EVP, National Corporate Specialized Industries and Global Treasury Management, U.S. Bancorp
In the eight years that Leslie Godridge has led the National Corporate and Institutional Banking unit at U.S. Bancorp, she has broadened its scope from regional to national and grown its loan portfolio significantly.
Now she is having similar success with the Global Treasury Management unit that she took on in February 2014. Under her leadership, the unit is profitable after previously posting eight straight years of losses. "I can't take all the credit," Godridge says, calling the turnaround a team effort. But "I can take credit for pointing out the areas that we needed to focus on to get that growth," she adds.
One tactic that helped is transferring some functions not core to the business line — like marketing and technology operations — to their respective groups elsewhere in the company. Free of distractions, the team concentrated on activities such as refining pitches for new business to improve its success rate.
Another priority for Godridge is trying to promote a culture of caring and volunteerism among her staff of 800 people, and raising U.S. Bancorp's profile in New York City, where she is based. She talks proudly of the Corporate Responsibility Award she won this year from Hunter College recognizing the company's charitable efforts.
Godridge personally does a lot of counseling of parents with children who have developmental disabilities. "I've had two experiences with children with disabilities in my immediate family," she says, "so I know what people are going through."
Godridge helps explain to parents the pros and cons of putting their children in schools that focus exclusively on those with special needs, rather than mainstreaming them. "It's not a matter of putting in a certain number of hours a week or anything," she says, "but when a parent is referred to me and calls, I can end up spending hours and hours on the phone with them."