I recently had the opportunity to interview Ann Thompson, a senior executive at Bank of America. I was intrigued by his story for several reasons.
A college graduate, after more than 10 years of a promising career in banking and credit, Thompson left the workforce to raise her two sons with no plans to return. When her youngest entered first grade, a family friend suggested that with her skills in finance and banking, she was seriously considering re-entering the workforce. Although he faced a huge technological learning curve, Thompson nevertheless returned to banking, landing a position as a loan specialist at Citibank. Within a few years, she was promoted to regional management. Four years later, Bank of America recruited her. Since then, she has steadily earned promotions. His most recent position was National Director of Specialty Lending for Bank of America, overseeing over 2,000 employees.
And now, for the second major reason, I was interested in speaking with Thompson. In 2017, Bank of America launched the Leader on Loan program in the eastern United States. This is a new program designed to bring resources to local communities. Bank of America leaders take on high-level roles in nonprofit organizations to help them create economic opportunity in cities in and around their work and home. Over the past five years, 27 senior executives have held leadership positions in their communities, with the bank supporting their salaries and benefits for the duration of their tenure.
Earlier this year, Thompson decided to step out of her comfort zone and immersed herself in her role as the West Coast’s first leader of the Leader on Loan program.
Thompson sat down with DigitalNEST CEO and Founder Jacob Martinez and COO Dr. Antonia Franco to learn more about the organization.
She was immediately taken with their mission to inspire and provide technical training to prepare young people to meet the growing technological needs of the local business community. She has assumed her role as interim CFO and is working closely with Martinez and Franco to put in place financial checks and balances that result in a sustainable future for the nonprofit organization.
Thompson mentioned how the organization is already well run and financially balanced and his role is to tighten, secure and add to the systems in place.
As much as she has to offer, Thompson realizes she can learn from the nonprofit, too.
DigitalNEST’s rural roots in Watsonville, Salinas and Gilroy and corporate culture are very different from its corporate background in San Francisco. Thus, she changed her wardrobe to better match the culture of the organization and reduced the tendency to use corporate language. In the short time she worked with Martinez and the DigitalNEST team, Thompson said she saw the community in a new light, learning more about the farming community and getting to know the staff and customers of the organization. She is proud to contribute to the DigitalNEST mission and when her assignment as interim CFO under the Leader on Loan program is over, she will shift gears again and resume her career at Bank of America.
Mary Jeanne Vincent, career expert and strategist, has a coaching practice in Monterey.
She can be reached at 831-657-9151, [email protected], or