Bank of America, senior vice president, consumer banking performance manager
| 12:00 p.m. October 15, 2020
40 Under 40
Class of 2020
Brendan Flores’ banking career started when he was in high school.
Flores interned at a bank in Las Vegas, and as he graduated from high school, he was promoted to personal banker. Then when he was turning 19, he became a bank manager. Flores says he was named manager at such a young age because his colleagues saw his determination.
Growing up, he witnessed his mom work hard, going to work around 4 p.m. and getting off at 3 or 4 a.m. An hour later, she made breakfast for her children. When Flores was in high school, his grandmother died in the Philippines, where Flores was born, and his family couldn’t afford to travel there to say goodbye. “That stuck in my head, and I wanted to do better,” he says.
Flores dove into the world of banking, going out of his way to learn more about the industry even after his shifts were over. “I was very much fortunate to find a mentor at the bank who showed me the ropes and what to expect,” he says. “I think every person needs a mentor in life.”
His trajectory up the banking ladder continued, becoming a vice president at 22 and a senior vice president at 32. Now Flores has worked in the industry for 18 years, 15 with Wells Fargo and three with Bank of America. Today, at Bank of America, he drives consumer results across 100 locations from Hillsborough to Marco Island, with his main office in Sarasota.
His job involves coaching market managers and other employees to become better at the customer experience and drive growth. “I think that’s a true definition of a mentor and leader — helping people see the best versions of themselves,” Flores says. “There has to be a ripple effect. We need to make sure we’re paying it forward.”
In addition to his role at Bank of America, Flores also serves as national chairman and president of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations. He is the first millennial president of the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the welfare and well-being of Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the U.S.
His introduction to the organization also has its origins in banking, when a man stopped in to make a deposit at Flores’ bank in Las Vegas. He happened to be the then-president, and he invited Flores to a meeting. “Something clicked, and I fell in love with my culture,” he says. “I fell in love with the camaraderie and love they had for each other. One of the reasons I’m successful today is the Filipino community supported me in Las Vegas.”
What do you use most — Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or Google Meetings?
Zoom for my community work and WebEx for work
What’s the best binge-worthy show you have enjoyed during the pandemic?
"Dynasty" and "Love is Blind"
What’s the longest virtual meeting you’ve been on since mid-March?
Seven long hours
How many times had you used video for a work meeting prior to the pandemic?
Twice a week
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned during the pandemic?
A great reminder that life is incredibly short, and there is always something to be grateful for. There is much more than unites us than divides us because this virus knows no race, age or class. Trust the man above, and lean not on your own understanding.
What do you miss most about the world pre-pandemic?
The energy and excitement that my friends bring when we get together. I also miss being able to travel with no restrictions. Like everyone else, I have had to cancel or rebook my travel plans. I can't wait to get back out there and see the world again.
What have you been spending more time doing during the pandemic?
Besides excessive virtual conference calls and meetings, I started reading, cooking and getting in touch with my faith. I also began to practice meditations, but it's not that easy. I am a novice.
Do you prefer working from home or working from an office?
How have you kept up camaraderie with colleagues during the pandemic?
Virtual happy hour with my coworkers and FaceTime with close friends
What’s the first thing you’ll do after the pandemic?
Book a flight back to my hometown in Las Vegas, so I can give my mother a big hug. Then it is time to travel!