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This year, KeyCorp executed the second-largest bank acquisition by deal value since the financial crisis and announced a groundbreaking commitment to do $16.5 billion of lending to low- and moderate-income communities across several states. Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney also purposely raised the visibility of other executives at her company, to bring more diversity of thought into the company’s decision-making process. But Mooney doesn't see an end to her days of trailblazing yet.

These 25 leaders are using their influence to make banking — and their communities — better.

An analytical mind; a drive to improve; a sense of humility; a leadership gene. Nandita Bakhshi identified these four traits as key in her move up to CEO.

Ellen Alemany came out of retirement in the past year to continue a turnaround effort underway at the $66.7 billion-asset CIT Group. She's got her work cut out for her.

Of all that Mary Mack accomplished running Wells Fargo's brokerage operations — adding teams of new advisers in key markets, substantially improving her unit's customer satisfaction ratings — perhaps what stood out most was her group's success in attracting new business from the banking side of the house.

It took just eight months for Cate Luzio to earn her first promotion at HSBC. Luzio joined the global bank in December 2014 as head of multinational coverage for the Americas. Her group produced results so quickly that in August 2015, HSBC assigned Luzio the same role globally.

Andrea Smith has been a member of Bank of America's executive leadership team since 2010, first serving as global head of human resources before transitioning last year to chief administrative officer.

Banks just keep creating new roles for Heather Cox, who is making another job switch this fall: USAA announced that it had lured Cox away from Citi and appointed her chief technology and digital officer.

One big job apparently isn't enough for Deutsche Bank's Susan Skerritt. Since the start of this year, the German banking giant has named Skerritt to not one but two new leadership posts to go along with her role as head of global transaction banking for the Americas.

U.S. Bancorp wouldn't have much of a wholesale banking business without Leslie Godridge. The wholesale unit's two main business lines are national corporate banking and global treasury management and Godridge, who joined U.S. Bancorp in 2007, has been the driving force in the growth of both.

To understand what drives Bita Ardalan, you have to go back to the Iranian revolution of 1979.

Inspiring others is what motivates Thasunda Duckett to keep taking on challenging new assignments.

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