President and CEO, Centric Financial

Patricia "Patti" Husic, president and chief executive of Centric Financial, aims to be on the leading edge of engaging with millennials.

Failure to do so could result in the Harrisburg, Pa., company becoming irrelevant, Husic fears. By 2020, this generation is expected to make up about half of the workforce.

"If we aren't looking right now to see how they work differently and see what resonates with them, we will miss the boat," Husic said. "We won't even be on their radar screen."

Other institutions may overlook this customer base because millennials have limited assets. But Husic sees catering to them as an investment in the future.

Centric wants to help millennials make their first big financial decisions, like buying a home, in hopes that they will become lifelong customers.

"We are looking to capture them now because they will go on to become future business owners," Husic said.

To achieve this, Husic partnered with the Harrisburg Young Professionals to form a millennial advisory board last year. The advisory board, which also includes Centric employees, is far from being merely symbolic. It has already had an effect on a variety of decisions and will have an influential voice as Centric goes through a systems conversion.

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Following the group's recommendation, Centric implemented a feature where users can log into their mobile apps using a fingerprint.

Centric's new office has its core values proudly displayed and there are brainstorming rooms available to make the space more worker-friendly. Those are also suggestions from the panel.

Pushing for a more inclusive workforce is not new to Husic. In 2012, she helped found the Pennsylvania Women in Banking Advisory initiative, which held its first conference two years later. This year's conference included more than 300 women and attendance by men more than tripled.

For these efforts, the Pennsylvania Bankers Association honored Husic with the inaugural Woman of Influence award.

"We are energizing and educating hundreds of future leaders and becoming the face of inclusion in banking," Husic said.

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Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart covers community banks and mergers and acquisitions for American Banker.