Michele Dean, 2020 New York Women in Banking Winner

‹ All Winners

Michele Dean

President and CEO
Suffolk Federal Credit Union

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay?

My career has been focused in the financial services/investment arena beginning with an early position at Merrill Lynch. It was a very fulfilling and demanding career energized by Wall Street that intersected wonderful changes in my personal life. I needed to make a lifestyle and career change and took initiative to research jobs on Long Island. There was an opportunity at Bethpage Federal Credit Union for which I was selected. My credit union career began then and continues now with the same enthusiasm and drive. Motivation for me is about competitiveness, winning and, above all, having a meaningful purpose that generates positivity, profitability and performance.

Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on?

Mentoring is the most rewarding responsibility of leadership. It is an honor to be a mentor and a gift to be mentored. I focus much of my leadership on spending time with my team, listening to them, sharing ideas, providing guidance and strongly fostering their personal and professional growth. 

I have had many great mentors, many of whom are women. First, on a personal level, I would point to my own Mother, who demonstrates integrity, strength, and compassion every day. She is a standard-bearer for me. Relating to my professional career, in one of my earliest positions at Invest Financial, I was lucky to be an assistant to an accomplished Investment Advisor who demonstrated grace and ambition as a single Mother, a breadwinner and a professional who generously provided me with  opportunities to learn, network and develop.

What do you consider your greatest success?

Not a doubt in the world on this question…..my two sons are my greatest success. It is the ultimate privilege to be their Mother and to witness their growth into fine young men who are kind, respectful, intelligent and exceedingly motivated to make a positive difference in the world.