How does she inspire you?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg – I remember a time when women could not sign leases, make major purchases, or even get a credit card in their own name without a father or husband co-signing for them. In fact, my father had to co-sign for the first credit card that I needed to travel with my job. Without the cases Justice Ginsburg argued before the Supreme Court, women would have had to wait so much longer for those rights. Banking was once considered a “man’s” world, but I am privileged to have worked for banks where I have been given opportunities to grow and expand my skills. John Marshall Bank has been very supportive of my desire to become a commercial lender. I consider myself lucky to work for such a special organization!

4. What advice do you have for women who want to grow/begin their careers in the finance and/or commercial banking industry?

My advice for those trying to pursue a career in the finance or banking industry is to not be afraid to stretch yourself and learn new skills. There are so many career paths in banking, so try to learn as much as you can to see where your career path lies.

5. Please describe your involvement in the community.

I have served on a number of boards for local nonprofits including the Rotary Club of Alexandria (from 2011 to present), of which I currently serve as the President-elect (2021-2022). I’ve also served on the Boards for the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, Alexandria Police Foundation, American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, and Art on the Avenue Fundraising Chair 

6. What’s one childhood lesson that you still practice to this day? 

All you need to get along is to be kind to people. Help where you can without expecting anything in return. It will surprise you where help will come from when you need it.

7. What are you most proud of in your career? 

Successfully transitioning from business development to commercial lender. It was more of a challenge than I anticipated, but I have great people around me who are always willing to brainstorm a problem. There is never a boring day at work!

9. How do you support, honor, and celebrate other women in the industry?

Some of the smartest women I know are bankers. Through my years with the Chamber, women often held leadership positions. We found creative ways to work together to make Alexandria a great place to live, work, and raise our families!