Susan Neilson

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Location: Stamford, CT
Founded: 1994
Industry: Financial services

Susan Neilson

Patriot Bank, N.A.

In 1987, Susan Neilson was working for Chemical Bank, which had just acquired Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). She was asked to move to Texas and integrate all 80 of TCB’s independent branches across the state. She traveled from Houston to Dallas to Amarillo to El Paso, and everywhere in between, convincing TCB leaders to change, and overhauled not only the banks’ cultures, but also their processes. “The idea of selling and convincing … teams across such a diverse state … was an experience with lessons learned that have helped me in every aspect of my career,” says Neilson.

Quick Tip: “By maintaining a strong presence in the community … we are able to understand our customers’ needs.”

Today, as COO of Patriot Bank, N.A., Neilson is still focused on creating culture. Because Patriot Bank is a community-based organization, building relationships and fostering the idea of serving the community is at the heart of Neilson’s duties. “Our clients see us as neighbors, and that helps us collaborate with them to tackle the unique challenges they face,” says Neilson. “We are accessible, nimble and forward-looking, and those are the values I am proud to instill in our employees every day.”

Patriot Bank’s mission is to “show by doing.” That’s why it has a strong commitment to giving back. The bank has donated time, money and goods to numerous local charities, including the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester. In addition, Patriot Bank recently sponsored an event for nonprofit leaders, giving different organizations the opportunity to learn from each other and connect.