Leading Ladies: Dawn S. Glynn
President and Regional Executive Officer, TowneBank Chesapeake/Portsmouth/Suffolk/North Carolina
By Barrett Baker
You could say that banking has always been in Dawn Glynn’s blood. She started her career at 18 as a part-time teller while attending Old Dominion University. She has had countless member-facing positions in the banking world since, including banking officer, branch manager, financial center manager, private banker, director of private banking, regional president and the position she enjoys today.
In fact, her proudest moment was when she was asked to be a part of the original group of bankers that started TowneBank, which has grown to 38 locations in two states with more than $10.6 billion in assets. “We literally started TowneBank in the garage back in 1998,” says Glynn. “My youngest daughter was 18 months old at the time, so growing the company has definitely been a family affair.”
In addition to her position with TownBanke, Glynn serves on several boards including the Chesapeake Regional Health Foundation, Hampton Roads Chamber, United Way’s Leadership Council, EVMS Foundation and United Way of South Hampton Roads. She also oversees a private banking group that is dedicated to serving the local medical and legal communities.
“Nothing is more rewarding to me than helping someone start their business from the ground up and watching it grow into a thriving enterprise or helping someone purchase their first home,” she says. “As we grow the bank, we’re able to invest more money into each of our communities by supporting so many worthy local nonprofits.”
With all she has going on, Glynn still works hard at maintaining a healthy work/family balance. “I couldn’t have accomplished all that I have in my professional career without the support of my husband and two daughters,” says Glynn. “I always built all of my girls’ school activities into my calendar to ensure I never missed a game, recital or any other school project. I may have been the only mom cheering on their team in a suit, but they always knew I was there to support them. I miss those times now that they’ve grown.”
Glynn credits her success to countless mentors, lots of hard work along the way with every new opportunity, a passion for serving others and a love of winning. “I have been fortunate to have some remarkable mentors over my 30-plus-year banking career that have molded me into the professional I am today,” she says. “So, now it’s important for me to pay it forward and help build up our next generation of leaders at Towne. I think this would be the best way to thank my mentors by sharing the knowledge and time they invested in building me up.”
Part of her advice to young women aspiring to move forward in the banking world—including her oldest daughter, who is a private banker with Towne in Virginia Beach—is to keep a positive attitude, be patient, work hard, never give up and always believe in yourself. “I was always committed to showing my girls they can accomplish anything and follow their dreams with hard work, passion for what they love, treating others as you would like to be treated, staying true to their values and principles and to never stop learning. For those wishing to move into leadership roles as they advance in their careers, I tell them to always aspire to your next role, dress the part, give 110 percent in your current position and begin to learn the skills needed for the next role. You need to act the part so you always stand out from others.”
As for the keys to her own success? “I just love talking to people, connecting with people and the thrill of winning a deal,” she continues. “I’m a true optimist with an enthusiastic attitude and true passion in knowing that what I do is making a difference in so many other peoples’ lives. It’s also important that I am surrounded by the best bankers and teammates.”