In the Business of Making Dreams Come True
What does a banker do? In short, a banker wears many different hats and does a little bit of everything at the bank. From helping high net worth customers invest in businesses and luxury properties, to working with first time home buyers, bankers often serve as mentors and forge relationships with their customers that can last for generations.
This month, we feature five women who are San Antonio bankers. Some of the ladies stumbled into banking by chance–and one knew from childhood what she wanted to be when she grew up–but there is one commonality among this group of bankers: a fervent love for their jobs.
Much like their roles at home as wives and mothers, these women have their fingers on the pulse of most everything that goes on at their respective banks. In the world of banking, no two days look the same and, for the women who excel in this field, having grit and tenacity is just as important behind the desk as it is at home.
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Lone Star Capital Bank
Christy McCoy, of Lone Star Capital Bank, landed in the world of banking by chance. As an accounting student at UTSA, she was working at a local grocery store when a bank manager came through her checkout. “She liked my energy and she ended up hiring me.”
And that same energy has served McCoy well over the past 25 years of her banking career. McCoy lists her ability to interact with so many different aspects of the bank as one of her favorite things about the job. “Everyday is different in the world of banking, and I like that!”
When asked what financial advice she has for someone (women specifically), McCoy stresses the importance of practicing the 80/10/10 (spend 80%, give away/donate 10%, and save or invest 10% of one’s income) rule of money management and also warns against making emotional purchases. “Don’t sacrifice long term goals for an impulse,” McCoy adds.
One of McCoy’s keys to success is observing those around her. “I’m constantly watching the people around me to see how they get things done, “ says McCoy. These observational skills help her to implement other’s positive habits into her own life.
One trait that McCoy counts her superpower is tenacity, which she learned from watching as her mother endured multiple sclerosis for her whole life. That tenacity, coupled with excellent organizational skills has helped McCoy to excel in the fast-paced, unpredictable world of banking and empowers her to make a difference both at work and in her community.
Senior Vice President, Business Development Director, Schertz Bank
Jan Tyler never thought she’d choose banking as a career. In school, math was never her strong suit. But 38 years ago, when family life dictated that she switch from a night job to a day job, and a bank teller position opened up at her bank, she applied and was hired.
When Tyler called her mother to tell her the good news, her mother shrieked, “With your math skills?” to which Tyler retorted, “I can count money, mother!” These days, Tyler’s main role at Schertz Bank is to develop new and expand existing banking relationships–and she absolutely loves it!
When asked what a banker does, Tyler replied, “Our Chairman of the Board, Roy Richard, Jr. says it best, ‘We’re in the business of making dreams come true.’” Tyler adds that the primary role of a banker is relationship building. “Our customer comes in with a vision and we help to facilitate their ideas and turn their dreams into reality.”
Tyler recommends that people who are just starting their careers (or embarking on anything new) should “raise their hand when opportunities arise and take risks.”
This social butterfly uses her outgoing personality to connect people and build relationships, both professionally as well as personally, where she is involved in The Chamber and the Randolph Metrocom Rotary Club, among others. “I have the opportunity to assist customers in finding customized financial solutions. I’m known around the office as the person who doesn’t have the word ‘no’ in her vocabulary.”
Brandey Wimberley Orsag
Executive Vice President-Commercial Lending, Jefferson Bank
Twenty-two years ago, when new college graduate, Brandey Wimberley Orsag decided to get some job interview practice by interviewing at Jefferson Bank, she never would have guessed that she would still be there today–and loving her job! When Orsag was asked to explain what a banker is, she explained, “a banker is a financial partner to the customers, assisting them with anything from their business to their personal life.”
“At Jefferson Bank, we adopt a ‘holistic approach’ to banking. Our lenders have the ability to provide comprehensive solutions to help customers with all of their financial needs.”
“Every day is a new challenge, and this is one of the things that I love most about my job,” said Orsag. “There is never a dull moment banking!”
Orsag credits a simple principle of working hard and treating people with respect as one of her secrets to success, both professionally and personally. “The only thing you can control, that will follow you everywhere in life, is your integrity,“ said Orsag.
Orsag explains that banking is still very much a “Man’s World.” In fact, early in her banking career, Orsag was encouraged by seasoned bankers in the industry to not worry about furthering her education. Thankfully, she didn’t heed that advice and went on to obtain her MBA as well as a graduate degree in Banking. For this reason, Orsag is a big proponent of women pursuing their educations. “Having a foundation and investing time in yourself is so important for women so that they can be self-sufficient in any phase in life.”
Senior Vice President, Private Banking Team Lead, Broadway Bank
Michelle Pair, of Broadway Bank, got some insight into what her destiny might be when, as a child, she shadowed her father, a bank president in Corpus Christi, for the day. “I sat in that boardroom and thought, ‘I want to be a banker when I grow up!’” That vision came to fruition 11 years ago when Pair was hired by Harvey Hartenstine, Chief Banking Executive at Broadway Bank.
Pair, who started in banking in 1995, thrives in her career and on the relationships that she forms with her clients. “I think about their goals and I know that when I help them achieve theirs, I will also achieve mine.”
She considers herself fortunate to work with people who genuinely care for each other and the bank’s vision. “Our CEO, David Bohne, is taking Broadway Bank strategically to the next level, while keeping with the values that the bank was built upon by its founders, the Cheever Family,” said Pair.
Pair counts her future father-in-law, who has taught her the value of being there for those in need, and close friend, Sara Dysart, who continually encourages Pair to be independent, as her role models.
Pair feels strongly that people should live below (not within) their means and that women should have a long term plan for their financial future. “Have a plan in place, as if you are going to be the one to take care of yourself for the rest of your life,” then, she said, “you’re able to do just that, no matter what life throws at you.”
San Antonio Market President, Bank of America, Merrill Market Executive–Lone Star Market
Growing up in New Jersey, Jessica Miller’s first exposure to the world of business and banking came from watching a family friend who worked on Wall Street, and from her mother. “My mother started her own restaurant business after working as a waitress. Growing up, working at my mom’s restaurant taught me a lot about what it takes to run a business.”
Miller was raised by a single mother and this greatly impacted her worldview–especially when it comes to money. She wishes that her mother had put herself and her own needs first more often.
“My mother always put me first, and I wish someone had advised her to also take care of herself. When you keep yourself in the equation, everyone around you benefits because you can do so much more for others. This is why I’m so passionate about wealth management, retirement and succession planning, especially for women.”
Miller explained that in the past, many women were not confident in managing their financial lives without the support of their spouses. Miller added, “with the average age of widowhood falling to 59 years old, it’s important to prepare and educate women about financial planning and wealth management.”
At home, this active mother of two loves sports and is an avid car enthusiast. At work, Miller excels in her field, acting as the “quarterback” of Bank of America in San Antonio. “I am approachable, excellent in a crisis, and work every “play” to remove barriers for my employees and clients to get the job done and help them be successful.”
By Jenny Jurica
Photography by Ata-Girl Photography Co.