By Lauren Sable Freiman
Photo by Jim Baron
“We moved around a lot because my dad was in the military, but I always came back to Cleveland every single summer and holiday to see my aunts, uncles, and cousins as I was growing up,” Marziani says. “I’ve moved at least 15 times, but we always called Cleveland home.”
That resilience, gained from constant transitions throughout her childhood and from being the oldest of five kids, has suited Marziani perfectly in her role as the Ohio Market President for Bank of America, a position she’s held the past seven years.
“Being in the military and having to interact with so many different cultures and personalities makes you really resilient,” Marziani says. “That has helped me manage the economic changes over the years and has helped me remain calm so we can prepare our clients and get them the right counsel and knowledge.”
Ohio is a growth market for Bank of America, and Marziani’s role with the company includes leading teams in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. After 21 years working across the bank’s departments – from credit to marketing to card services – Marziani says she always knew that Bank of America and a career in the banking industry was right for her.
“When I graduated from Miami of Ohio, I was looking at places that inspired me and that I felt would let my whole self come to work, no matter what age or gender I was,” Marziani says. “I interviewed with eight or nine people, and felt I got a real flavor for what the company was about. I felt like whatever ideas I brought forth, they would respect my opinions. It has been a journey the entire time.”
Marziani focuses a lot of her time on market research, working to determine what customers need and want and how Bank of America can better serve them. Because a bank can provide so many services, from mortgages and auto loans to serving large corporate clients, Marziani says her team’s job is to ask the right questions, then provide the right information so customers can make the best choices.
“We aim to make the financial lives better for our customers,” Marziani says. “My needs may be different than yours. We really do a lot to educate our clients and prospects about the choices they can make.”
In addition to servicing clients and business owners with a broad range of services, Marziani also oversees Bank of America’s corporate social responsibility strategies in the Ohio market with the goal of deepening connections in the communities where they do business.
“Our leadership team locally gets together and looks at jobs, workforce development and education, housing and community development, preserving neighborhoods and fighting hunger,” Marziani says. “In every community these are fundamental issues that relate back to human needs, and as a company we help address these issues across the United States and globally.”
Last year Bank of America employees in the Ohio market donated about 19,000 hours of their time. In Cleveland alone nearly 400 employees donated 7,000 hours to improve the community. Bank of America’s financial commitment to the Ohio market totaled nearly $1 million.
In the coming year Cleveland will welcome two new programs designed to make the community, its leaders, and its organizations stronger. The Neighborhood Builders program will provide leadership training to the executive director and an emerging leader from one nonprofit that works in the area of community development, basic human services or workforce development. The program also offers the selected nonprofit $200,000 in flexible funding over the course of two years, which will allow that organization to build additional capacity to better serve the community.
Bank of America’s national Student Leaders program will make its debut in Cleveland in early 2016, when five student leaders will be selected for an eight-week paid internship at local nonprofits. Those students will also join more than 200 other Student Leaders from around the country for a week-long summit in Washington, where they will participate in skill-building workshops, a service learning project, sessions to develop better money habits, and meetings with members of Congress.
“I am most excited and proud of the fact that the company is growing pretty aggressively here, bringing more resources and creating more jobs in Ohio to drive the local economy and community,” Marziani says.
While her biggest challenge is finding the right people with the right expertise to work within the company, Marziani says the company’s interview process, as well as the exciting tools, capabilities and resources the bank offers locally to employees, helps her hire bankers with the right knowledge who are also steeped in the community.
“I’m proud of the bankers we have here,” Marziani says. “Although I lead them, I grow from learning from them everyday. I live here, work here, and want to see this community grow.”
For more information: about.bankofamerica.com/assets/pdf/Ohio_StateFactSheet.pdf