Gina Peter, Executive, Breaking Bias for Leaders in Commercial Banking – Episode 63

Gina Peter is the North Division Executive for Commercial Banking at Wells Fargo.  She has an undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a MBA from the University of Chicago that she earned while working full time. Gina developed a love for sports, travel and business at a young age that was encouraged by her parents. She decided that she wanted a career that would blend business with social interaction and thought that getting into Investment Banking would fill that need.  While in college, her advisor, Bob Cramer, encouraged her to look at commercial banking.  She changed direction and eventually became the first woman commercial banker in the State of Wisconsin.  

But it wasn’t a linear path for Gina.  While she was offered positions after graduation at each of the Milwaukee based banks, none would offer her the commercial banking opportunity that she wanted. As a result, Gina accepted a position in a training program with the First National Bank of Chicago and ended up managing relationships and securing new business with companies in the communication and chemical industry across a several state region.  She was later recruited back to Milwaukee with many offers and choose M&I Bank (now BMO Harris Bank), where she spent more than 30 years.  

Mike and Gina cover a ton of great stuff in this episode, including how an early interview that seemed disheartening instead turned into a blessing, how she was asked to resign when she informed her superior that she was pregnant, why she’s an Olympics junkie, what’s unique about her attitude, the value of her non-profit Board work, how she challenges herself physically and much more.  

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