Interview

What do you enjoy about the work you do at Key? What keeps you motivated?

I’m thankful that every job I’ve had throughout my wide-ranging career (e.g., telecom, health care, car buying) has been focused on developing technology that helps people. At Key I lead a team of technologists that build digital solutions designed to encourage better financial habits like savings, debt reduction and budgeting. The idea of building future-focused digital solutions that help clients in their financial journey was very appealing to me. I feel I’ve had an opportunity to take part in making a significant impact on Key's bottom line as we continue to deepen our focus on "relationship" banking.

What makes you excited about KeyBank’s future?

I'm intrigued by our technical leadership, led by Amy Brady. She has showed an "all-in" commitment to being "future-ready." For years now Key has been transforming the technology organization to be more innovative and faster in its delivery of valuable features and capabilities to our end users.

It’s a misnomer that banks are not as technologically advanced as other companies. Security requirements and regulatory compliance can slow down the process, but I see the bigger picture. When I look at a bank, I see the vast opportunity to be a driver of modern technology in the consumer space. Banks have loads of consumer data, and we have clients that rely on our digital/mobile solutions daily. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics are game changers for banks and their clients. Banks are in a unique position to enhance their customer’s daily lives and financial well-being. We are embracing huge technological opportunities and using new innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics.

At Key we focus on the things that matter based on testing and learning. We know our core strengths and focus on where we can truly win. That focused approach has enabled us to execute in ways other banks of our size typically don’t deliver. No other regional bank has come close to delivering the level of mobile functionality we are offering our customers.

What is leadership like in your department?

In previous companies, I worked in a more micro-managed environment. There was an expectation that we would always check in with senior leaders before making decisions. At Key I’ve been given a lot of autonomy. I feel empowered to use the information I have, make decisions and keep moving forward. I know my leaders will help remove barriers along the way. This is a major benefit to our ability to pursue continuous improvement and innovation projects.

My boss is very open to new ideas and goes to bat for our team. This servant leadership empowers us from the bottom up. Our leaders recognize that the information that will allow for the most informed decision making resides with individual contributors. Buy-in at the top and power to act at the bottom enables advancement. They also embrace diversity of thought, acceptance of who you are as a person and how your unique perspective can contribute to the success of the company.

Do you feel your results are rewarded?

KeyBank has a formal reward system where you can submit names for recognition, and there are sometimes financial awards attached. The recognition process is open to everyone, making it easy to send and receive recognition. Because that system is in place, people are more likely to recognize peers and reward them, not only through that system, but through more informal means of email and verbal communications as rewards and recognition is a standing agenda item in staff and all-hands meetings. By setting an environment where recognition is a staple, it has become part of the culture and is built into everything we do.

How has Key contributed to your career development?

From my experience, KeyBank doesn't just give lip service to the importance of career development. Not only for the individual employee, but the importance of that development to the bottom line of the company. There are many avenues for career development at this company, but the two I’m most excited about are our formal mentorship program and new training programming.

The technology organization has put in place an initiative called Future Ready. There are many self-paced training courses as well as facilitator-led courses that help keep the workforce at the forefront of thinking and working in the rapidly changing technological world. This training has improved my readiness for innovation, agile methodology, continuous improvement and finding solutions that will make us the best regional bank in the industry from a technological perspective.

Key is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.