Senior vice president Julie Cornelius built her career at U.S. Bancorp mastering the art of assimilation. For almost 20 of her 36 years at the company, Cornelius has honed the process of mapping product lines, operations and the technology of acquisitions so that the bank can usually integrate them within six months.

That background-which included overseeing the cornerstone merger with Firstar a decade ago-was crucial when two years ago U.S. Bank first went after FDIC-assisted and other opportunistic deals that eventually added 150 branches and $119 billion in deposits. Cornelius by that time had moved on to technology and quality assurance, but returned to acquisitions to oversee deals like the absorption of two Southern California thrifts and the former Colonial Bank branches from BB&T.

No deal was more complex or pressured, she says, than working to align U.S. Bank's operations with nine separate banks from the failed FBOP Corp. purchased in a loss-sharing arrangement. "We were drinking through a firehose for 30 days," she says.

Having a valuable pinch-hitter like Cornelius on hand explains a lot about U.S. Bancorp's approach to grooming talented women. The bank-for which women-led organizations account for one-third of annual revenue-encourages women to broaden their experience and skills, often through mentoring programs like Mentor Connect, an online-matching program for mentors to connect with prospects from across all divisions. More than half of the 4,600 participants in Mentor Connect last year were women, says Jennie Carlson, U.S. Bank's executive vice president over human resources.

Says Cornelius:. "Having been around as long as I have - I've never seen more of a focus on...putting women into opportunities to really grow and expand the business."

The Make-up
Management/Operating Committee Members: 274
Women Management/Operating Committee Members: 55
Percent women: 20%

Officers on Management Committee: 14
Women on Management Committee: 3
Percent women: 21.4%

Power Players
Pamela Joseph
, Vice Chairman, Payment Svcs
Leslie Godridge, EVP, Corporate Banking
Lynn Heitman, SVP, Retail Payment Solutions
Teresa Caspary, SVP, Corporate TrustLucille Conley, SVP, Consumer Lending
Deanna Corona, SVP, Credit Cards
Jeannie Fichtel, President, Elan Financial Services
Valerie Heller, EVP, Commercial Real Estate
Judy Murphy, EVP, Investor Relations
Jenny Powell, SVP, Marketing

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