Here at Executive Elements, we like to feature fantastic women we think you should know. Some of these women are clients, some are friends, some are women we’ve only just met. But they all have this in common: they are dynamic, interesting gals who have agreed to share with us their insights and secrets to success.
Kelli Jo Gargasz
My Current Job/Company:
Senior Vice President & Director, Private Banking; Fifth Third Bank
I lead a Team of 11 highly skilled and tenured private banking professionals. Our mission at Fifth Third Private Bank is to assist families of affluence in their day to day cash management needs. We help simplify our Clients’ daily finances so that they and their designated Private Bank Team can focus on achieving their long term goals.
My family, my friendships, my employees and their success.
My husband of 15 years, Tim, our twin boys, Ben & Joe (10) and our six year old daughter, Anna. We lost our first son, Nicholas, to S.I.D.S. when he was 3 months old in 1999.
My Mom, Suzanne Coburn and my “Mammaw,” Johnnie Thompson. My Mom was a very young, single mother to me and my brother, Ryan. She and our Mammaw worked as a team. While my Mom was juggling 3 jobs at a time, my grandmother was caring for us. I had no idea, at the time, how difficult that must have been for a 19-year-old woman, but now I understand the amount of sacrifice that took, on both their parts. They were (are) amazing role models for compassion, tenacity, and courage.
A true vacation must include sunshine, my girlfriends, and a great book. I’m OK to skip the beach….sand is not my friend! But, it doesn’t get any better than your own private pool!
My Pet Peeves:
Narcissism and Rudeness.
Potato Chips, French Onion Dip and Coca-Cola.
Small town, family ties and great friendships.
Focused, successful, making a difference in the lives of my children, working women and the community.
My Quote on Life:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
A great purse!
My Advice to Young Women:
One of the most important decisions you will ever make, for many reasons but specifically for your career, is the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with. If you want to be a working woman and a mother, you must find a partner that respects that goal and is willing to help you achieve it. They do this by choosing to be flexible in all the “traditional” roles of marriage and partnership. Show me a happily married working Mom and I’ll show you a progressive, amazing partner / husband!
How I Balance it All:
I call it “work-life strategy” because there is no such thing as “work-life balance.” I am lucky to have an amazing husband who has a flexible work schedule (see note above!). I also have a great Nanny whom I trust running my kids back and forth when necessary. Additionally, one of my God-given gifts is the ability to say, “No” and I use that gift often. In fact, my friends and co-workers ask me to step in and use my “gift” on their behalf every now and again! Which leads me to my last tip, have great friends and co-workers who care about you and your success and whose you care about.