Marion Schmeelk, managing director and Fairfield County market executive at U.S. Trust, has always been interested in finance.
“I was the kind of girl who always had a piggy bank,” Schmeelk said. So it comes as no surprise that she has worked in finance for her entire career.
She began at Hartford National Bank and within two years became branch manager. Schmeelk subsequently became one of three members of the personal banking group, responsible for managing the personal banking needs of senior corporate executives. Schmeelk faced the challenge of being one of few women working at her level. She said she has always felt, however, that the “benefits of business outweigh the challenges.”
Women are an asset to the field of personal finance, she said, because they are “adept at listening to the needs of prospective clients.”
Schmeelk enjoys dealing with individual client needs – each client has a unique set of circumstances, she explained.
She said she feels fortunate to be part of U.S. Trust and to lead a group of 60 “tremendous professionals.” Schmeelk works closely with her clients and frequently becomes their “trusted advisor,” she noted. Additionally, because Schmeelk has been in the business for more 30 years, she sometimes works with the children of clients.
Schmeelk is a leader within her local community. She has been on the board of the Domus Foundation – an organization that helps at-risk youth and families – for more than five years. Schmeelk is also a senior advisory member of Family Centers, a nonprofit organization that offers education and other services to children, adults and families. Schmeelk is passionate about education and recently joined the Teach for America Connecticut board.
Schmeelk said she is also grateful for her supportive husband and children. Schmeelk’s son is a recent graduate from Vanderbilt University, and her daughter is a student at Furman University.