Barbara Cardinale

Business Banking Sales Leader

<p><p>Barbara Cardinale</p>


What made you join KeyBank? What makes you stay?

After college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my career. A business school advisor suggested trying temporary positions to get immersed in different types of work. I took that advice, and Key was one of my contract jobs. Who knew I'd stay for 30 years and develop such a passion for banking!

I gravitate towards helping local businesses succeed. Many business owners truly need our help. They can’t always afford financial advisory staff. I feel very connected to the business owners we serve. The contribution we make to their business outlook makes this work very meaningful, and the client is often so appreciative. Sometimes it could be five or ten years down the road, and they still remember and thank us for our contribution to their journey.

What sets you up for success in your role?

I've had many amazing mentors along the way who have encouraged me to stretch outside of my comfort zone. I work hard and have high expectations for myself. Key’s culture is best illustrated in how so many Key associates have taken time out of their day for me through the years. They never gave me one sentence answers or made me feel my questions were silly. We teach and mentor one another. We give colleagues the back story, run through scenarios, and empathize with the fact that we have all had to learn at some point.

It’s common for a Key employee to have had conversations with leaders about where they want to be in five years and a plan to achieve that. Mentoring is at the core of who we are—learning from colleagues in other business lines is also a common thread. Applicants from competing banks sometimes tell me this is unique to Key.

How do you explain working in a sales role at Key to a job candidate?

Sometimes I find it challenging to articulate culture to someone on the outside. I never want to oversell, and then they get here and are let down because reality doesn’t match up with my pitch. I always check in with new hires, and every single time they have one-on-one time with our credit partners, they come back to me and say, ‘this is incredible.’ The way we approach credit is a huge opportunity for team members and a great example of how we make people feel like they are part of a team versus being in the middle of an adversarial deal. When we show up in support of a client, there’s no jockeying for position or internal feuding. We put well-matched experts around the table, place the client at the center of the conversation, and share perspectives on what is the right move on their behalf.

Many of our competitors struggle to deliver the way we do. Either they don't have the breadth of employee base and products/services to provide a full solution or are so big they don't have the ability to personalize the client's experience. We are in such a unique position to be able to deliver on all of those fronts.

Key is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.