25 Most Powerful Women in Banking for 2011 (21-25)

Register now

21. Diane D'Erasmo
EVP and Regional President, Commercial Banking, HSBC Bank USA

• Led team to a 40% gain in cross-border referrals and an 18% increase in cross-border revenue for the first half
• Implemented a new sales process for relationship managers in her region, contributing to a 30% percent year-over-year increase in first-half revenue; HSBC instituted the process nationwide as a result
• Spearheaded the creation of the Marion Wingens Scholarship Fund at Bramson ORT College, in memory of a colleague and friend

"Don't be seduced by the false promise of work-life balance. Life and work are about making tough choices, and balance implies 50/50, which is unrealistic. Instead, make conscious decisions about how to allot your time and be fully present and engaged in the moment."

22. Leslie Godridge
EVP, Head of National Corporate and Institutional Banking, U.S. Bank

• Manages the largest business unit within company's wholesale banking division, serving 1,500 companies nationwide with sales above $500 million; also responsible for credit and operational risk of her $43 billion portfolio
• Helped to nearly double capital markets revenue in 2010
• Led an increase in the number of Fortune 1000 companies served by the bank to almost 600, roughly double the number in 2008

"Always do your best, whether it's recognized or not."

23. LeeAnne Linderman
EVP, Retail Banking, Zions Bank

• Oversees 133 branches in two states and serves on executive management, credit administration, charitable giving and cross-sell committees
• Drove a 7% increase in cross-selling last year, through a training program for front-line employees; boosted first-quarter net income from credit cards by 14% and from debit cards by 20% versus a year earlier
• Instituted a coaching program for high-performing employees, to help combat rejection fatigue and improve morale and retention

"Focus on skill-building rather than promotion-seeking. When I speak in front of groups of young professionals, I encourage them to ‘focus on lattice, not ladders,' as a visual reminder that it's more important to grow their abilities before they strive to climb their career trajectory."

24. Julia Gouw
President and COO, East West Bancorp

• Oversaw the company's return to its streak of record earnings last year, after a two-year interruption by the financial crisis
• Grew the commercial loan portfolio in the first half by 35%, partly through capitalizing on trade finance activity between the United States and China
• Maintained strong asset quality, with nonperformers under 1% of total assets for nine consecutive quarters

"You need to constantly review your strategy and course-correct along the way to optimize the outcome. Many people fall into the trap of wanting to rationalize their decisions, and fail to see different alternatives that will lead to better results."

25. Melanie Dressel
President and CEO, Columbia Bank

• Nearly doubled number of branches, to 102, through five acquisitions and organic growth over 18-month period ended in June; increased assets by 38% and deposits by 40%
• Raised $240 million last year in a public stock offering that was upsized due to demand
• Appointed in April to board of directors of the American Bankers Association
• Tacoma-based bank named one of "Washington's Best Workplaces" for the fifth consecutive year by the Puget Sound Business Journal and one of "Washington's 100 Best Companies to Work For" for the third consecutive year by Seattle Business Magazine

"It is important that the people you depend on base their advice on facts, not just assumptions."

25 Most Powerful Women in Banking 1-5
25 Most Powerful Women in Banking 6-10
25 Most Powerful Women in Banking 11-15
25 Most Powerful Women in Banking 16-20

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Women in Banking