Curiosity as a Superpower
Written by: Angelica Palm, Texas Partners Bank
Brandi Vitier thinks outside the box. In fact, she takes the box apart and reassembles it in a new way. As a working mother of three, stage 4 breast cancer survivor, and self-described rabble-rouser like her mother, Brandi is a force to be reckoned with.
Vitier is the first market executive at The Bank of San Antonio, where she oversees the teams working to build and strengthen business relationships within the San Antonio community. She joined The Bank of San Antonio as the bank’s first relationships banker, soon after it opened for business in 2007. Brandi has more than 22 years of experience in banking and she is passionate about being part of a local bank with assets over $1.5 billion. Raised in San Antonio, Vitier supports her hometown by serving as a trustee for the Witte Museum, and serves on the board of Texas Public Radio, Alamo Community Group, and the Prosthetic Foundation.
Brandi Vitier, Market Executive at The Bank of San Antonio.
Photo credit: Dustin Wenger, Giles Design Bureau
“I’m inspired by disassembling every box thrown my way and using it as a platform to build what no one even knew was needed,” Vitier explains. “In the face of the unknown, we can use curiosity as a superpower. You don’t fear what’s coming next when you are curious about what it can bring.”
Courage, commitment, and compassion set Brandi’s leadership apart. As she began leading The Bank of San Antonio team in 2020, she adhered to a mantra of grit and integrity as her team retained their close relationships with clients and navigated the business setbacks, pivots and challenges that defined 2020.
“I want us to be curious and have a growth mindset. I want to continually add value to our client relationships, because it’s all about our interwoven future and growing San Antonio together. Vitier said. “It’s in our name — The Bank of San Antonio. Our name promises a steadfast responsibility to be a strong community partner and we know it. Every day I come into work, I know we need to make an impact. We need to power our city. It’s our purpose.”
Brandi’s commitment to curiosity and resilience comes from her life-changing battle with hereditary breast cancer. Diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at 27, Brandi’s banking career was just taking off and she was hitting her stride as a banker and working mother. She had recently earned her Master of Public Administration degree from UTSA and was full of energetic drive and big plans. This all paused when she got sick.
“I went to get checked out by my doctor and they told me I had a tumor twice the size of a golf ball. The nurse offered to pray with me, and I remember sitting there in a dark room while they gave me my diagnosis. I had to get out of there quickly. It rattled me to my core. I was not ready to die yet.”
Immediately, Brandi explored her medical options and was determined to beat cancer, focusing on what could be done instead of the fear of the initial diagnosis. Over the next few years, Brandi’s treatment plan included 7 reconstructive breast surgeries. Her mother is also a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at age 36, and had demonstrated to Brandi the power of strength, resiliency, and pursuing life energetically. Her mother inspires her drive — she deeply believes that boundaries for growth do not exist. In turn, Brandi is raising her daughter, Chloe, a high school senior, to see no boundaries and to be true to herself.
Brandi Vitier, Market Executive at The Bank of San Antonio. Photo credit: Dustin Wenger, Giles Design Bureau
“I learned very quickly that you need to become your own advocate, whether it’s deciding on medical treatment, or finding like-minded business mentors, or reinventing yourself periodically to reach new goals. Your style has to change and evolve as you grow.”
Brandi’s cancer diagnosis forced her to re-evaluate her life and priorities. She knew her fast-paced lifestyle had to change. “I blew everything up around me. I looked at what my priorities were and what they should be. I looked at what was important to me and what was not. I made changes. In the beginning of my banking career, bringing in loans and deposits was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. That fear made me feel alive and pushed me to become better.”
Brandi believes in the power of continually reinventing yourself, which has propelled her explosive career. She is grateful for the mentors who have guided her growth and is passionate about bringing others forward with her.
“If you challenge yourself, and if you are constantly facing new tasks and challenges that you haven’t mastered, you are building new roadways and growing. We all have potential and need a chance. Success takes hard work, focus, and frankly, just showing up daily with the right attitude. Mostly, it’s the people you surround yourself with; who you motivate to help grow their success.”
Creating the future is what Brandi is tackling next. She and other female executive leaders at The Bank of San Antonio are developing an educational curriculum at a local university for women entrepreneurs in San Antonio. The program will offer curriculum-based learning in a peer environment to connect women business founders with other business leaders in the bank’s extended network of clients and advocates.
“Our goal is to accelerate impact with actionable entrepreneurial education and connections with business leaders. Our bank program will have advanced business development training, leadership, mentorship, and access to an alumni group to prepare businesses for increased scale and profitability. Our mission is to offer women business owners access to deep networking and connections.”
She plans to expand the bank’s local relationships and partnerships to open doors for business. Her mission is to create new ways to build growth so that businesses and our community will meet tomorrow’s challenges. In times like these, it means being unique, being local, and thinking like a business owner.
Brandi faces the future with curiosity. Her singular focus is helping local entrepreneurs grow through partnerships with The Bank of San Antonio. For Brandi, 2021 is the year of ideation and ambition. “Our focus is growth and figuring out how we can be better tomorrow than we are today. It’s about continuing to show up for our community and maximizing what we can do for others. Having a growth mindset in times like these is challenging, but it’s what helps us power through the challenges — it makes the difference. We are creating the future.”
Market Executive, The Bank of San Antonio
Connect with Brandi at firstname.lastname@example.org.