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MARCH 2021

CONQUERING COVID How banks have kept customer connections flourishing ALSO INSIDE:

Celebrating New York’s Women In Banking A PUBL I C ATI O N O F A M E R IC A N B U S IN ES S M ED IA


BACK COVER

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MARCH 2021

FRONT COVER

CONQUERING COVID How banks have kept customer connections flourishing ALSO INSIDE:

Celebrating New York’s Women In Banking A PUB L I C ATI O N OF A M E R I C A N B U S I N E S S M E D I A


LET’S BUILD A BETTER 2021 TOGETHER. CALL US TODAY AT

800.253.7430


FROM THE DESK OF THE ‘OM-BOBS-MAN’

Exams Will Focus On Whether Servicers Are CARES-ful

S

"Om-Bobs-Man" is the nickname Bob Niemi earned while serving as the NMLS Ombudsman in 2014 and 2015. Bob is a former Ohio state regulator and now an expert consultant on NMLS and state regulatory matters. Bob can be reached at BNiemi@Bradley.com.

tate regulated mortgage servicers should carefully review examination manual supplements recently published on the CSBS website. These procedures detail the requirements placed on mortgage servicers by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act. The resources build upon the existing servicing exam worksheets and signals that state regulators should include CARES Act compliance in their 2021 servicing examinations. The CARES Act was signed into federal law to help homeowners impacted by the pandemic. The act provides forbearance options and prohibits mortgage servicers from initiating or finalizing a foreclosure judgment or foreclosure sale on federally backed mortgage loans. Federally backed mortgage loans were defined as any loan which is secured by a first or subordinate lien on residential real property to include individual units of a condominium and cooperatives that were designed principally for the occupancy of one to four families. The liens relate to mortgages that are backed or insured by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, USDA, VA, and FHA but do not always cover non-QM or portfolio loans. Some states and municipalities have layered additional restrictions and requirements, so state licensed mortgage services need additional compliance review beyond the multistate mortgage committee direction. Examiners are advised of risks to consumers where mortgage servicers may have misled or not informed borrowers of all beneficial options that they were entitled. There has also been concern on initial forbearance and repayment discussions where servicers may have steered or dissuaded borrowers. The tools focus the examiner

to review scripts used and servicing policies related to information provided and compared to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred language. The examiner is also asked to review the servicer’s specific CARES Act policies relating to forbearance terms, credit reporting during forbearance, communication, consumer attestations, and training materials. The lack of clear policy directs the examiner to focus on specific loan reviews and forbearance terms offered compared to the CARES Act. These questions focus on forbearance periods of 180-days even though many servicers offered initial 90-day terms under the language that entitled “up to” an initial 180-day period and a 180-day extension when needed. There is no mention of 90-day forbearance options or how they might be implemented in the exam supplement. There is also direction to review the servicer’s consumer complaints and the tracking ability of the servicer to maintain complaints received since March 2020. The servicer should be able to identify any COVID-related complaints involving forbearance, foreclosure, and loss mitigation for evaluation. The complaint response formats, scripts used, and consumer communications are also to be reviewed for consistency and compliance with the CARES Act. It should be noted that when examiners select loan files for review, examiners are asked to select those files in which borrowers have submitted a complaint related to payment assistance or loss mitigation. These resources can be found for on the CSBS website at: https://www.csbs. org/mortgage-examination-supplements. Once again, to all those who were impacted in one way or another by COVID or the response, prayers for for a better 2021.

MARCH 2021

STAFF CEO, PUBLISHER & EDITOR Vincent M. Valvo ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Beverly Bolnick SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Keith Griffin CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lew Sichelman, Erica LaCentra, Harvey Mackay, Pam Marron, Nick Roberson, Mary Kay Scully, James Potter Charlet GRAPHIC DESIGN MANAGER Stacy Murray INTERACTIVE DESIGN DIRECTOR Alison Valvo USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNER Billy Valvo ONLINE CONTENT DIRECTOR Navindra Persaud MARKETING & EVENTS ASSOCIATE Melissa Pianin HEAD OF ENGAGEMENT AND OUTREACH Andrew Berman FOUNDING PUBLISHER Joel Berman

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© 2021 American Business Media LLC All rights reserved. Banking Northeast magazine is a trademark of American Business Media LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Advertising, editorial and production inquiries should be directed to: American Business Media LLC 345 North Main St., Suite 313 West Hartford, CT 06117 Phone: (860) 719-1991 info@ambizmedia.com

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HOW WELL HAS YOUR BANK RESPONDED TO COVID? YOUR CUSTOMERS WEIGH IN. Top Pandemic Performers in Each State

T

he pandemic took all banks by surprise, and all bank customers as well. With branch closings, work-at-home shifts, delinquency concerns and the PPP, banks strained to provide the same level of service as they did pre-pandemic. The latest Rivel Banking Benchmarks show that as the pandemic has rolled on, some banks have hit their stride again, while others continue to stumble. Several banks that historically have received high marks from their customers really have had challenges over the past several months. Other banks that have not been historically strong performers managed to shine. Understanding how customers feel about their bank is crucial right now, given the impending volatility in the market. The percentage of unhappy customers who are open to switching banks in the Northeast has shot up by about 30% in the last several months. Market volatility varies a lot by area, though: Boston has increased 15% and Pittsburgh by 22% while New York City surged by a whopping 48%. This bodes poorly for those banks about to lose a lot of their customers, but very well for the banks with the right marketing message to attract those households and businesses. The Rivel Banking Benchmarks, the largest survey of bank customers and prospects in the world, shows some of those differences in stark relief. The surveys are conducted online for over 4,000 banking institutions (including almost all institutions in the Northeast) and entail objective interviews with hundreds of thousands of customers per year. During these interviews, customers and prospective customers rate their banks (and their closest competitors) on up to 92 different metrics, from friendliness and responsiveness to the mobile app and ATM quality, to rates and fees. But the Benchmarks also include additional timely questions for subscribers. And there have been no more timely results than Pandemic Response. The Benchmarks asked customers across 8 states in the Northeast (Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) to rate how well their bank has responded to the pandemic. The results have shown that it is possible to shine despite the difficulties swirling around.

Top Customer Ratings of Pande

Ratings based upon 81,342 interviews conducted in

1

New York Bank of Holland

Pennsylvania InFirst Bank

2

Investors Bank

Community Bank

3

Rhinebeck Bank

4 5

Solvay Bank Walden Savings Bank Watertown Savings Bank Tompkins Trust Company Glens Falls National Bank Tompkins Bank of Castile PCSB Bank

The Honesdale National Bank The Luzerne Bank First Citizens Community Bank CNB Bank

6 7 8 9 10

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PS Bank Standard Bank Republic Bank Fidelity Bank


An example of truly outstanding ratings on pandemic performance from their customers, is Rollstone Bank & Trust in Central Massachusetts. When asked how they managed to do it, EVP and COO Arthur J Freehan said, “The situation called for more than just installing safety protocols in our buildings: we reached out to customers that were in difficult circumstances to make sure they were safe; we coached our business customers through the complicated PPP process; we held Zoom meetings with Wealth Management clients to assure them that we could get them through an uncertain market; and we cross-trained our employees so they could manage the higher call volume and answer questions that had previously been outside their job role.” The results were quite surprising in many cases. The rankings show the top performers in each state, according to their own customers. While all banks want to see how their own customers rate their pandemic performance, looking at the data more broadly can uncover interesting results. In the most recent wave of surveying (from November 2020-January 2021), there were some notable findings:

• Pennsylvania customers rated their banking institutions’ pandemic response the most favorably of the 8 states while New Jersey customers rated their banks lowest. • Baby Boomers were much more impressed with how their bank handled the pandemic (83.0% gave high marks) compared to Millennials (67.3%). • Ratings varied by ethnicity, with Asian and Hispanic customers giving significantly lower approval ratings than Caucasian customers. • Customers at the very largest banks (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, CapitalOne and Truist) were less pleased with their banks’ response (68.9% on average) while. credit union members were much more pleased (81.6%). Understanding how your customers view your performance through—and after—the pandemic will improve customer loyalty and reduce attrition. Banks should ignore objective customer feedback at their own peril.

emic Performance, Ranked in Order by State

n the 8 states from July 2020 to January 2021

2

Connecticut Jewett City Savings Bank HarborOne Bank Union Savings Bank

3

BankNewport

4

Webster Bank

Columbia Bank

5

Washington Trust

Republic Bank

6

Fulton Bank

7

BCB Community Bank Investors Bank

8

New Jersey Manasquan Bank

New Hampshire Savings Bank of Walpole Peapack-Gladstone Woodsville Guaranty Bank Bank of Princeton Meredith Village Savings Bank Kearny Bank Franklin Savings Bank Provident Bank Mascoma Bank

1

9 10

Rhode Island Centreville Bank

Maryland Hebron Savings Bank Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan Association Newtown Savings Bank Howard Bank

Massachusetts Rollstone Bank & Trust The Village Bank

Hingham Institution for Savings The Torrington Savings Sandy Spring Bank Milford Federal Bank Bank Ion Bank Community Bank of South Shore Bank the Chesapeake Thomaston Savings PNC Bank Enterprise Bank Bank Putnam Bank (div. of M&T Bank Florence Bank Centreville Bank) Chelsea Groton Bank Fulton Bank Monson Savings Bank Liberty Bank Shore United Bank Adams Community Bank Savings Bank of DanCapital One Cape Cod Five* bury The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod* North Shore Bank*

*tie

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POSITIONING YOUR BRAND FOR SUCCESS How to take advantage of a global pandemic and turn it into gains

by James G. Caliendo

President & CEO, PWCampbell

Vince Lombardi once said one of the simplest, yet profound quotes ever stated: “Winners never quit, and quitters never win”. A mantra that stuck with him throughout his tenure as Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers, where he led his team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years. He also won the NFLs first two Super Bowls back-to-back Super Bowl wins in the late 60’s. Of course, there were times when losing seemed inevitable. Fourth-and-longs that appeared virtually impossible, getting stopped at the goal line when it mattered the most, or finding his team down late in the fourth quarter – but that never stopped Lombardi from finishing his career with an overall record of 105 wins, 35 losses, and 6 ties. In fact, Lombardi never had a losing season in his career as a head coach in the NFL. He is regarded by many as not only the greatest coach in football history, but one of the greatest coaches of all time in all of sports. COVID-19 has certainly put many of us in a strained situation: facing our own fourth-and-long looking for the Hail Mary pass to get us into the endzone. Our retail branches have been closed to the public, our services shut down, and day after day CEOs are struggling to comprehend ever-changing mandates while trying to solve the conundrum of “how to mitigate loss amidst a global pandemic”. 2020 was certainly a bumpy ride, but then again,‘winners never quit, and quitters never win.’ While your competitors remain complacent and poised to wait out the storm, the opportunity to grow your brand to gain market share and establish a stronghold in your market segment has never been greater. Enter brand positioning.

James G. Caliendo is a former bank executive and now President and CEO at the 110 year old design-build and retail services firm. In the past 22 years alone, under Jim’s direction, PWCampbell has worked with over 500 financial institutions influencing millions of square feet of retail and operational space to create engaging, impactful and scalable solutions for every sized facility project. 6

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Brand positioning is not necessarily where your brand sits among its competitive set within a specified market. It is, however, what can you do within a current market segment to position your brand for long-term growth and stability and set yourself up for a future of success. Even in the worst of times, winners can pick through the pieces to find the opportunity in catastrophe. The pandemic continues to be incredibly detrimental to all of us, but it did provide one substantial feat to community institutions among the chaos: it leveled the playing field. From a strategic standpoint, this is an opportunity. We know that the pandemic is temporary. Be it stringent social distancing,

temporary closures, or occupancy mandates, this too shall pass. Retail branches will reopen in full swing, lobby’s will return to their daily hustle and bustle. And at that moment when we reopen our doors, branches and brands across the country will be fighting to recoup for lost time. The question asked will be “What can I do to gain the edge over the competition”. But by then it is too late. It is not what to do to gain the edge, it is what to do now to gain the edge. While the competition remains quiet, waiting for the opportunity to jump back in the game, now is the time to gain that competitive edge. And here is how to do it:

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS Is your branch outdated? Now’s the time to bring it current with minimal impact to the operation. The biggest opportunity lies in improvements that will bring your branch up to date. This may or may not require a full-scale renovation, depending on the floorplan and aesthetics of your branch. If your branch is built with a heavy transactional approach, it is time to consider a change to address the needs of the next-gen banker. Often this does not necessarily involve a full renovation, even though that is still the most effective transformation. But if your budget is limited, new paint, flooring, and wall coverings can dramatically improve the cosmetic appeal of your branch while saving money on the back end. Adding a new teller line or pods and updating case goods further builds out the space at a fraction of the cost of a full-scale renovation. The cherry-on-top comes in the form of branding by adding a branded environment that further drives your corporate message and makes a lasting impression. Bottom line: An improvement to the branch paints a picture to your consumers that you are in it for the long-haul, and they will appreciate that stability. On the flip side, sitting back potentially gives off the impression that you’re uncertain about the future of your institution, and consumers generally will not stick around to see if you are going to make it or not – especially when it is their money and investments on the line. It is all about perception.

TECHNOLOGY If there is one takeaway from any of this, it is how vital technology is to the success of your success. Slowly but surely, technology is becoming an essential part of survival within the branch. It is a language that has become all too familiar to the next-gen banker, and it’s convenience is second to none. According to a 2020 study done by Deloitte, U.S. households own an average of 11 connected devices, including seven with screens to view content. Simply put, the integration of technology into the retail branch is expected. But the gain is not only on the consumers end. Digital signage boasts a retention rate of 83% - double than that of traditional marketing methods. Online banking channels hold a 60% uptake when their capabilities are demonstrated to the consumer in-branch through an iPad. Virtual conference rooms are nothing short of essential for bringing together clients from all over the world from the comfort of their own homes – incredibly impactful and useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only is technology relevant for the current times, but it positions your retail branch to grab the next-gen market, setting you up for success in the future as well.

JUST DO SOMETHING Space planning surveys that provide a cost savings to the bottom line, a new interior furnishing fit-out, performing a branch optimization to impact the bottom line; it doesn’t matter what you do – the point is just do. The pandemic should not affect your attitude, or the ability for you to continue to push forward. The golden opportunity to position your brand for greatness is on your doorstep. Do not just join the oversaturated crowd of competitors sitting back waiting for business to return to status quo. Do not throw in the towel and wait for a better opportunity. This is your Hail Mary pass. Invest now and give your brand a head start right out of the gate, because winners never quit, and quitters never win. BANKING NORTHEAST MAGAZINE

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UNSTOPPABLE MOMENTUM CoreLogic Economist Says Gravity Won’t Halt Rising Mortgage Volume

R

ecord-low mortgage interest rates meant record-high origination volumes for many mortgage lenders across the country in 2020. Not even a surge in home price acceleration slowed origination activity. But with those high volumes comes a new series of questions. How long will the interest rates stay this low? Will home prices level off this year? Are we headed for a repeat of 2008, which was preceded for a couple of years by a huge boom in originations only to be followed by an equally huge crash that resulted in record foreclosure activity and a period of several years known as the “Great Recession”? How different, or similar, is 2020’s origination explosion different from the one the industry experienced in 2006-08 before the crash? Banking Northeast magazine recently discussed accelerating house prices and the possibility of another bubble with Selma Hepp, Executive, Research & Insights and Deputy Chief Economist with CoreLogic. BNE: The latest Case-Shiller data shows that house prices are accelerating at the fastest rate since June 2014. What does the recent surge in house prices mean for the market? SELMA HEPP: The recent surge in home prices reflects a convergence of several factors that even on their own could drive home prices higher but are now amplified in combination with each other. Hence, the home price acceleration picked up pace in recent months. The surge also means that despite the economic challenges brought on by the pandemic, there is strong demand for home ownership, even more so than before the pandemic, one could argue. The surge also highlights the imbalance in the housing market from extended period of slow new construction and demographic tailwind

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By B RIA N HON EA

BNE: Are we headed for a housing bubble? Are there any similarities between now and 2008?

SELMA HEPP

which was accelerated by the pandemic. Lastly, I also think it brings to light economic gains that were accumulated by the longest economic expansion which ended with the pandemic, and which were reflected in heightened demand for second/vacation homes across the country. BNE: Will house prices level off at some point this year? SELMA HEPP: Home price growth is likely to take a breather in the coming months. According to CoreLogic HPI forecast, home price growth will slow to 2.5 percent by the latter part of next year but will still remain positive. Still, there are variations in expectations as some metro areas have been harder hit by the pandemic. BNE: How long do you think interest rates will stay this low? SELMA HEPP: We do expect the mortgage rates to remain below 3 percent thru the end of 2021.

SELMA HEPP: We are unlikely to be heading into a housing bubble though some of the housing markets that were negatively impacted by the pandemic and/or job losses related to local industries (such as Texas markets dependent on oil/mining) may see a slight home price correction over the next year. There are very few similarities between now and 2008. Unlike 2008, current housing demand is driven by owner occupants and demographic trends that were under way prior to the pandemic, namely millennials reaching home buying age. Also, under-construction of new homes has contributed to lowest inventories of homes for sale going back to at least 1980. Current for-sale inventory is at 40 percent of pre-Great Recession levels. Lastly, underwriting conditions are much more demanding than was the case in 2008, with requirements further tightening since the onset of the pandemic. Most of the problematic loans prevalent in 2008 are not around anymore. Also, current homeowners have accumulated notable equity over the last decade which helps buffer them in case of financial distress. Thus, the foreclosure crisis that was experienced post 2008 is a very unlikely outcome of the current economic situation. On the other hand, continual decline in mortgage rates to record low levels has helped spur demand and extend affordability options for home buyers with limited budgets. A concern remains that as home prices continue to rise, low mortgage rates will be eventually offset by higher prices thus reducing affordability further. Narrowing of potential pool of homebuyers will alleviate the pressure on home prices and bring down the rate of growth.


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HONORING THE BEST A Recognition Of The Top Women In Banking At Banking Northeast, we honor the growing impact that women are having on the banking industry. This special feature shines a light on the many trailblazers who are leading the way for others in this once male-dominated area. The women being honored were selected thanks to readers’ nominations. They let us know who makes significant contributions in the credit unions and community banks across the Northeast.

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JENNIFER LYN ADARNA VP - Tech Assessment & Advisory Services Wells Fargo

Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I would not be where I am if it weren’t for my mentors. All the female mentors and coaches from the companies I worked for and met along the way have been such an inspiration. When you are a young female in a predominantly male-dominated industry, you need a female support system. Ever since graduating, I’ve been an alumni mentor at Manhattan College. I’ve also been involved with Catholic Big Brother, Big Sister for the past three years where I’ve mentored underprivileged high school students. It’s so important for me to stay connected with the upcoming generation of leaders. What do you consider your greatest success? In 2018, I launched a podcast called The Weekly Hustle focused on celebrating people and their stories no matter where they worked. I wanted to highlight people I’ve met that are photographers, artists, writers, and individuals who talked about mental health, business owners, etc. and share their unique stories. My podcast has been played in over 50-plus countries and played over 4000 times.

MICHELE DEAN

President and CEO Suffolk Federal Credit Union How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated? My career has been focused in the financial services/investment arena beginning with an early position at Merrill Lynch. It was a very fulfilling and demanding career energized by Wall Street that intersected wonderful changes in my personal life. I needed to make a lifestyle and career change and took initiative to research jobs on Long Island. There was an opportunity at Bethpage Federal Credit Union for which I was selected. My credit union career began then and continues now with the same enthusiasm and drive. Motivation for me is about competitiveness, winning and, above all, having a meaningful purpose that generates positivity, profitability and performance. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something you focus on? Mentoring is the most rewarding responsibility of leadership. It is an honor to be a mentor and a gift to be mentored. I have had many great mentors, many of whom are women. On a personal level, I would point to my own mother, who demonstrates integrity, strength, and compassion every day. She is a standard-bearer for me.

LAURIE BAKER

President and CEO The Summit Federal Credit Union How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I really stumbled upon my first position. I was simply looking for a job and wound up accepting a teller role at a local credit union while I pursued my master’s degree. I knew it was the kind of work I’d get great satisfaction from. It’s this opportunity to be a positive influence for people, both through the credit union and the work we do in the community, that is the biggest motivating factor for me. What do you consider your greatest success? We have a phenomenal team here, and together we’ve weathered some significant challenges. One was getting through the financial crisis of 2008 without laying off a single employee. Another is our growth of assets from $80 million when I started in 1993 to $1 billion at the close of 2019. Personally, the adoption of my two children is my greatest success. The adoption process can be very difficult, time-consuming and emotionally exhausting. It takes a leap of faith, hope and perseverance. But once that process is complete and that baby or child is in your arms, nothing else matters!

ANGELA BLUM-FINLAY

EVP & Chief Human Resources Officer Dime Community Bank How did you get into this field? I have shaped my career by taking on challenging roles that allowed me to have an impact in an organization. When the opportunity came to move into banking, it was another challenge for me to rebuild and evolve the people functions in a transitioning bank. Being one of the leaders helping to drive the change in the bank, whether through its structure, systems, or culture, is a rewarding and fulfilling career journey. What is your favorite book? I always refer back to the book, “Multipliers,” by Liz Wiseman. It talks about the best leaders having a “multiplying” effect on the people around them - not only do they strive to make themselves better, but they also strive to make everyone else around them better. I live by this principle as a leader. What do you consider your greatest success? Building high performing teams and evolving people departments into business-impacting functions are my greatest career successes. Whether it be banking, consulting or any other industry, the ability to make an impact and move a function outside of its comfort zone has always been what drives me for success.

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JENNIFER KOONDEL Personal Banker Citibank N.A.

DENISE SLETTENE-SHARPE VP/Retail Experience Leader for the Atlantic & Capital Regions Key Bank

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? In the fall of 2001 I applied for a teller position. In the upcoming years I was promoted to head teller and then assistant operations manager. Throughout my career with Citi I have worked in departments and different positions. This has giving me the knowledge to broaden my knowledge. In 2017 I became a personal banker. I work daily with clients that that need help and guidance. It is rewarding to be able to help people in making financial decisions and helping them get through everyday life.

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I began my career in banking as a part-time teller at Anchor Savings Bank in Orangeburg while attending Dominican College of Blauvelt. From my first day I loved it! I felt an immediate connection to so many clients, some of which I still stay in contact with today. In my current role, my primary focus is the client experience and delivering financial wellness to our clients. Being able to watch people thrive and achieve their goals is really what continues to keep me excited about retail banking.

Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? In the 19 years with Citi most of my mentors have been women. Looking back from when I started as a teller to my current position my mentors have all affected my career by providing knowledge, encouragement and motivation. All the women mentors left a mark in who I have become as a personal banker. I now mentor many of my colleagues. I like to use the same mentoring I received to help them succeed.

Have you had any great female mentors? I have! When I became an area retail leader, I was struggling and my manager suggested I form a mentor relationship with our current capital regional retail leader, Ruth Mahoney. It was a game changer! Our weekly conversations made a huge impact and helped me find the success I was looking for. Eight years later our paths have once again crossed and we are back to weekly conversations, as partners now. I truly value Ruth’s opinion, expertise and insights and still consider her a mentor.

LUVLEEN SIDHU

Co-Founder and CEO BankMobile

ALYSON L. STONE

Principal Attion Consulting LLC

How did you get into this field? After graduating Harvard, I joined Lehman Brothers. On my first day, the firm filed for bankruptcy. I then worked at Neuberger Berman and subsequently at Customers Bank, where I was looking into digital banking. While earning my MBA at Wharton, I was a summer associate at Booz & Company, where I helped develop a strategy for a financial services firm to launch a digital bank. After graduating, with the research I had and desire to start my own company, I launched BankMobile in 2015 with the mission to provide a financially empowering and simple banking experience for millennials, the unbanked and underbanked, and middle-income Americans.

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? After college, I interviewed at Republic National Bank for a role in business planning and I knew it was the right job for me. It gave me a broad view into the business of banking.

What do you consider your greatest success?

Early in my time at Republic National Bank, Elizabeth Rabbi Cribbs, now executive director family advisory and philanthropy services at UBS, took an interest in my career. She was a powerful advocate for me when HSBC acquired Republic and the deck chairs were being rearranged. I chose to join the effort to launch Signature Bank rather than stay with HSBC, but to this day I am grateful for everything she did for me.

My greatest success is launching BankMobile and overseeing its significant growth since 2015. Today we are among the largest mobile-first banks in the country. I was truly delighted that by the second half of 2019, BankMobile, a division of Customers Bank, turned profitable and that 2019 revenues for BankMobile were $86 million. We are also collaborating with technology giants T-Mobile and Google. I look forward to our continued growth and to providing more Americans with our innovative and fun banking solution.

My transition to the business line was mainly driven by business bankers, first at Republic and later at Signature Bank. They were a tough crowd to impress at the outset, but once I earned their trust, they became relentless advocates for my advancement. Those relationships are what motivate me to stay. Have you had any great female mentors?

What do you consider your greatest success? Yesterday’s successes only have so much value; what we do today is more important.


Promontory Interfinancial Network has a new name...

CDARS and ICS deposits have a new name too... ®

®

And all of our funding products are now called...

New name. Same trusted partner.

IntraFi.com

IntraFi, IntraFi Network, Network Deposits, IntraFi Funding, and the IntraFi Network logo are service marks, and CDARS and ICS are registered services marks, of IntraFi Network LLC. BANKING NORTHEAST MAGAZINE

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MICHELE TROLLI

Chief Technology and Operations Officer M&T Bank What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I believe it is my responsibility to be a mentor to as many women, and men, as possible. Mentorship has enormous benefits for women in tech specifically, because no one knows the landscape we face better than women who’ve navigated it – often in even less enlightened times. That’s one of the reasons I sponsor M&T’s Women’s Interest Network, an employeedriven resource group that encourages the professional development of members. If I have one piece of advice for mentees, it is to be authentic and that their unique self is their greatest gift. What do you consider your greatest success? I am living my greatest success. I have a husband, four children and two grandchildren all living here in Buffalo, where I work for a bank that is undergoing a transformation with technology in the epicenter. M&T is embracing a modern innovation ecosystem in which the best ideas gain support and flourish, and emphasizes the importance of diversity, inclusivity, transparency and flexibility. This ecosystem requires a place to convene—a modern workspace that inspires connection and collaboration—so we’re actively building one.

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LISA WELCH

SVP, Chief Credit Officer Tioga State Bank How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? After graduating with an accounting degree, I landed at Tioga State Bank. It turns out banking was, and still is, the career for me. I’ve worked in several areas including finance, internal audit and now lending, as the chief credit officer. I celebrated 25 years at the bank this past summer. Banking is constantly evolving and I get to see, firsthand, how we help our community. What do you consider your greatest success? A year ago my answer would have been completely different. Now, it has been effectively navigating the past few months. We accomplished many things at Tioga State over the years including a corporate culture transformation and a core conversion, but the greatest success has been managing the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic. I worked diligently with the lenders and staff to assist customers with payment deferments, Small Business Administration PPP loans and now forgiveness applications. We continue to implement new software solutions at breakneck speed to create efficiencies for our staff and customers. In my 25 years of banking I have never experienced anything quite like this.


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See us at www.ambizmedia.com to learn more about our publications, webinars, digital newsletters, and events. To customize a marketing program unique to your business needs, call (860) 922-3441 or email vvalvo@ambizmedia. BANKING NORTHEAST MAGAZINE

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City of Boston Credit Union in Boston, MA

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508.339.6600

www.nes-group.com

www.drlarchitects.com

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Banking Northeast March 2021