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Published: Monday, 10/29/2001

Bank executive's leadership skills often in demand

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Jay Black has been in banking for 23 years and belongs to five community boards, leaving little time for golf, a favorite pastime. Jay Black has been in banking for 23 years and belongs to five community boards, leaving little time for golf, a favorite pastime.
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Jay Black, Jr., doesn't have much time to hit the fairways.

Between his vice presidency at National City Bank, membership on five community group boards, and parenthood - Mr. Black is married with four children - he has little time for golf, his favorite pastime.

Mr. Black might like more free weekends to improve his game, but he can't say no when groups ask for his help.

“My parents used to tell me, `God has blessed you, so you need to bless others whenever you can,'” he said.

Mr. Black, 45, who credits his parents for teaching him good values, has been vice president of private banking at National City for eight years.

The Toledo native is a prominent member of the Urban Financial Services Coalition, formerly the Urban Bankers Association. The national organization was formed in the early 1970s to support minorities in banking.

“There weren't many African-Americans in management positions. We didn't have a lot of mentors,” Mr. Black said.

As regional vice president of the national group in 1994 and 1995, Mr. Black supervised local chapters in five Midwestern states and helped start several new chapters. He also was president of the Toledo chapter from 1991 to 1995.

Larry Sykes, a vice president at Fifth Third Bank who belongs to the coalition, said Mr. Black helped link the local group to the national organization and served as a great role model.

“He rallied the troops and brought a vision to the organization,” Mr. Sykes said.

As president, Mr. Black helped organize workshops for minority bankers hoping to enhance their professional skills.

The Financial Services Coalition isn't the only group that has benefited from Mr. Black's leadership.

He is a board member for Mercy Health Partners, a youth outreach group called KEVIN, Inc., the Regional Growth Partnership, North River Development Corp., and the Toledo Opera.

“Jay has exceptional people skills and a good work ethic,” Mr. Sykes said. “He is much sought after as a leader.”

Mr. Black, a 1971 graduate of Libbey High School, served in the Air Force for eight years. After traveling throughout the United States during his military service, he decided to return to Toledo.

“As a young person, I couldn't wait to get out of here, but I realized Toledo is a great place to live,” he said.

While working at various banking jobs in Toledo, Mr. Black took night classes to earn an undergraduate degree in marketing from the University of Toledo in 1993. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in marketing at the university.

Mr. Black has worked in financial services for 23 years in several sectors, including collections, sales management, and small business lending. He said his marketing background has helped him as banking has become more competitive.

“It's a lot more competitive now than when I embarked on my banking career,” he said. “That's the challenge that intrigues me.”

As vice president of National City's private banking division, Mr. Black helps individuals manage their money. He said he enjoys meeting different people and learning aspects of their businesses.



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