In honor of Women’s History Month, we caught up with Liberty’s top female executive, Minnie Saleh. Minnie is Liberty’s Senior EVP and Chief Retail Banking Officer, overseeing the Retail Bank and 400+ Liberty teammates. Minnie shares her thoughts on leadership, mentorship and career advancement.
Can you tell us about your career and where it’s taken you?
I began my career 28 years ago in Fleet Bank’s Management Training Program. I enjoyed my early years working in the branches and have remained in touch with several of my former coworkers who patiently trained me on the teller line and platform! As I gained more experience, I assumed roles of greater responsibility leading teams ranging in size from 10 employees to 1,100+. As the Chief Retail Banking Officer at Liberty Bank, I have the pleasure of working every day with devoted and talented teammates who are dedicated to the success of each other, our customers, and our community.
What motivates and inspires you professionally?
The commitment and support of my team and colleagues inspires me, knowing that we genuinely care about each other and the success of our customers, community, and company. That we are all in this together, everyone contributing, everyone pulling their weight, everyone doing their part. They inspire me to bring my best every day.
Additionally, I have great respect for those individuals who take a special interest in mentoring, dedicating and investing their time to the development and success of others. Their selfless leadership in helping guide and advance others is an inspiration to all and greatly appreciated.
Has mentorship played a role in your career?
Throughout my personal and professional life, I have been blessed with exceptional mentors and role models. Those who have had the greatest impact on my development and career have been my trusted advisors, biggest cheerleaders, and toughest critics. I am grateful for their friendship and confidence as well as the many lessons they have taught and continue to teach me. My father in particular was a tremendous influence in my life and career and I can only hope to have the same impact on others as he and others have had on me as I strive to pay it forward.
What advice would you give to other professionals who aspire to a role like yours someday?
Demonstrate your ability to excel in your current role and seek opportunities to broaden your skills, to challenge and stretch yourself. Invest in yourself. The more diverse experience you can gain, the better. How well do you work with others? Are you a team player? Are you as interested in supporting the success of others and your company as you are your own? Are you trustworthy and transparent? These are key attributes of strong leaders. Identify mentors in leadership positions who will be honest with you, sometimes brutally so, mentors who care about you and have your best interest at heart, who will guide you. Be flexible, opportunity doesn’t always knock nearby. You may need to consider moving companies or your residence to take that next step or more quickly reach your desired role. And be sure to take time to acknowledge and celebrate your milestones along the way!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Sometimes it’s nice to just relax and do absolutely nothing! I also enjoy traveling with my family, designing women’s jewelry and accessories, and photography.