1. Please provide a brief description of yourself and your role as Director of Business Development, Commercial Banking at John Marshall Bank.
I am a Senior Vice President, Director of Business Development at John Marshall Bank. I have my BBA in International Business and MBA in Business Management from Marymount University in Arlington, VA. My role is to work closely with the Business Development Officers in the DC Metro Market to identify new commercial opportunities utilizing solid and innovative strategies and maintaining strong professional relationships through networks and community/business associations. I will be celebrating my two-year anniversary at John Marshall Bank in September. The following quote by Ginger Conlon is a great reflection of my commitment to customer service in my current role: “The most valuable resource you can give customers is your time. Listen to them to uncover their real needs. Only then can you find a way to solve their problems or meet their expectations. Treat the cause, not just the symptoms.”
2. What led you to the banking profession?
As soon as I received my BBA, I joined the Management Training Program for a local community bank and learned very quickly that banking was the right career path for me. I did give myself a chance to take advantage of a different career path very early on in my banking career. However, I knew within a couple of months that I wanted to go back to the banking industry. I reached out to my former Regional Manager and within a couple of weeks I was back in the world of banking and I’ve never looked back.
3. Who is the most influential woman you know? How does she inspire you?
The most influential woman in my life is my mother. Ever since I can remember, my mom made sure “education” was a priority for my sisters and I. She is a true believer that education is the foundation for any successful individual and gives one the power and confidence that can never be taken away from them. She made sure we pursued our education to the fullest and supported each of us every step of the way.
4. What advice do you have for women who want to grow/begin their career in the finance and/or commercial banking industry?
Banking is a VERY competitive industry that is consistently emerging. You have to have passion and commitment to work hard to be successful. Those days of “business coming to you” are long gone. You have to be willing to get involved in the communities you serve in, be open to establishing new relationships and have the confidence to ask for the opportunity to bid for a banking relationship.
5. Please describe your involvement in the community.
I currently serve on the Board of Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. I also actively participate in events at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Reston Chamber of Commerce through John Marshall Bank’s membership. I’m a graduate of the Leadership Arlington Signature Program – Class of 2015. I was also recognized as the Leadership Arlington 40 under 40 Honoree in 2015. I’ve been fortunate to chair my prior financial institution’s St. Jude Walk to help end childhood cancer and had the pleasure of serving on the Board of the Annandale Rotary.
6. What’s one childhood lesson that you still practice to this day?
Never give up and keep challenging yourself!
7. What are you most proud of in your career within Commercial Banking?
The proudest moment in my career and personal achievement was maintaining a “Top Performer” status as a Branch Manager in my Region and graduating Magna Cum Laude with my MBA in Business Management at the same time. This commitment required me to be very disciplined, focused and driven. It was a very, very challenging experience and it made me realize that I can overcome any obstacle that I come across.
8. You get to have dinner with one famous person. Who do you choose and what would you ask them?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate of the Supreme Court of the United States. She is the second female justice of four to be confirmed to the court. I have been following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s career path ever since I was in high school. She is proof that through hard work, dedication, commitment, and NEVER giving-up is key to a successful career. I have a number of questions that I would ask her. However, I think just listening to her share her experiences with me is much more inspirational and rewarding.
9. How do you support, honor and celebrate other women in the industry?
It is very exciting to see females rising into executive roles in the banking industry. As many of us are aware, this wasn’t the case in the past. As a professional female banker, it is important to support other females in this industry through mentorship and training programs. It is important for females currently in executive roles to provide the guidance and support for opportunities to females who are just starting their banking career.