Diversity Matters - Aspen Real Life

Does diversity matter in business, where so often the focus is on the bottom line? Well for FirstBank, the answer is a resounding yes.

Women occupy nearly 65 percent of roles at Colorado’s largest bank, and 33 percent of its employees identify with a minority group.

Tony Oum, Senior Vice President of the bank’s Multicultural Banking Center (MBC), believes that community banking must be inclusive of the community it serves.

“If the population is 30 percent minority, our employee population should reflect that. And we must be in the community to make that happen. If we’re not in the community we’re not present, and we need to get out there and build those relationships.”

In addition to opening the MBC in Lakewood – a central hub for various communities to be served in their native language and with an understanding of their culture – FirstBank has released a powerful video that highlights its diverse population and culture of inclusivity.

“Faces of Diversity” features FirstBank employees of many races, creeds, cultural and social backgrounds, all of whom are banking for good every day. It’s a powerful reminder that diversity is a collection of people all working together for a common cause, and not just a demographic statistic.

Inclusion is Companywide

These diversity efforts aren’t just confined to its metropolitan markets in Denver and Phoenix, they are companywide.

Over half of FirstBank’s Roaring Fork employees identify as a minority group and nearly two-thirds of its leadership consists of women.

One of these employees is Kseniya Mamlin, Assistant Vice President at FirstBank in Carbondale.

“I was 11 years old when we emigrated from Ukraine to the United States.”

Initially settling the family in the sprawling metropolis of New York City, Kseniya’s father chased work opportunities in Montana and finally, Colorado. The family’s move to Denver was so sudden that they were without an apartment for three days.

“We stayed in Cherry Creek State Park for three nights while we looked for a place to stay,” said Mamlin.

“Our stuff was in a U-Haul and we were in a tent with our cat.”

Luckily they settled quickly, and these days when Kseniya sleeps in tents it’s strictly for fun. An avid hiker and skier, she’s fully embraced the outdoor lifestyle that Colorado’s pristine mountain towns offer.

That’s partly the reason that she welcomed the chance to help open the very first Carbondale FirstBank location in October 2019. Opened recently enough to still have a “new branch smell,” the Carbondale office has already rooted itself in the community by sponsoring Carbondale First Friday.

The monthly event celebrates the town’s rich arts scene promotes local businesses to locals and visitors alike.

“Our small Colorado community is incredibly connected with the outside world and to be successful you need to understand the world you live in,” Kseniya said. “Cultural exchanges such as these help with that understanding.”

Cultural Melting Pot

In many ways, Kseniya’s background reflects the world’s increasing connection and cultural understanding. She grew up speaking Russian and Ukrainian, added English, and is learning Spanish and Italian.

She’s embraced her love of travel and encourages others to expand their horizons even if that means embracing the cultural diversity right here at home.

“Having a multicultural background opens your eyes to the many different ways that people live their lives, and for a banker that’s important because you can’t be the bank for someone if you don’t understand their perspective.”

And that all begins with a conversation.

“Banking for good,” she says, “is really about listening to people.” 

Sharing is Caring 💙

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Check us Out on Instagram

Check us Out on Facebook

4 days ago

Aspen Real Life
GONZO GALLERY SOLO SHOW: IT NEVER GOT WEIRD ENOUGH FOR ME Meet local artist, Axel Livingston, at the opening reception May 1st, 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm. The exhibit runs from May 1 - 14th. Axel is a 19-year-old artist with a technique that can be described as organized chaos; a combination of mixed media, vibrant colors, lines, and forms are used to depict his layered messaging.Growing up in the Rocky Mountains, Axel has a profound connection with nature and a fascination with the ideals of Gonzo journalism. His work has been influenced by the writings of Hunter S. Thompson and by the art of Ralph Steadman. See more of Axel's work here: www.gonzogallery.com/axel-1The Gonzo Gallery Aspen Strong: Promoting Mental Health in the Roaring Fork Valley Aspen Hope Center Aspen Youth Center Community Health Initiatives The Aspen Times Mountain Town Magazine Aspen Sojourner Magazine Aspen Magazine Aspen Hatter Skye Gallery Opera Gallery Aspen Art Gallery The Aspen Chapel Gallery Pitkin County Sheriff's Office ...
View on Facebook

5 days ago

Aspen Real Life
Want to know what to do during the offseason? Read this Roaring Fork Sotheby's International Realty - Glenwood Springs newsletter shared by Aspen Business Connect member Giovanna O. Kennedy, Realtor. As per the newsletter: Giovanna is a hiking enthusiast and can’t wait to get back on the mountain and regain her Rocky Mountain physical fitness! “You will see me trying different trails at Sunlight Mountain, starting with the easiest ones like the Old 4 Mile Trail.” A woman who wears many hats, Giovanna also enjoys taking leadership in philanthropic opportunities at St. Stephen School. “I am the founder and chair of their annual Gala benefiting St Stephen School, which normally takes place during the winter. However, I am looking at the possibility of having an outside event this late summer instead,” provided that she can execute this event in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. ...
View on Facebook

6 days ago

Aspen Real Life
Aspen Business Connect brings its members together in many ways in search of collaborations. Here are two of our members from completely different backgrounds ( art and finance) brainstorming on ways to create an exciting event to honor the famous artist Tamara De Lempicka. Equus Management Group Marisa De Lempicka Cecil Hernandez at Christie's Aspen Real Estate Cecil Hernandez#aspenbusinessconnect #bestnetworkbusiness #localbusinessnetwork#aspennetwork#aspenbusiness#aspenreallife #locallove#helpingothers#womenempowerment #tamaradelempicka ...
View on Facebook