NAWBO Virtual Visionary AwardsDecember 8, 2020
Meet our Visionary MC- Lindsay Karas StencelDecember 22, 2020
Meet Erin Ressa, Manager, KeyBank Polaris
Tell us about your company.
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyBank is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with a 190-year history and assets totaling more than $170 billion. KeyBank provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states through a network of more than 1,000 branches – including 28 branches throughout the greater Columbus area. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.
What motivated your organization to become involved with NAWBO?
As a banker, I am passionate about helping local businesses manage their finances and cash management operations. Women-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment of our economy, and with Columbus being the largest NAWBO chapter in the nation, I wanted to connect with the women business owners who are driving our local community. I am thrilled to have recently joined NAWBO Columbus and become a member of the membership committee.
What does your company offer NAWBO members and why is this important to them?
KeyBank provides businesses of all sizes with customized banking, financing and cash management solutions to manage and grow their businesses.
- For small business owners, KeyBank offers its Small Business Financial Wellness Review to help access business financial health, seize new opportunities and create a practical strategy for growth. We also have a no cost Financial Wellness Program dedicated to the employees of each small business through our Wellness at Work Program.
- Our dedicated team of commercial relationship managers and specialists are devoted to advising midsized to large businesses about the best possible financial solutions to drive growth and profitability.
- And Key’s Wealth Management team works with business owners and executives on wealth planning that is customized to individual and family situations.
Of particular value to NAWBO members is KeyBank’s Key4Women® program. Since 2005 we’ve provided networking opportunities, thought leadership, customized financial services, and capital to help women achieve their personal and business financial goals. Key4Women members receive:
- Local access to advice, networking, education, and capital.
- Exclusive member events and forums to help foster professional and business development while creating lasting connections with industry leaders and professionals.
- Complimentary webinars with leading experts.
- Timely and robust thought leadership content and insights covering the latest in financial and business trends to help women succeed.
- Strong support of national and local women organizations.
- More than $12 billion in loans to women-owned businesses.
What is the one best practice you’ve learned from working with businesses in your company that our members should know?
While each business is different, all can benefit from having a good working relationship with a trusted banker to help them navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and plan for the future. One of the big lessons many businesses learned through the recent SBA-backed Paycheck Protection Program process was the value of having a trusted banker “in their corner” who knew their business and could guide them through the lending process. Like an accountant and legal advisor, a trusted banker should be a part of every business owner’s advisory team.
What is your advice for Women Business Owners?
As a Key4Women certified advisor and member of Key4Women Columbus Chapter, I’ve learned that women business owners have unique challenges from their male counterparts. For one thing, despite tremendous advances, unconscious gender bias continues to exist and can still impact women’s access to financing. Secondly, women tend to pursue investments less aggressively than men, and tend to be more conservative in their business valuation. Thirdly, women often have less quality networks and connections to capital sources compared to men, further limiting their access to capital.
Working with a banker or financial advisor specifically trained to understand the needs of women-owned businesses cannot be overstated. Further, strengthening and building their networks — through organizations like NAWBO and Key4Women — can help connect women with other members who have resources or expertise that can help advance their business plans.
My advice? Give me a call and join Key4Women!
Manager, KeyBank Polaris branch in Westerville, OH