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Opportunities draw young professionals to banking field

Rochester Business Journal
May 23, 2014

This may not be the yellow brick road, but for many young bankers, Rochester seems to be pretty close to it. They are having tremendous success early in their careers, doing business in international markets and reaching high-level positions.

Jason Tartick, 25, already holds an important business development position in the Rochester office at KeyBank N.A., but this is not his first bank job. He began his career four years ago as a management associate with KeyBank in Syracuse and quickly moved up the ranks, taking a position in Cleveland as a business banker.

After a one-year stint with ADP, Tartick returned to KeyBank in the Rochester office. As middle-market relationship manager, his key responsibilities are to produce growth for both his customers and the bank.

“I’ve lived up and down the I-90,” Tartick says. “We do well in all those cities. There is success in each market, and each one is very different. What is unique in Rochester is the strong continuity and camaraderie, the loyalty and strength of relationship.”

Tartick earned his B.S. degree in business administration from SUNY College at Geneseo. He is now enrolled in the accelerated MBA program in finance at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School.

“As a young professional you get out what you put in,” he says. “In 9.9 out of 10 situations, I’m one of the youngest in the room. I’m proud to see how senior leaders are willing to pay their expertise forward and also learn from younger generations. It’s one of the great things about Rochester.

“There is an array of industries here too—agriculture, professional services, technologies, not-for-profits. Key is a strong advocate. We support 20 community organizations, and I’m very proud of that.”

His parents have moved to Dallas, Texas, but Tartick, who has a girlfriend here, plans to stay in Rochester.

“I think there is great potential in this market,” he says. “The business climate has been volatile, but there is so much innovative work going on …, and there is a ton of international business.”

Born to bank
For 30-year-old Nancy Maynard, vice president and commercial relationship manager with Genesee Regional Bank, it feels as though banking is in her blood.

“When you get started (in) banking right out of college, you feel you are born into it,” she says. “Some would think after 10 years of the same thing you would be bored, but I still love it every day.”

Maynard earned a B.S. degree in economics from Colgate University and an MBA from the Simon School. She also credits the knowledge gained through the management development program in her first bank position at M&T Bank in Buffalo.

Maynard began building her career there, learning how to cultivate long-term relationships with customers and become more of a trusted adviser than merely their banker, she says. These skills have helped her in her current position.

“As a young professional, I don’t think it’s easy to find your way,” she says. “Rochester is a small community. It impresses me that people are willing to help you succeed.

“This role combines my social skills, my quest for knowledge, my expertise with numbers. There’s always something new.”

Maynard is a Rochester native, and she now lives in Victor with her husband, Marty. When she left M&T Bank five years ago, she thought her best growth opportunities would be outside Upstate New York, but she wanted to stay here.

“At GRB, we’re growing,” she says. “We had 30 employees five years ago and we’re up to 90 employees today. Our tagline is ‘growing Rochester business,’ and it’s true.”

Part of her work is social outings with potential customers. That speaks to Maynard’s soul and is one of the things she loves most about her job.

“It’s amazing to see the connections we can make in a short time here in Rochester, the ability for people to become fast friends,” Maynard notes.

She recently spent an afternoon on Lake Ontario with three customers she invited as crew mates on a boat in the “Casting for Caring” event held by the American Red Cross. GRB was a sponsor of the fishing tournament, designed that day specifically for female anglers.

“That time on the boat was so invaluable,” Maynard says. “We had four hours of conversation. You get to know the real challenges your customers face. It’s great that Rochester is the kind of community to have events like this where we can spend this quality time with our customers.”

The family factor
The family-friendly atmosphere and civic-mindedness of Rochester are what keep Matthew Ray, 33, especially committed to his market as vice president and relationship manager with M&T Bank Corp.

Ray originally pursued a career as a public accountant, earning his B.S. degree in business administration at SUNY Buffalo.

“Early on I always had a feeling finance was interesting to me, but I didn’t know banking would be a career for me until I got my MBA at Simon,” he says.

After three years as an accountant with Deloitte & Touche LLP, Ray took his first banking position with M&T, where he has risen steadily in his eight years there.

He manages a portfolio of 45 commercial customers and has converted 20 prospects into credit customers, he notes. His professional and civic achievement last year earned him RBJ Forty Under 40 honors.

With his accounting background, Ray has been a resource to colleagues in his commercial banking group in M&T’s Rochester office in the review of financials as they are making credit decisions.

“I’m very comfortable in the Rochester market, especially in this role,” he says. “You can develop your name. I’m happy with the different opportunities I’ve been blessed to take on and build on.”

He and his wife, Kristin, both graduated from Fairport High School. They now live in Victor with their four children, all under age 7.

“I know I will stay in Rochester,” Ray says. “I was born and raised here. It’s the aspect that Rochester is family-friendly.”

Now he is carrying his commitment to family to others by helping with a major bank project in the community.

“I run the bank’s United Way campaign and have for the last three years,” he says. “This year we started a business process. I act as the campaign CEO, and people in the bank manage a subset of each region. We saw an increase in success.”

The goal was to raise $150,000, and the bank employees’ final tally exceeded that by almost $5,000.

Says Ray: “My goal is trying to keep my name and face in the community, to be the go-to person representing the bank.”

In addition to heading up the bank’s United Way campaign, Ray recently took over as board chairman of Foodlink, a role that founder Thomas Ferraro asked him to take before he passed away, Ray says.

“I told Tom I appreciated how he trusted me. I’m thankful to him,” Ray explains. “I’ve learned so much, and the new responsibility put me into a different light with the bank, the community as well as prospective customers.”

Lessons from the farm
Family-business experience helped another young banker to know he had the entrepreneurial drive and wanted to be on the sales side. John Bodine, 33, manages 60 commercial and industrial clients in a $60 million portfolio at First Niagara Bank.

A graduate of St. John Fisher College, Bodine earned his license to sell real estate and took a position with Midland Appraisal Associates Inc. After about a year, an opportunity arose to get into banking with a position at the National Bank of Geneva.

“They hired me as a management trainee. After a couple of weeks, I was managing a $30 million portfolio in a workout capacity,” Bodine says. “I was managing distressed relationships. I learned workout wasn’t a career path for me. I wanted to be on the origination side.”

Bodine moved to HSBC Bank USA N.A. and enjoyed his role on the origination side, bringing new business to the bank.

“I had 300 relationships covering seven branches,” he says. “I focused on helping clients with international trade. A lot of our clients were trying to expand their supply-chain networks and diversify their markets. I was part of the transition to First Niagara when it acquired (HSBC’s upstate branch network).”

What Bodine likes most about his work with First Niagara is its commitment to the local market.

“A lot of developers in commercial real estate are extremely committed to local markets. That’s where I can stand out. That’s my one strong suit,” he says. “The key to my success? That’s easy. I grew up with a family of entrepreneurs. My uncle had a fleet of 12 trucks, Terry Bodine Trucking. My mom owned Bodine Farms in Seneca Falls. We served 30,000 customers from Memorial Day to Labor Day.”

Growing up working on a farm taught Bodine the value of hard work, he says, and he learned key management skills at a very young age.

“I managed 15 full-time employees at the farm stand,” Bodine recalls. “I worked at that store and got up at 2 a.m. to go to the regional market with my dad. I attribute all my business skills to my parents, learning what it’s like to own and run a small business. You can learn about it in a textbook, but until you live it, you don’t understand it.”

Today, Bodine is applying those skills to his role as the vice president of the banking group in First Niagara’s Rochester office. He already has met his annual goals for 2014, he says, building on last year’s success of booking $28 million in commercial credit business in Rochester.

He and his wife, Sara, have two young boys, and they decided they wanted their sons to know the pride of having a family business the way he did growing up. So Bodine and his father started a business, a Christmas tree farm, along Canandaigua Lake. They will harvest their first trees this winter.

“We live and work here,” Bodine says. “We are a very close family. We’re blessed.”

Returning to his roots
For 35-year-old Mark Allen, the global platform but local focus at JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. is the perfect fit. The Penfield native, a 2012 Forty Under 40 honoree, has been with Chase for 14 years. He is a region executive in commercial banking, responsible for the Rochester, Syracuse, Southern Tier and north-central Pennsylvania markets.

Allen earned his B.S. degree in finance from Miami University in Ohio and his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He joined American National Bank, a Chicago-based commercial bank affiliate of Bank One, as an analyst in its 18-month credit training program.

After that he served as an associate director covering non-bank finance companies within Banc One Capital Markets. After the merger of JPMorgan Chase and Bank One in 2004, Allen went back into commercial banking, covering Chicago-based businesses. In 2010, he returned to Rochester.

“Having roots here makes it more personal for me,” Allen notes. “I enjoy getting to know the executives and their families.”

As part of Allen’s responsibilities he manages six bankers. He works with companies that have annual revenues of $20 million or more.

“I help them finance acquisitions, get mortgages, finance accounts overseas, do succession planning. There is a wide range of financial services we provide,” Allen says.

His key responsibility is to convert new clients to Chase, and he says what he likes about the Rochester market is that the focus is on being local.

“Our whole team is local, and it expedites the conversion process and helps grow our business,” he says. “A client wants to know the bankers, the credit decision-maker who signs on the loan request …, as well as the customer service team are from their neighborhood—people who know them.”

He believes the formula pays off and notes that of the 18 professionals on his team, most have been with Chase for their entire banking careers.

Allen and his wife, Leslie, live in Pittsford with their three young children.

“I don’t see us moving. We have such opportunity in Rochester,” he says.

Lori Gable is a Rochester-area freelance writer.

5/23/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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