At Pursuit, we understand the vital roles our partners play in helping a growing number of entrepreneurs access affordable financing. With the goal of serving those within our community, our partners help us in our mission to create lasting ripples of success that uplift our organizations, clients, and neighborhoods.
To show our appreciation and highlight the importance of banking partnerships, we’re shining a spotlight on Dave Slater, Vice President of Small Business Banking at Bank of America in Albany, NY. With two decades of experience in consumer and business banking, Dave has helped small business owners grow, manage, and protect their businesses as well as plan for the future. Because he knows the importance of understanding a business and where they’re headed, Dave recommends products that best suit them and get them the capital they need. To that end, Dave is delighted that Bank of America is a major sponsor of Community Development Financial Institutions such as Pursuit.
“I really enjoy uncovering the business’s unique story beyond the numbers found within their financial statements,” says Dave. “By understanding both the internal and external offerings available for my clients, I become not just their banker, but their trusted advisor.”
We spoke with Dave to learn more about what he finds rewarding about working with business owners, the moments he’s most proud of while working at Bank of America, and why he chooses to refer clients to Pursuit.
What’s your role at Bank of America?
As Vice President of Small Business Banking, I work with local Capital District businesses (up to $10 million in annual sales) to achieve their unique business priorities. This often includes improving cash flow, business expansion, and banking with convenience as well as a focus on their own needs and those of their employees.
How did you get into small business banking?
It was a natural progression in my banking career, which began about 20 years ago in retail banking, working with personal and business clients in financial centers. I found a passion for helping others become successful, both externally with our small business clients and also internally, helping my teammates advance their careers in banking.
What do you find most rewarding about working with small businesses?
I enjoy helping local small businesses succeed. Our family has strong ties to the Capital District. It’s our home, and always will be. It feels great to provide the resources for local businesses to expand, improve cash flow, expand their business, hire locally, and to achieve things which otherwise might not be possible.
What’s a specific moment in working with small businesses that you’re proud of?
Our values here at Bank of America, remind us to deliver together, realize the power of our people, trust the team and act responsibly. I couldn’t be more proud of our team’s efforts in securing Paycheck Protection Program Funding for our clients earlier this year. In my nearly 20 years of banking, I’ve never seen anything like it. We funded more PPP applications than any other lender and delivered much needed funds to small businesses with an average loan size of under $75k.
What’s in your toolkit when a customer doesn’t qualify for financing products with Bank of America?
At Bank of America, we support local economies by sponsoring and partnering with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). My business clients rely on me to be a trusted advisor. Unfortunately, not every request is a fit for bank financing, so it’s vital to have alternative options available for my clients and in these situations, I refer my clients to our local CDFI, Pursuit.
Why do you choose to refer customers to Pursuit?
Pursuit has been a great partner. They’re responsive, have a quick and easy application process and a fast turnaround time. My most recent referral could not thank me enough for introducing him to my local partner at Pursuit, Wesley Slyke.
How has partnering with Pursuit benefited Bank of America or your relationship with your clients?
Partnering with Pursuit has deepened my client relationships, made me their trusted advisor, and has resulted in multiple new opportunities to grow their relationships.
What advice do you have for other bankers looking to get involved with Pursuit?
Don’t wait until you have a request which may not be a fit for bank financing. Build a relationship with your local Pursuit partners upfront, and learn about their programs. Doing this upfront will make you more credible and confident in the eyes of your clients.
Inspired by Dave’s story? Learn more about how partnering with Pursuit can benefit you and your small business customers.