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Kathleen Whelehan

President and CEO, The Upstate National Bank

Years in current role: 11

What do you enjoy most about your role?

With a small bank, everything you do has an immediate impact on the bottom line, and that’s very rewarding.

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

Making sure people feel connected in a remote environment and keeping our technology up to date.

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

Success depends on efficiency to a great extent … being prepared to adopt best practices is more important than ever.

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

Specify your assumptions and test them frequently. Be prepared to course-correct as soon as it is indicated.

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

Rochester Psychiatric Center — I help raise money for programs for the staff and residents and have participated in events there for many years. It’s important work. Isaiah House, a Home for the Dying — I have been volunteering every week to help the residents on this journey. I’ve learned so much from them over many years. I also work with Episcopal Senior Life Communities, Highland Hospital, Geva, Al Sigl Community of Agencies, Monroe Community Hospital, and East House — all dedicated to improving the quality of life.

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


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