Cheryl Calderado, the only female senior vice president at Dime Bank, oversees the retail, sales, service and marketing departments at the Norwich-based bank.
She also serves as the bank’s corporate secretary and as secretary for its affiliates, and as administrator of the Dime Scholarship program and secretary to the Dime Bank Foundation, overseeing the grant process from application to bequest.
A 34-year banking industry veteran, she joined Dime Bank in 2006 as vice president of human resources, and went from roles in specific business lines (HR and retail) to a more strategic role in the organization.
She describes Dime Bank as large enough to have enough resources to be efficient, but small enough to centralize decision-making. The bank has 180 employees and 11 branches.
In the past two years, Dime Bank has explored developing new markets, and along the way discovered that it still had room to maximize opportunities in locales it already had. Calderado said that growing the bank’s business is based on building relationships. As a regional manager responsible for sales production, “We wanted to make sure [we took] a Dime Bank approach to sales,” she said, with the effort becoming an extension of service, and with customers’ interests taking priority.
She spearheaded the creation of three divisional business teams that meet monthly to share leads and collaborate on sales calls. The results: an increase in the number of business relationships per customer, leading to the appointment of a full-time business development professional.
Co-workers say that Calderado facilitates a culture at the bank that encourages a work/life balance and supports personal growth and community involvement. The culture at the bank, the employee benefit options, and the internal advancement opportunities have resulted in a low employee turnover rate of 3.2 percent so far in 2012.
“It’s a tremendous environment,” she said. “I’m proud of the culture we created.”