If Regions Bank was looking for a Pinellas County expert to take over as the area’s market executive, they couldn’t have done much better than Tina Gilmore-Johnson, who took the reins from Jim Donatelli Jan. 5.
The St. Petersburg native got her start in banking in 1991 as a teller at First Florida Bank before moving on to SunTrust Bank, where she worked her way up to become a branch manager and then area manager. She joined Regions in 2013 and has been there ever since, working as a consumer banking manager responsible for the performance of teams at 15 branches.
“I got a good foundation to build from,” Gilmore-Johnson said. “I’m so honored to be appointed by Regions for this opportunity within Pinellas County. I hold Pinellas County very dear to my heart.”
That statement is backed up by Gilmore-Johnson’s deep commitment to community service. Since 2005, she has served on the board of directors at Operation PAR Inc., a nonprofit that provides treatment and services to people who struggle with substance abuse and mental health. She is also active with the Kiwanis Club of Pinellas Park, serving as secretary for the past 25 years.
“Tina is deeply embedded in the community and understands how we can build on our mission to make life better for the people and places we serve,” Regions President and CEO John Turner stated in a news release. “In addition to shaping how our local branch teams make banking easier for our customers, her three decades of community involvement have made a clear impact on others while setting a great example for our teams to follow. Tina and her colleagues in Pinellas County will work hand-in-hand with our broader Tampa Bay teams to deliver the best of Regions to every client we serve.”
Professionally, Gilmore-Johnson’s steady ascent through the ranks hasn’t always been without challenges. Rising consumer demand for mobile and online banking required her and her team to rapidly develop and enhance their digital capabilities.
“Customer preferences have really shifted over the years to be able to bank how, when and where they want,” she said.
The coronavirus pandemic has only served to accelerate banks’ online strategies.
“We’ll be seeing more and more things able to be done via technology,” Gilmore-Johnson added. “I think that’s going to be the biggest change.”
Regions was ahead of the Covid-19 curve when it introduced video teller machines (VTMs), also known as video banking ATMs, at some branches in the Tampa Bay region. These devices allow customers to speak directly with tellers and conduct basic banking tasks without having to enter a branch. Customers can interact with tellers via two-way video and audio, or just audio if they prefer.
“You’ve got to be adaptable and willing to change,” Gilmore-Johnson said. “You’ve got to look forward, constantly evaluating, asking, ‘How can I improve?’ Because what made you successful today may not make you successful tomorrow.”
Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., Regions Bank (NYSE: RF) has more than $145 billion in total assets and serves customers in 16 states.