Title: SVP and the Region Branch Executive for Texas
Company: JPMorgan Chase
Currently: With 18 years under her belt with JPMorgan Chase, Ms. Rodriguez is responsible for the branch network that includes 350 branches in Texas and more than 4,200 employees. She manages a $600 million budget and $30 billion in retail, small business, and investment deposits. Ms. Rodriguez notes that having more than just a mentor in your corner, such as a sponsor, can help an employee. "A sponsor is a little different from a mentor," she says. "A sponsor can actually speak about your ability and potential from having worked with you. A good mentor with candid feedback will also help along the way."
Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa
Title: President of U.S. Trust Corporation
Company: Charles Schwab Corporation
Currently: As president, Ms. Sevilla-Sacasa oversees the wealth management business in its more than 30 client offices nationwide. Prior to joining U.S. Trust in 2005, Ms. Sevilla-Sacasa most recently served as president of Latin America Private Banking and headed the Global Wealth Structuring business at The Citigroup Private Bank. At Citigroup, Sevilla-Sacasa also ran the Europe Region Private Bank for two years. Her career in international corporate banking includes leadership managing director of Deutsche Bank's Latin American Private Banking group, and president of Bankers Trust International Private Banking Corporation.
Title: SVP & Chief Compliance Officer, U.S. operations
Company: Wal-Mart Inc.
Currently: A University of Pennsylvania Law School graduate, Mr. Suarez will lead a team that centralizes Wal-Mart's environmental, privacy, immigration, and operational compliance functions. He also worked as senior vice-president of asset protection and compliance for Wal-Mart Stores Division. He says that building relationships is the key to climbing the corporate ladder. "In real estate they say location matters. Well, in business, relationships matter," he says. "And that doesn't mean it's all about who you know, it's about how you nurture relationships in an organization. You can have determination, hard work and interest on your side, but if you can't work co-operatively, you will not succeed beyond where your talent can bring you."
Title: SVP, Retail Operations
Company: Washington Mutual
Currently: The Cal-Poly Pomona alumnus is the head of operations for WaMu's Retail Banking Products & Services department, and he's responsible for all productivity and customer experience. He has compiled 25 years of experience in the field and has held key roles at WaMu. Mr. Vasquez previously served as senior vice-president and head of operations for Advanta Bank Corp.'s Business Credit Card. Showing an employer that you can be a "true value to the company will lead to promotions," Mr. Vasquez says. "You need to focus on getting things done, working hard and becoming a subject-material expert," he says. "Whenever you're called upon, you should be able to describe the functions of your specific activities. And you should be able to do it in any kind of setting."
Title: President and COO, Conectiv Energy
Company: Pepco Holdings
Currently: A Widener University graduate, Mr. Velazquez joined Pepco in 1981 and has worked primarily in the competitive wholesale energy business. He was previously vice-president of strategic planning and chief risk officer. Mr. Velazquez says he and his brothers were the first generation of his family to go to college, which made it difficult to find guidance or a quality mentor. Mr. Velazquez says that people need to change employers when they discover a company's glass ceiling. "You need to find more than a mentor to help you," he says. "You need an advocate; someone who will help navigate through mine fields you can't see, or someone who will make sure you won't get overlooked if the talent is there."
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