Michelle Van Dyke
Regional President, Fifth Third Bank

Michelle Van Dyke's definition of power is not based on how big her territory is (it covers parts of five states and holds $25 billion of Fifth Third's assets) or how many employees she is responsible for (5,500). To her, power comes from being a role model and paving the way for others.

"I want to show other women that being a bank president is a very achievable goal," says Van Dyke, who has made it part of her job to regularly identify, develop and export talent to other parts of Fifth Third.

Of all senior-level placements enterprise-wide in one recent 12-month stretch, 65 were from her region. Her philosophy is that engaged employees are the foundation for engaged customers, and her results bear this thinking out.

In two of Fifth Third's less mature markets, St. Louis and western Pennsylvania, her team posted double-digit revenue growth last year across every line of business. Van Dyke credits the culture she helped cultivate, as reflected in a recent employee engagement survey. Both markets saw improved scores, and the highest score in the company went to St. Louis, where a new Employee Engagement Team has been working on initiatives to help staff feel important to the company and the community. It brainstormed volunteer activities involving a children's medical center, a veterans home and financial literacy outreach.

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