Jennifer Chandler believes she has the best job in the entire world. As the Dallas Market President for Bank of America, she works in coordination with every line of business, including the Commercial Bank, Private Bank, Merrill and Business Bank divisions. She also supports the bank’s involvement in the community through volunteerism and sits on the bank foundation grant committee; Jennifer is heavily involved in representing Bank of America in the community through her work with civic organizations, nonprofit organizations, food banks, and schools. Though she’s been in the role for less than a year, she already feels like she is making an impact.
Jennifer, who has dreamed of being a change agent in the world since she was a child, began her career as a teacher. When she decided to switch to banking almost 20 years ago, Bank of America’s philanthropic standards caught her attention. She loved the meritocracy values emphasized at the bank and knew that if she worked hard, opportunities would present themselves.
Jennifer’s career progression has been more rapid than most; she started on the brokerage side of the industry before learning the credit side. After Bank of America acquired U.S. Trust in 2007, Jennifer began to understand the fiduciary arm of the bank, and kept learning and raising her hand for different projects. She used the bank’s employee networks to improve her leadership and communication skills, and she took advantage of every opportunity the bank offered her.
“I’m a lifelong learner, and for me, every day I’m learning something new and bringing that to the clients,” Jennifer says.
As a leader at one of the largest companies in the world, Jennifer is a collaborative and optimistic glass-half-full person who says that her superpower is patience. Her calendar is color-coded and she is constantly looking ahead to ensure that her priorities align with the goals of the company she represents. She values her teammates and is never afraid to ask for help while always stressing the importance integrity, trust, and putting clients first.
“Life is short, and putting things in perspective is key,” Jennifer says. “Slowing down and taking a step back really helps me have a more positive outlook.”
Bank of America is ahead of many other companies when it comes to diversity and women’s initiatives and about 50% of employees at the bank are women. According to Jennifer, being a woman has actually served as an advantage for her work; her personality is nurturing and friendly, which has helped in her role working closely with families and mentoring young professionals. Bank of America also supports employees with children through their Parent and Caregiver Network, which makes attaining the desired work/life balance easier.
“One of the things I’ve learned is to work smarter, not harder,” Jennifer says. “We’ve got a great team at the bank, and I’ve got a great team at home. My husband, Scott, is phenomenal and my kids are awesome; we like to call ourselves “Team Chandler” and everyone has a role in that.
In Jennifer’s bag you’d likely find a black notebook filled with goals and aspirations segmented into one, five and 10-year timeframes. She looks at them daily. One of her favorite books is Good to Great, by Jim Collins, and she enjoys watching inspiring TED talks about leadership and success. She mentors young women and encourages them to be confident, take on new challenges and be forward thinking. At Bank of America, they ask their clients and employees “ What would you like the power to do?”. Jennifer’s answer to that is, “the power to live with purpose and make a positive impact each day.” By asking clients and employees this question she has the opportunity to listen to their responses and help clients live better financial lives. She finds this to be very rewarding and different each day.
“I just wanted to make a difference, which is cliché but at the end of the day, I know that I have made a difference,” Jennifer says. “It took a ways to get here, but I made it.”