Graduate school of retail banking

Bank of the West Honors GSRBM Graduates

Greenville, SC | July 30, 2014


Bankers Join Ranks of Retail Banking Leaders and Alumni

Yesterday, six employees of Bank of the West graduated from the CBA/BAI Graduate School of Retail Bank Management (GSRBM), hosted at Furman University. GSRBM, which is marking its 62nd year with 5,095 graduates, offers the banking industry's top talent the knowledge and skills required to become the leaders of tomorrow. In the course of three years, the program, which is designed and conducted by leading industry practitioners, immerses students in real world scenarios experienced daily by retail banks.

Bank of the West Graduates:

Neil Vaidya, 2014 Tem Wooldridge Award recipient – Vice President, Management Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis Manager
Alicia De La Cruz – Vice President, RBG Regional Manager
Keith Demaline – Vice President, Branch Manager
Jamie Elmore – Senior Vice President, RBG Regional Manager
Jason Kwan – Vice President, RBG Division Administrative Manager
Andrew Miller – Vice President, RBG Area Manager

Vaidya was selected by the GSRBM faculty and his fellow students to receive the Tem Wooldridge Award, named for a now-retired GSRBM member. This prestigious award recognizes the top GSRBM student each year who demonstrates outstanding academic performance, high integrity and a strong work ethic. In addition to academic merit, the Tem Wooldridge winner possesses the necessary character and leadership skills to bring out the best in their teammates. 

"The CBA/BAI Graduate School of Retail Bank Management is a rigorous and selective program," said Andy Harmening, alumnus of the GSRBM program, senior executive vice president of Bank of the West’s Regional Banking Group and chair of the CBA Board of Directors. "On behalf of the Bank, I’m thrilled that our team members had such a meaningful opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills. And, a special congratulations to Neil for the additional recognition of his standout contributions. I am confident that all of our graduates are now better-positioned to make an even greater impact in our bank and in our industry overall."

"Congratulations to the Bank of the West participants on their graduation from the Graduate School of Retail Bank Management. They have completed a professional journey which has given them the tools to rise to the top of today’s retail banking industry. Their hard work and dedication has been integral to the success of GSRBM, and they should be proud of this accomplishment," said CBA President and CEO Richard Hunt.

"The Bank of the West team has earned well-deserved recognition for their commitment to developing their knowledge and leadership skills that helps strengthen an industry vital to the American economy. We look forward to watching them help advance the retail banking industry as they join the ranks of GSRBM alumni," said Debbie Bianucci, President and CEO of BAI.

GSRBM students participate in one-of-a-kind simulation exercises that challenge them to run the entire consumer business of a bank. Not only do they learn how to analyze and use financial data to influence a bank’s future performance, but they also are given the chance to dive into an executive-level virtual experience that requires them to manage a bank from the top down. Enhancements made to the MarketSim banking simulation this year include an emphasis on enhanced marketing decisions and delivery channels, effectively putting the focus on the customer. Anchored on a path to leadership, students graduate with a deep understanding and appreciation of how various segments of retail banking are interrelated.

The next session of GSRBM will take place on July 19 to 29, 2015 at Furman University in Greenville, SC. For more information about GSRBM, please visit our website.

About CBA: The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is the trade association for today's leaders in retail banking - banking services geared toward consumers and small businesses. The nation's largest financial institutions, as well as many regional banks, are CBA corporate members, collectively holding two-thirds of the industry's total assets. CBA’s mission is to preserve and promote the retail banking industry as it strives to fulfill the financial needs of the American consumer and small business.

About BAI: BAI is the financial services industry's resource for breakthrough information and intelligence needed to innovate and stay relevant in an evolving marketplace. For more than 85 years, BAI has provided the industry with unbiased and objective education and research. BAI's offerings are as diverse as the industry, and include premier events such as BAI Retail Delivery Conference & Expo, groundbreaking research, professional learning and development programs, and in-depth editorial coverage through BAI Banking Strategies. For more information, visit

BAI is Bank Administration Institute and BAI Center.

About Bank of the West:
Founded in 1874, $68 billion-asset Bank of the West (, Member FDIC and  Equal Housing Lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 180,000 employees.

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