As leaders, we leave an impression on those around us each day. We hope to inspire, but doing that well is a learned and cultivated skill.

Over the course of my more than 30-year career in banking, I have worked with and learned a great deal from some of the best people in banking, as well as leaders in other industries and within our communities. I have had the good fortune to find myself surrounded by mentors, role models, and leaders who have supported and encouraged me at every turn along my life’s journey.

Building lifelong connections with people of diverse backgrounds and points of view, often with perspectives contrary to my own, has helped me to navigate my path and motivated me to succeed. My network of mentors has served as role models and a sounding board to assist in guiding career and life decisions. But being a mentee is not a passive activity. Deriving the greatest benefit from a mentor and role model means being an active participant— listening, learning, and engaging.

Choosing your mentors wisely and surrounding yourself with people who challenge you to think differently can help you clarify your goals and succeed in ways that you might never have envisioned. Being open to their challenges, including new and different ways to think about your goals and motivations, is essential to help you learn how to succeed in the way that is true to your values and sense of self.

My journey has brought me to what I believe is the right place at the right time. I am proud to be part of a culture that thrives on collaboration and innovation, believing that our people are our greatest asset and striving to give each associate the tools they need to be great.

I think that the banking industry, like so many others, has evolved over the last 20 years. As someone who has been a part of that evolution, I see the changing face of banking as a virtual circle. As more women take on higher profile leadership roles across the industry, there are more role models and mentors to inspire and engage a new generation.