Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer
On May 5, Kate Quinn sent an email to the 3,140 U.S. Bancorp employees she was managing at the time. The subject line — “I’m OK, I’m not OK and it’s OK” — and the words within were meant to offer reassurance to those coping with the angst of the coronavirus pandemic.
She received more than 20 written replies and heard praise from others throughout the summer. “I was really overwhelmed by the response to that,” Quinn said. “I think people felt like it gave them permission to feel a certain way and not feel OK. Sometimes people need to know we’re all human.”
Quinn has spent much of the year managing the Minneapolis banking company’s COVID-19 response plan. Along with Chief Risk Officer Jodi Richard, Quinn helped shift 55,000 employees to remote work, implemented a 20% pay premium for front-line workers and secured additional paid time off, child care and other benefits for those affected by the virus.
She has done it while wearing two hats — on top of her oversight of strategy, government relations, communications, marketing, corporate social responsibility, customer and employee experience and digital, Quinn was acting chief human resources officer from January to mid-September. She’s done it, too, as a mother of three. (Her children are now ages 21, 16 and 11. The oldest, who no longer lives at home. and youngest also have autism.)
Quinn, who joined the company in 2013 as chief marketing officer, said the events of the past few months have forced her to “lead differently” than in the past.
“I’m really taking into account people’s individual circumstances,” she said. “Not that I didn’t before, but now I’m talking to people and their kids are playing piano in the background and the dogs are barking. It’s an emotional and stressful time for people because they are pulled in so many directions.”
For the first time, American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking celebration is open to the whole financial community. Join us virtually October 6-8 to hear our 2020 honorees’ stories and experiences. Register here.
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