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Women In Banking @ Chemung Canal & Capital Bank

Celebrating Women's History Month

March welcomes Women’s History Month, and we are excited to spotlight some of the talented women leaders at Chemung Canal and Capital Bank, a division of Chemung Canal, and their career journeys through our Women In Banking employee spotlights.
 

Meet some of the talented Women in Banking @ Chemung Canal & Capital Bank!

Pam B - Chief Diversity Officer

Pamela B. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

I am Director of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer. My role entails balancing the needs of the employees and the needs of the company; understanding the business; understanding the culture, and helping to build a welcoming and inclusive workforce

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I started as a Proof Operator (which no longer exists), then worked as a Teller on Saturdays while working in Computer Operations, and eventually worked in Audit, Network Operations, and Trust Operations before moving into the Employment Manager role in HR. From there I moved into my current position.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t worry about what others think of you, never stop learning, and enjoy life.  

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

Anyone that looks to me for direction, whether it be family, friends, or co-workers. I don’t want to lead them down the wrong path.

Pam B - Chief Diversity Officer

Dana S. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

I am the Treasury Management Officer for the Capital Region. In my role, I focus on business clients and making sure they are equipped with all their cash management and online banking needs.

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I started with Chemung Canal in 2011 as a part-time teller in the Big Flats Office. I have my Bachelors in Biology, so the Bank was supposed to be a temporary job until I found my ‘career.’ I ended up loving the company and moved into a full-time role at the Main Office. Learning as much as I could about banking while in the branches, but also shadowed other departments when I could until eventually, I was lucky enough to get a position in Branch Administration.  In 2018, the Bank asked me to move to the Capital Region to expand my training and specialist role, which I gladly accepted. After 5 years in that department, I decided to switch gears and applied for the position I currently have. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

The only person you have to worry about making proud is yourself.

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

My previous manager, Michael Novotny, is someone who I admire for his leadership skills. He is the epitome of calm, cool and collective, and always very supportive.

Pam B - Chief Diversity Officer

Kristen W. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

I am the Digital Client Experience Officer. I truly believe that I have the most interesting role in the company right now. In this position, I have the opportunity to provide a spotlight on our digital banking platforms and services, not only to enhance our client experiences but to also improve our operational processes. We need to explore what is it like to bank with us from the client's perspective. If there is an unmet need, gap, or deficiency in the banking experience, my job is to work to find a solution.

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

My entire banking career has been with Chemung Canal – 17 years in total!  I began in the branches as a part-time teller and ended as an Assistant Branch Manager through a series of transfers and promotions over the course of 8 or 9 years. I then served as the Contact Center Manager for nearly 5 years, which really gave me the strong technical background that helped to develop my skillset for my future positions.  From there I became the E-Retail Support Manager and then onto Treasury Management Officer before becoming the Digital Client Experience Officer

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust your instincts when making decisions. It’s great to listen to the opinions and advice of others, but don’t let their views influence your own thoughts or goals. You are your own best advocate. Also, stay away from tanning beds.

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

To me leadership isn’t positional, it is action-driven. With that in mind, I’m inspired by many people in both my professional and personal life. I find myself most drawn to those who are unapologetically authentic with a strong work ethic and high emotional intelligence. I can always count on a Mel Robbins podcast or book to motivate or inspire when needed. 

Tonya D

Tonya D.

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

I am the Account Services Manager. I oversee a wonderful team in what is called the support services area. We collect and review the completeness and accuracy of client documentation, such as new accounts, address changes, CD/IRA/HSA accounts and perform maintenance to accounts as needed. We act as a resource to the branches and other departments bank-wide. I also oversee the Wire Team and municipal tax payments.

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I will be with Chemung Canal for 20 years in June. I graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work and returned to the Elmira area to be close to family and friends. In 2002, I took a job as a teller until I decided what I wanted to be when I ‘grew up,' and found I had a passion for banking. Throughout my career, I have been a Teller, Senior Teller, Customer Service Representative, Assistant Branch Manager, and Relationship Banker III and my current position.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Stay true to yourself, always follow your gut instinct, don’t be too proud to accept criticism and keep an open mind, you never know where the next opportunity lies.

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

I have been very fortunate to have had and known several wonderful leaders during my career here, but the two that have inspired me most have been Donna Coles, who took a chance on me in the middle of my career and is still one of my biggest cheerleaders and my current manager Mike Battersby. There is no area of the bank that I have not witnessed approach Mike for assistance or advice at one time or another. He is a wealth of valuable knowledge, is always more than willing to extend his help wherever and whenever needed, and encourages his teams to do the same.  

Heather M

Heather M. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

I am a Mortgage Originator and in my role I assist Clients with purchasing, refinancing and building residential properties.  This can be their primary home, a second home or an investment property.

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I started my career in the Commercial Credit department as a Credit Analyst then moved to the branches and worked my way up from a Senior Teller to CSR to an Assistant Branch Manager before moving to the Real Estate Lending Department as an Originator.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Have a plan but be ready to change as life is always changing.  And it’s ok.

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

The younger generations. 

Roberta B.

Roberta B. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

I wear several hats at the Bank. 

My primary role is Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer at Capital Bank. I help provide business owners and commercial real estate investors with financing solutions to increase their sales, improve cash flow, and become more profitable. My secondary role is Market Team Executive.  In this capacity, I help foster collaboration amongst the Capital Bank Market Team to deepen our client relationships, increase market share and visibility, empower local decision-making, and create leadership opportunities. The third hat I wear informally is as a mentor to younger women colleagues. This is something I’ve done my entire career. It gives me great pleasure to sprinkle career advice to others and watch them grow!

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I’ve had a long and varied career in banking. The first 10 years were spent working for Chase in NYC and eventually Albany.  I was originally retail trained, so I started in the branches and then quickly moved into commercial lending and private banking after receiving a Commercial Lending Diploma from NYU.

I spent a good portion of my career in cash management at Chase and former Fleet Bank (BOA), creating departments and leading sales teams, often through back-to-back mergers and acquisitions, which was really tough at times.  What makes me a unique banker is after 20 years in banking,  I took a side road for 5 years and opened a café a few miles from my house.  I did this since life is short, I was a road warrior traveling all over the Northeast, and all of a sudden my kids were in high school.  Starting a business from scratch, being a part of my community and working on all parts of my business was the best MBA I could ever have earned!  I sold the business 13 years ago, and since then have chosen to be an individual producing lender. Frankly, it gives me more time to focus on the things that are most important to me, like helping my clients and mentoring. I joined Capital Bank 5 years ago, and it’s been a great ride!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Even though I read the book, I did!

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

I am in awe of Melinda Gates. She is my SHERO for speaking her truth and helping women empower themselves.

Heather M

Mary K. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

I am currently the Manager of Business/Treasury Services & Municipal Banking. My responsibilities include overseeing the maintenance of client accounts and ensuring business client needs are met. My team and I help grow loans, deposits, and fee-based products & services for the municipal and business banking units. We promote portfolio growth by working with our internal teams and vendors. I love this role because we work with so many internal team members and with the business clients that drive us to do better.

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I started as a Call-In teller then became a full-time teller. I quickly moved to a supervisor in Bank Operations where I supervised ATM & ACH services. This role grew into managing Electronic Banking Services, which started to include several business services. After a few years of doing both, we wanted a stronger focus on each area so we created separate roles for each. At this time, I choose to continue to work with the business clients and I have continued to grow in this role.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Stay grounded and focused! Life is tough, so it is important to believe in yourself and form great relationships. Also, education, education, education!

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

Gosh, this is a hard one, because there are so many people that inspire me and it can change on a regular basis. This month, I would have to say I am inspired by my husband’s Aunt that passed away recently. She was such an elegant woman who had a career in teaching, she was a great mother and stayed involved in her religious beliefs and the community. She also traveled the world with her husband of 60+ years. She made the best of her life and always treated people with respect.

Pam C

Pam C. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

I am currently an Assistant Vice President/Hub Manager for our Steuben County Branches located in Bath and Corning. In my current role, I am responsible for ensuring that my teams deliver the best banking experience for our customers. We love helping people achieve their dreams whether it be starting or expanding their business, buying a house or planning for retirement.  As a community banker, my greatest joy is knowing that we have helped each person that we see to the best of our ability.    

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I started my career as a Teller in 1988 and quickly moved on as a Student Loan Officer. After that, I moved on to consumer lending and underwriting all types of loans. In 2001 an opportunity presented itself and I became a Branch Manager in mid-2021 I was promoted to Hub Manager. With each one of these roles, I have continued to learn something new. I have extensive experience in consumer lending, mortgages, small business and home loans. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

My advice to myself would be to remember that being flexible is key.  Flexibility allows us to see all sides of a situation.  We need to remember that our experience matters but the person on the receiving end matters even more so. 

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

My motto is Do Better Be Better.  People, in general, inspire me to always be the best version of myself and lead by example. Life can have terrible things – we don’t have to always agree – but we can agree that if we always do the right thing and model that behavior we will hopefully inspire others to do the same.  

Judy F.

Judy F. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

I am currently a Hub Manager for our Westside and Arnot Road branches in Chemung County. My primary focus to is give our clients the best customer service experience possible. I love helping people achieve their banking needs. I also enjoy working with my teams and helping them fulfill their future goals.

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I started my career in banking 13 years ago as a Temp in our Central File Department, now known as Account Services. Following that position, I became a part-time Teller in our Big Flats office and then worked my way to Assistant Manager. In 2019, I became the Manager of our Westside office. I now manage the Westside and Arnot Rd locations.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

The advice I'd give my younger self is to work hard and follow your dreams!

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

My 3 children, encouraged me to believe in myself and pursue my work-related goals after being a stay-at-home mom for 25 years.

Lyanna L

Lyanna L. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

My current role is Senior Auditor at CCTC. My job is to evaluate the control adequacies and effectiveness of processes related to the governance, risk management and controls of the organization. I strive to add value by finding ways to improve the efficiency of our operations and provide reasonable assurance to the achievement of the organization’s objectives through independent audit engagements.

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I started working at the branch when I first joined the company. I was so lucky to start with a client-facing role, which allowed me to understand our client’s financial needs, and how the branch’s day-to-day operations worked to meet those needs. I gained great insight into some of the challenges we face and areas for enhancement. I then moved to the Internal Audit Department. I’ve learned a tremendous amount after joining Internal Audit, including the organizational structure, the inherent risks, and controls in various lines of business operations.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Learn as much as you can. Strive to be who you want to be. Knowledge and wisdom are what makes you powerful.

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

My cousin owns an international trading company with approximately 700 employees. I visited his company back when I was in college.  Every day he starts work at 6 in the morning and doesn’t finish until 2 in the morning the next day. What fascinated me was how energetic he is all the time. No matter what problem comes up, he can always identify the root cause, find the right contact and resolve the issue immediately.

 

Dawn A

Dawn A. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

My current role is Hub Manager of the Genesee Street and Grant Avenue Offices in Auburn NY. My offices have the best locations right in the center of downtown on the busiest road in Auburn. There are 7 full-time employees, a Business Development Officer and a Mortgage Originator all on-premise. My primary job is to coach and develop the team, grow the business and serve the existing clients with the best possible customer service.

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I have been in banking for 45 years. I started as a mortgage clerk at Auburn Savings Bank. (no longer in existence) and I have been through 6 bank mergers. I was a Customer Service Representative, a Loan Officer, an Assistant Branch Manager and a Branch Manager and now a Hub Manager. 

I was always going to be a Math teacher but thanks to my favorite teachers, Miss Harrington and Mr. Reginelli, and their encouragement, I started in banking and here I am 45 years later, still enjoying it, still loving it.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell myself to learn something new every day, keep your mind busy and read. Read everything and anything. But above all, be kind.

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

Inspiration to be a leader must come from within. You either have it or you don’t. You work for many different people throughout your career and you will always remember how you felt working for each one of them, what you liked, what you didn’t like. I hope I inspire my team to do their very best every day and to always know they can count on me to help them achieve their personal goals. 

 

Sarah M.

Sarah M. 

Tell us about your current role and what it entails:

As a Commercial Loan Officer, my responsibilities include reviewing and recommending loans for approval. I do this through interviewing commercial loan applicants, evaluating the applicants’ financial status and creating customized loan packages for approval.

How has your career journey in Banking progressed?

I had the opportunity to spend my summer between Junior and Senior years of college, interning at a company that specializes in Agricultural lending. I loved my summer there and from there started looking for other job opportunities in lending, which lead me to the banking industry. Shortly after college I started in a Management Training program for a large bank and have been in banking ever since. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Always work hard and look for opportunities to grow business! 

Tell me about someone who inspires you to be a leader:

l was inspired to be a leader by many women in my family, one specifically being my aunt, who owned and operated a car dealership.  My aunt received her Automotive Dealers' license, in the late ’50s when it was “unheard” of to have a women-owned car dealership! In my aunt’s 60+ years in business, she built a network of customers that exclusively bought their cars through her because of the integrity and care she showed for each customer who bought a vehicle from her. I strive to create that same connection with banking customers every day!