Growing up in Poughkeepsie, New York, and later, as a student at Marist College, Dave Eidle figured he would enter a career where he could foster his mathematical abilities.
“I was thinking of maybe teaching,” he recalls.
But, life had other plans.
One night after graduating from Marist in 1985, he met a girl who was a senior at Vassar College. She was from Everett and her name was Ivy O’Keefe.
That summer, Dave spent the summer in Massachusetts, staying with a friend who was in graduate school at UMass Amherst, and worked at a house painting job. He didn’t love the job, but he loved that it let him be closer to Ivy.
Growing tired of painting houses, Dave pursued an opportunity at Bank of New England to enroll in their credit training program.
That training program was intense, Dave remembers, and participants rotated through three different departments before being placed at the end in the area where they showed their strength. For him, it was loan operations, which wasn’t a surprise given his aptitude for numbers.
Nearly four decades later, Dave and Ivy recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary, and he is enjoying a laudable career as the Senior Vice President, Head of Business Banking, Massachusetts, at M&T Bank.
Dave’s 38-year career in banking has spanned across a number of different institutions and different areas. He followed the advice and leadership of his mentor, Pat Sullivan, who took Dave under his wing when they first crossed paths at Sovereign Bank 20-years ago. Soon, Dave was Pat’s right-hand man at Legacy Banks in Pittsfield, MA, where Pat had been appointed as President & CEO. Dave commuted several days a week from his family’s home in Middleton in order to gain the experience of helping Pat run a publicly traded bank. When the bank was eventually sold to Berkshire Bank, Dave stayed on as an Executive before seizing an opportunity to become the Chief Operating Officer at Everett Bank. He was tasked with growing the bank, which was operating out of one location in Everett and losing its core customer base to the North Shore communities.
After five successful years at Everett Bank, Dave was again approached by Pat, who was the Massachusetts President for Peoples United Bank, now M&T Bank. Pat presented Dave with an opportunity to build a Business Banking team on the North Shore from scratch. That was 6 years ago and that opportunity has grown into Dave’s current role as Head of Business Banking for M&T Bank, the 20th largest bank in the country.
“It’s been an amazing journey,” Dave says. “I took every opportunity that was given to me. I come from a family who deeply valued education and instilled in me a strong work ethic. I was also very fortunate to latch onto some pretty smart people along the way.”
Today, Dave aspires to be that mentor for younger employees and professionals. It was Pat Sullivan’s influence again that first prompted Dave to become involved with the North Shore Chamber. When he was approached by Karen Andreas with the Chamber’s vision for a young professional’s program, and asked to sponsor it, Dave didn’t hesitate. He immediately committed M&T to become the Chamber’s Platinum Sponsor for the Emerging Leaders.
“It really resonated with me,” he says. “I wouldn’t have the career I have without mentors, networking, and people guiding me along the way.”
At M&T, Dave strives to encourage and educate his younger staff. When he and his colleagues are long retired, Dave says, it will be that group who he wants to see take the helm. He wants them to grow and succeed in their careers, but more importantly he wants them to stay here and not move elsewhere.
“The North Shore is such an incredible area to live, raise a family and work, and I have been so blessed to be able to do all three,” Dave says.
The Emerging Leaders is a way for help young professionals to maintain success through workshops, educational seminars and networking resources. As a whole, the Chamber offers invaluable connections, he added, and allows its members access to incredible leaders, programs, and resources.
“What better way is there to showcase your business?,” he says.
What skill do you consider to be your greatest asset?
Being a good listener.
What quality do you admire most about yourself?
Loyalty. I believe my loyalty has had a huge impact on my career and success.
What makes a good leader?
Someone who projects confidence, is a good listener, is empathetic and an effective communicator.
What brings you joy?
Seeing my team succeed and my employees grow in their roles.
What advice would you give to a young professional just starting their career?
Put the time in, work hard, ask questions if you don’t understand something, be visible and most importantly, find a mentor.
What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you?
I rowed Division 1 Crew at Marist College.
How do you make an impact?
By being a passionate leader and collaborator who creates a culture of transparency where people can thrive by empowering them to take ownership of their roles.