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DBT40 Honorees: Alisa Graves

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Title: Administrative Vice President, Retail Regional Manager

Workplace: M&T Bank

Age: 39

While leading more than 100 bank employees, Alisa Graves has prioritized leading with empathy and care while mentoring future leaders along the way. The administrative vice president and retail regional manager at M&T Bank has nearly two decades of financial services expertise that has shined brighter in the face of COVID-19 challenges.

Graves oversees 18 branches that had to change completely as the pandemic swept the globe. She knew that she needed to support her staff, and in turn their families as well, in order to face those challenges. After conducting an audit to find unknown strengths among her own staff, many of Graves’ employees were able to step up and temporarily join M&T’s Paycheck Protection Program lending team.

Under her leadership, local bank branches moved quickly to support remote customers by offering virtual services, such as digital appointments, and setting up hundreds of one-on-one check-ins with customers just to ask how they were doing during these challenging times.

Graves has also used her expertise and resources to help employees grow toward their career goals. Her mentorship has paid off for some, like one mentee who was not fluent in English when they started at M&T Bank, but ultimately put in the work, climbed the ladder and secured a management position. Graves also is part of M&T’s internal Women’s Resource Group and Intergenerational Resource Group, through which she mentors young professionals and helps them develop their leadership skills, network and passions.

The former New Yorker is also an animal lover, and found a way to combine her love of creatures and community by serving on the Delaware SPCA Board of Directors. Graves’ love of animals can be found at home, too, where she lives alongside her husband, two dogs, two guinea pigs, one chinchilla and three fish. She also loves to sing, so-much-so that she gifted her husband with a serenade on their wedding day.

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