WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Donna Ruzzi’s engagement with her clients does not begin and end at door of her office at The Westchester Bank.
Ruzzi, vice president and branch manager of the Thornwood branch, said part of the appeal of her job is getting involved in community events. Ruzzi talks with people in an array of settings, from church carnivals to town parades to library book fairs.
“I enjoy the community involvement,’’ said Ruzzi, a long-time banking professional who joined The Westchester Bank last year. “Giving away little tchotchke things, meeting the kids, I love that part of it. It’s where you can meet people in your community in a relaxed and casual way. People get to know who you are.”
This interaction is one of the most rewarding parts of her job, Ruzzi said.
“Seeing people and making them smile is what I enjoy,’’ she said. “I will educate them about a different service or product. Or just tell them what products we have that might meet a need. When you’re warm and congenial, people respond to that.”
Ruzzi is active in the Westchester County business community and has given presentations on financial literacy to women in need of economic empowerment. She is also an active member of the chambers of commerce in Thornwood-Hawthorne and Pleasantville, and the Professional Women of Westchester Networking Group.
Ruzzi's business career started as a teenager working behind the cash register at CVS. “I enjoyed helping people and educating people about different products and services,’’ she said. “It led me into this financial field. I never dreamed it would take me as far as it has.”
After getting her degree in business administration from The College of New Rochelle, Ruzzi started out in sales. She landed a job in a bank, and went from there to manage banks in Ossining, Mount Kisco and Bronxville.
In her spare time, Ruzzi is a parish trustee for the Archdiocese of New York. She also enjoys traveling with her family.
“We like to be on the move,’’ said Ruzzi, who has traveled extensively in Europe and cruises frequently. “We like to see what the place is about, what the people are about. You go into little places that are off the beaten path. In Tuscany, you can get a delicious dinner for $12 and you feel like you’re in someone’s home.”
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