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Women in Banking Q&A Series: Leah Price 

 

Triad Business Bank has a robust team of talented female professionals, all of which have unique and compelling stories worth telling. This Q&A series will shine a spotlight on the amazing women at Triad Business Bank as they share their industry experiences, professional advice, and personal interests.

President of Commercial Banking and High Point Market President, Leah Price, shares a glimpse into her success as a leader in banking, ways women can thrive in a traditionally male-dominated industry, and a powerful motivational quote in the fourth installment of our Women In Banking series. 

Q: Did you grow up in the Triad?
Leah:  I lived within a 50-mile radius of the Triad. 

Q: What are your main hobbies & interests outside of work?
Leah: Tennis, bicycling, kayaking, reading, walking my fur babies, painting wildlife & landscapes, studying history, and staying in a remote cabin on the Big Horn River, Wyoming.

Q: What causes are you passionate about?
Leah: Reforming the lives of children and adults who are vulnerable due to circumstances of poverty, abuse, etc. through involvement in organizations such as United Way, High Point Community Foundation, Foundation for a Healthy High Point, Habitat, Rising Hope and Helping Hands, Community Collaboration for Children, and LEAP.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
Leah: Country, primarily, specifically Walker Hayes. I love his clever lyrics. I also love Hamilton and play the score in my She Shed, frequently.

Q: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Leah: A movie star and a nurse.

Q: Tell us about how you got into banking.
Leah: I took an assessment of my talents. I always loved math and algebra, solving for the 4th variable which comes in handy when creating capital solutions for business owners.

Q: What led you to your current position in banking?
Leah: I had worked with two large banks for 33 years. After the consolidation in the banking industry over the past 8 years there was no longer a local community bank option in the Triad that could offer more customized banking solutions and personalized service/consultation for business owners who desire this model. Just working in a regular bank was no longer appealing. Being a part of creating a special financial institution, focused solely on business banking, with seasoned bankers, that could be strong advocates, and advisors, with the latest technology and cash management tools, creating capital solutions to help them grow and achieve their dreams and goals…now that was worthy!

Q: What is your ultimate career goal in banking?
Leah: My ultimate career goal in banking is to be a strong leader so that I can support and encourage my associates to achieve their goals, to be the best that they can be for themselves, their clients, and our institution.

Q: What are some aspects of the career that you enjoy?
Leah: 

      • Learning about different businesses. It is so interesting to learn about how they got started, how the business evolved, strategies, etc. 
      • Spreadsheets and underwriting loans.
      • Working with a team of seriously great professionals and entrepreneurs.

Q: What are some challenges or obstacles you feel you have faced as a woman in banking, and how did you overcome those?
Leah: In commercial banking, I was working with mostly men both inside the bank and with male clients. In general, I had to learn to communicate more objectively, concisely, and with less emotion. That would vary based on the individual but was accurate most of the time. I found that when I asked for what I wanted first with a brief explanation and justification to follow, I was more effective and successful in reaching a positive conclusion.

Q: What woman/women impacted you most in your career?
Leah: My career was primarily impacted by a man, Jim Melvin, my mentor, who is a great leader, former bank CEO, and individual that believed in me and gave me an opportunity, and my husband, Billy, who helped me with my communication style and picked me up when I wore myself out. I also read a lot of self-help and Christian books to help me develop the courage to be more assertive so I could achieve God’s purpose in my life. It did not eliminate my insecurities and fears but like John Wayne once said, “Courage is being scared to death – and saddling up anyway”

Q: Where do you see the banking industry headed in the future? What are some trends you’ve noticed?
Leah: Automation and technology will continue to accelerate such that branch networks will continue to become less and less important. What are some trends you’ve noticed? Real-time financial data is being shared with bank clients by accounting professionals through the bank portal.

Q: How can the industry be more welcoming or inclusive of women?
Leah: Continue to focus on diversity in leadership roles. Provide pathways through mentoring and training programs.

Q: What words of wisdom do you have to encourage younger generations to pursue careers in banking?
Leah: Helping businesses grow through providing capital solutions and cash management tools is a worthy profession and has a ripple effect. It helps business owners achieve their dreams and goals, creates jobs in the community, and with lower unemployment, the quality of life improves for all. Personally, it is very interesting learning about the mission, vision, and strategies of various companies, their niche in the industry, and their history. A love for spreadsheets is very beneficial too. 😊

Q: What life lesson have you learned that you think will be beneficial to others?
Leah: 

      • You can have a ministry in whatever career that you choose
      • Face your fears. It is the only way that we can reach our full potential and achieve God’s plan for our life.
      • Volunteer work can enable you to make a difference and it creates a network that God can bless
      • Pain and struggles are a part of the journey and God uses this to keep us close to him. It gives us more compassion and empathy.

Q: Anything else you would like to add? 

Leah: One of my favorite quotes that motivates me is: “Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometime in your life you will have been all of these.” Dr. Robert H. Goddard 

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