Leadership Development

Since I began my Grameen career in 1985, a good number of my staff in Bangladesh as well as the US were promoted to positions of leadership, such as Branch Manager. In 25 years at Grameen Bank, I developed 15 Center Managers (Grameen loan officers, CM for short) to be successful in their promotion to the Branch Manager (BM) position. Not only are they now BMs, many of them are now working as Program Officers, and some are even on track to become Area Managers of Grameen Bank. When I joined Grameen America as BM in the Jackson Heights Branch, I was lucky enough to have some very talented staff, such as Alethia Mendez, Johanna Avila, Nayroby Sena, Noemi Huiracocha and Thelma Surarez, who now hold BM or other promoted positions within Grameen America. Noemi is the BM of the fastest growing branch in Grameen America, the Jamaica/LIC branch, and due to her leadership this branch became profitable in only 4 years, which was a huge milestone for Grameen America. Johanna Avila’s Bronx Branch is almost profitable, and Thelma is in charge of the recently opened Newark new branch in New Jersey. Alethia Mendez, the first CM at Grameen America, worked with and learned a lot from me, and as a result she has risen in the ranks from CM to Sr. Strategic National Director of Grameen America. She is involved now in most key decision making at Grameen America. In addition, I recruited and trained Ursula Lalone, who is now BM of the Charlotte branch. She was promoted as a Branch manager in only two years and two months, and is handling the Charlotte branch nicely. This branch became profitable in 4 years and 1 month. My leadership philosophy is to always share my knowledge and expertise with my colleagues, in order to develop and shape them for future positions when the organization needs them.