“We already have similar goals and cultures,” says Snyder, who will remain the CEO of the combined banking entity, “so it’s different than when you have two very different entities coming together. It’s great because it means we can just get right to work in serving the community.”
The new bank, with assets of $3.5 billion, will be known as Fulton Bank of New Jersey. Both The Bank and Pennsylvania-based Skylands Community Bank, with 48 and 27 branches respectively, were already under the umbrella of Fulton Financial Corp.
Snyder, who has been with The Bank since 2002 and has more than 20 years experience in the financial industry, recently shared her thoughts with South Jersey Biz on leadership, business and more.
Where did your path to leadership begin?
I would say at the very beginning of my career. I started out at United Jersey Bank in a staff audit position and quickly became a supervisor. I needed to work and influence people on my team, and work with senior managers as well, and I needed to establish a relationship with them and let them know I was there to learn from them and accomplish what I needed to without dictating. Through influencing, I also needed to try to get what I needed done. As I look back, it was probably more indicative of me to be a strong leader at that time.
What is the biggest challenge facing your industry at the moment?
No. 1 is the lack of confidence, which is showing its face in the lack of growth in business and the second regulatory environment that the bank is facing. It’s an ever-changing and evolving world that takes a lot of resources to make sure we have our arms around it.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced?
I stepped into this position right before the financial crisis of 2008, so making sure to keep employees motivated and focused on what they can control and keeping them focused on the customer, which is what is most important.
What is your business philosophy?
My business philosophy has always been to stay close to your employees and customers. Make sure I meet with them every month so they can help me understand what is going on so that I have a lot of different perspectives that can inform me when I’m making decisions.
How do you hire quality employees?
It is essential to always be in the market and meeting people. You never tend to find an employee when you need them, so I’m a true believer of constantly meeting people so that when a need comes up, you already have a rapport. As I heard one time, you should always be out dating, whether you have an open position or not.
If you had to give one key to success, what would it be?
Communication – both internal and external. Making sure everyone understands how something does or does not affect them. Over-communication is necessary to make sure this is successful.
Do you find you sometimes get a negative reaction when you tell someone you’ve just met that you are a CEO?
Not only CEO, but also the word “banker.” Everybody has been kind of lumped into one bucket. So I feel that I’m kind of always educating people about the difference between community banking and other types of banking, because the word “banker” creates some ill feeling right now. We are very focused on Main Street and we are the engine that is going to help Main Street recover.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 1, Issue 10 (October, 2011).
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