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Leadership Conversations Series Returns and Welcomes Valley National Bank President Thomas Iadanza

From left, Joseph McCoy, Market President Commercial Banking — Hudson Valley and Fairfield, CT; BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon; Valley National Bank President Tom Iandanza and Jamie Schutzer, JDM Benefits , BCW Chairman of the Board

The Business Council of Westchester partnered with Valley National Bank for the return of the popular Leadership Conversations Series, which resumed on June 13 with an in-person discussion with Thomas Iadanza, President of Valley National Bank.

BCW CEO Marsha Gordon led the discussion with Iadanza, which touched on the recent banking liquidity crisis, workplace diversity, hiring new talent and learning from young professionals, among other topics.

Iadanza said that Valley weathered the March banking crisis well because the Wayne, N.J.-based bank’s 240 branches are a strength.

“Our average size deposit is $60,000, so pretty much 75% of our deposit base is an insured deposit base,” said Iadanza. “The branch deposits stood up incredibly well during this fiasco…So branches became more important to banks.”

Iadanza said empowering employees and embracing new ideas are critical to a company’s success.

“If you want to do the work of 20 people, you’re going to be busy. If you want to teach and develop people to do that work, then the bank can grow, then business can grow. It’s really about spending time, understanding, looking at different ways and being open minded. If you have all the answers and you don’t believe you can learn something from someone, the organization won’t change,” said Iadanza.

Iadanza also noted that young adults entering the workplace have unique perspectives that can bring value to the older generations in management. The bank hires about 30 graduates out of college yearly, a practice that has fueled Valley’s transformation into a contemporary financial services firm with $64 billion in assets.

“We made the decision to build it through our credit training program by hiring young people, creating a culture that didn’t have baggage. It’s hard to change people. It’s easier to develop people and that’s the mechanism that we chose to really grow the bank,” said Iadanza.

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