Linda Stevenson has spent most of her career in banking. Even when she took time off to raise a family, she continued working part time in banking.
But her devotion to the profession doesnt just stem from her education or devotion to her employer, National City Bank. Shes in it for the entrepreneurs.
I really love what I do because Im just fascinated with the courage entrepreneurs have and the sacrifices they make to start their businesses, says Stevenson, who has been working for National City or its predecessor banks since 1982. I get to be a part of that process and help them. Its like I have a piece of ownership in them.
Stevenson, a lifelong Erie resident, is an assistant vice president of National City and focuses entirely on the small business sector, particularly with the banks SBA lending program. She has served with its small business program for the entire 10 years of its official existence, spending as much time servicing customers in Pittsburgh as she does in Northwestern Pennsylvania. In fact, she was part of the team, led by Thomas Golonski, president and CEO of National City Bank of Pennsylvania, that created the program.
We had the foresight to recognize that small businesses are critical to the region, she says.
Now, she says, she has had the privilege of beginning to see a new element emerge and prosper in Western Pennsylvania: women-owned businesses. To feed her passion for that sector, she recently helped set up a PowerLink advisory board chapter in the Erie area, which puts together business advisory boards, at no cost, for qualified women-owned businesses interested in growing aggressively.
Says Stevenson of entrepreneurship and her role as a banker in that world: Its really fun to be part of it.