For Jennifer Dunem, service is at the heart of everything she does in her role as Vice President, Treasury Solutions Relationship Manager at The Bank of San Antonio. Working with commercial clients to help them mitigate fraud, adopt new treasury management technologies and connect with other local business owners as a resource to grow their companies is her expertise and passion, and she feels her exciting journey with The Bank of San Antonio is only just beginning after more than fifteen years of growing her banking career. She shares about her roles within The Bank of San Antonio, the projects she has been most proud of throughout the years and offers wise advice for young professionals who are looking to pursue a career in banking.
How did you end up at The Bank of San Antonio?
I worked with Natasha Castillo (Vice President, Loan Operations Manager at Texas Partners Bank) for many years at our former bank employer. I had been with that former employer for over ten years before I decided to move into the nonprofit world, where I had spent some time earlier in my career. While I was working for the nonprofit as their business development officer, Natasha told me that there was an opportunity at The Bank of San Antonio. I had always wanted to get into Treasury Management, so I jumped at the chance to apply. It was the opportunity I had been looking for at my former bank before I left to work in nonprofit.
What attracted you to the position?
The opportunity to get into Treasury Management. At my former bank employer, I had been in business banking and commercial banking, but I had really wanted to make the jump to Treasury Management. While the position with The Bank of San Antonio was an initial side-step for me in title, I knew the opportunity for growth was immense because the bank was up-and-coming and in expansion mode. It was a great opportunity for me to get in, learn Treasury Management, and then move into sales—which is where I wanted to be.
Quite honestly, in addition to that, the person that introduced me to Treasury Management in my former job knew Tom Moreno (now COO of Texas Partners Bank). I reached out to her because of the mutual connection, and because Tom was going to be my manager if I took the new position at The Bank of San Antonio. When I explained the opportunity to her she said, "Oh, you have got to take that position. Tom will definitely be the person to help foster your career path. And if you can work with him, then you'll be working with the best." So I took the position and never looked back.
What have you enjoyed most about your role so far?
I love working with our clients and our prospects. In this position, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with business owners and CFOs and hear their stories about how they got into the business they're in, why they got into it, but then also learn about their journey — how they made it from where they started to where they are today. I get to learn all of that, and then I get to walk alongside them as they grow. A lot of those clients and prospects are just starting out, but most of them are already well along their paths by the time I meet with them. Just hearing their stories is my favorite part of what I do. I love getting to know our clients and hearing about their journeys of entrepreneurship.
How has The Bank of San Antonio helped you grow in your career since you started?
When I started, of course, I was learning what The Bank of San Antonio had to offer and learning everything about us specifically. Then once I had that down, I started assisting others with work on their deals. As time has gone by, we have had opportunities as a bank to work on larger and larger deals. As the bank has grown, our lending ability has grown, and our opportunity to work with businesses who are a little bit larger has grown. From assisting on smaller deals, I grew to managing commercial clients and now I am working on those larger deals I used to assist with, which is exciting. I just instinctively want to know how we can make something work. How to find the answer and put it into place. That's how my brain works. It has been a great fit for me to work with commercial clients and look for solutions to help them grow.
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment within your tenure at The Bank San Antonio?
A few years ago, I worked to put an internal process in place called “Relationship Review” that our sales team now uses to help the businesses who bank with us grow, and I am very proud of that. We follow this internal process in conjunction with our Relationship Management partners. We collectively review our portfolios to look for ways to help our existing clients partner with each other to add value to their businesses and help them achieve bigger goals. It’s something that we do for our clients on an annual basis. Without a doubt, those Relationship Reviews help our clients learn about ways to mitigate fraud, find efficiencies with what they're currently doing, and it brings them up to date on the technology that is always evolving. It keeps us all in sync and ensures that we are paving the best way for them to continue to grow.
What makes you proud to be a partner within Texas Partners Bank at The Bank of San Antonio?
I think it's the trust that my colleagues (the Relationship Managers) have placed in me. They definitely see me as part of their team and they rely on me to fill that gap on the treasury side. Over time, I had to prove that I could be a good partner and that I could bring value to their clients. Internally, I feel like that is my biggest accomplishment. I'm working with the elite experienced bankers of our organization who have spent a lifetime developing their portfolios. To know that they share those portfolios with me and put their trust in me makes me feel very proud.
If you were to give advice to a young professional who is growing their career in banking, what would you tell them?
Two things — the first is that our job is to look for ways to help others. Service is the biggest part of what we do and it’s at the heart of every conversation we have. My advice would be to make serving others a focus in your career. The second piece of advice I would share is that there is always a way to solve a problem. Through the combination of tenacity (to problem solve) and advocacy (of your clients), you will always be looking for ways to help your clients find solutions. And no matter the challenge, there is always a way to solve it.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself here at The Bank of San Antonio and Texas Partners Bank, continuing to look for new ways to benefit our clients through evolving technologies, additional opportunities, and connecting our clients together. We definitely bank the best of San Antonio... and Texas! I hope to continue serving our clients and find ways to help them grow their businesses. It has been an exciting journey and I know it’s still only the beginning.