Thank you to Alberto Garcia, a Chamber Board member and Regional Business Banking Manager at M&T Bank, for answering our questions!
Where were you born and raised and when/why did you come to Loudoun?
I was born in Mexico in the state of Michoacán. My dad’s family had roots in the California and Baja California area so this made it easier for us to move to the USA. My Dad finally convinced my Mom to move to the USA when I was 9-years old and we all transitioned to the south/east side of Chicago. It was really easy for me to get acclimated since I had a big portion of our family already established in the Chicago area.
While in college at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL, I met my wife Amy and after graduation we decided to move to this area. We then moved from Reston, Virginia to Ashburn in 2002. I now live in the old Goose Creek Golf Club in Leesburg.
What was your first experience in business and how did you get into your current line of work?
I took a part time teller job at First American Bank after graduating from college as I had every intention of going to Law School. No more than a couple of months on the job, I met the head of Retail Banking for that bank and he convinced me to give this industry a chance. He nominated me for their 18 month Management Training Program – the rest is history.
Have you had any special mentors or inspirations that influenced your career?
Yes, my HS soccer coach (Bill O’Leary) was my guiding star and Champion. He forced me to be more strategic and encouraged teamwork. I still practice some of his very basic principles. William Whipple who was the Director of Retail Banking for First American Bank. He was the first individuals that mentored me in the banking world and would provide guidance as needed.
What is the best part of your job and why?
I love the fact that I get to do something that I love for a living – help business owners achieve and meet their financial goals. I get the opportunity to really make an impact in someone’s life by becoming a trusted advisor. The best part of my job is when a client calls me and says –“ I was thinking about…I would love to hear your perspective.”
What is it like working in Loudoun/Northern Virginia?
My entire banking career has been based out of Tysons Corner Virginia. I still remember having to commute from Reston to Tysons and thinking it was a big commute. Fast forward to today, I now live in Leesburg and I can get to my office in Tysons in about 30 minutes. I love this area because of it’s proximity to Dulles Airport, major highways, DC and VA Wine Country. I can work, eat, sleep, and play all from the comfort of Leesburg.
What does National Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Knowing that Hispanics now represent one of the fastest growing minorities in the country and bring the buying power along with that growth – it’s important. Given this growth, it’s critical that we highlight our successful business owners representing all the various industries and professions.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not working?
I really enjoy spending time with my two grandkids, visiting wineries here in Loudoun County and playing golf with my friends every Saturday right at sunrise.