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Colleen Matteson

President, Rochester NY, Bank of America

Years in current role: 10

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Connecting businesses, families and individuals to the banking and investment teams at Bank of America that will help improve their financial lives. As the president in Rochester, driving Bank of America foundation dollars to local nonprofits to address social and economic concerns in order to build a stronger community is a priority. Rochester is a special city and I enjoy collaborating with key stakeholders in the community to build upon the tremendous work started to create cohesion and resilience as well as real and lasting change. I have also thoroughly enjoyed being a participant on the Bank of America National Diversity & Inclusion Council for my line of business. The diversity of our employees makes us stronger and is essential to our ability to serve our clients.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

Leading through a global pandemic and humanitarian crisis. We were all in uncharted territories. Bank of America had employees such as those in financial centers who worked in person during the pandemic and other associates across the company who were required to pivot to a remote work environment. All of our associates responded to this challenge with determination and resilience, focused on delivering for our clients every day. Our number one priority continues to be the health and safety of our associates and limiting the risk of exposure, including keeping teammates informed by providing timely resources, tools and wide-ranging benefits. I’m energized to see associates back together again in the office. Collaboration is key to our success and we thrive when we are together.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the banking and finance industry in the next 3-5 years?

Banks have a clear opportunity to lead the creation of an authentic, differentiated identity that embeds higher purpose. Many banks have yet to turn their commitments to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns into concrete action. They can alter the trajectory of climate change by taking the lead in climate finance innovation, something needed to help transition companies, industries, and countries to a net-zero world. Bank of America is committed to improving the environment in how we approach our global business strategy and achieved carbon neutrality in our operations in 2019 and is speeding its progress toward reaching net zero before 2050 while reaching additional interim targets by 2030.

What is the No. 1 tip you would give to people or companies about planning their finances amid uncertain times?

Companies should continue to double down on their investment in digital transformation. The global pandemic prompted entire industries to rethink their strategies and implement digital innovations to stay connected with customers, employees and facilities. With so much innovation moving so fast, businesses must see clearly enough to create their own digital roadmaps. Regardless of a firm’s industry or stage in its journey, knowing where to focus is the first step toward building a resilient future. Future-ready organizations are resilient enough to survive a disruption, are twice as efficient and three times as profitable as their peers.

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

My time serving as president of the board for Dress for Success Rochester has been both personally and professionally fulfilling. Now more than ever our services are needed by so many women in our community. As unemployment rates fluctuated over the last year and women were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, our programs are more critical and furnish women with the necessary skills to reenter the workplace. We also recognized a need to offer greater flexibility for our clients and for this reason we will be taking our career counseling services on the road with “DFS Express” Mobile Boutique and Career Center, ultimately expanding our reach in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 30 Banking & Finance list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at https://rbj.net/2021/12/17/rbjs-power-30-banking-finance/.

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