The pandemic gave new meaning to the term “banker’s hours,” says Tiffany Allard, a vice president at Busey Bank in Fort Myers. She recalls working 20-hour days at the height of the economic crisis, when hundreds of businesses needed help with Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Looking back, the ordeal — and the people she was able to help during a difficult time — validated Allard’s decision to pursue a career in banking after earning a degree in accounting and then dabbling in telecommunications with Alltell Wireless before it was acquired by AT&T.
'I’ve continued to grow my knowledge and close some pretty big deals. I’ve learned a lot and continue to learn more every day.' Tiffany Allard
“Here in Southwest Florida, we saved close to 5,000 jobs,” she says. “That was really impactful to a lot of businesses, and it definitely kept me busy”
Allard started out at Busey Bank, a community bank headquartered in Champaign, Ill., as a personal banker but her skills put her on the fast track for advancement. She quickly moved up to a small business development role and is now the bank’s commercial relationship manager in addition to serving as a vice president.
“Being able to climb up the corporate ladder within that short amount of time … it’s huge bragging rights within the banking world,” Allard says. “I’ve continued to grow my knowledge and close some pretty big deals. I’ve learned a lot and continue to learn more every day.”
Allard cites her father, Steve Miller, as her mentor but has also benefited from her strong professional network. “I have an entire team of mentors who have helped guide me throughout my career, through the ups, downs and everything in between,” she says.
Thanks to that help, Allard has reached the point in her career where she’s mentoring up-and-coming banking professionals and passing along what she’s learned.
“They ask what led me to my career path,” she says, “and I would say, finding a passion for what you want to do within your industry makes a big difference. There are a lot of avenues in banking you can choose to go down, whether it’s on the personal side, the business side of the wealth side.”
— Brian Hartz
Name: Tiffany Allard
City of residence: Cape Coral
Employer: Busey Bank
Title: Vice president and commercial relationship manager
Birthplace: Marion, Ohio
Years in the area: 13
Marital status/children: Married, two children
Alma mater/degree: Heidelberg University
What community group or organization are you most involved with? Rotary Club of Fort Myers Downtown, CIP and CCSA
What's the weirdest job you've ever had? Working on a farm. It was something new every day.
What's your top tip for being productive? Work with intention and learn something new every day, but take a second to process and recap. All the hard work, late nights and early mornings will pay off.
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? Real estate and interior design
What's your favorite off-hours activity? Watching my kids play sports and getting outside to enjoy Southwest Florida
Have you gone to the movies in 2021? If yes, what did you see? Yes, Fast and Furious
What's the top item on your bucket list? Continue to travel internationally once COVID slows down
What's your favorite podcast? Harvard Business Review Women at Work
Where is your happy place? With my family at the beach
Describe yourself in three words. Energetic, intentional and committed
Who is your mentor for your career and why? My father, Steve Miller. He showed me that hard work with intentional impact will lead you to success.
What are the biggest lessons you have learned from your mentor?
- Don't chase people, attract them.
- Work hard and be yourself.
- I have lost, I have won, cried, laughed, loved and above all I have learned. Consistency is key.
- The people who should be in your life will be in your life.
- I have had a network of mentors and incredible people who have helped in my career growth, my growth as businesswoman, a leader and a mother. I would like to thank those people who have helped shape me into who I am today.