Entrepreneurial Mentality

Growing up, Renée Wheeler ’05 wanted to be an entrepreneur. She loved the idea of success being a direct result of her own work ethic – a mindset she applies to her career today.

“Even as a kid I liked the idea of getting a job where my success depended on how hard I worked,” said Renée. “I’ve always been a motivated person and it was exciting to think that I could achieve my goals if I maintained a certain level of commitment.”

Renée’s entrepreneurial mentality followed her to Elmira Savings Bank in 2003. She had recently enrolled at SUNY Corning Community College and she needed a job to make ends meet. Renée started out as a “peak time teller” before working her way up to higher positions.

Today, Renée is the Elmira Savings Bank Vice President, Business Banking Officer, and Branch Manager of the Big Flats location. Her day-to-day duties range from conducting interviews, to working with business customers, credit card processing, and addressing the needs of her staff.

“The common thread that connects all of my positions is helping people,” said the Horseheads, N.Y. native. “I’m constantly thinking about how I can create new products and services to help my customers. Interacting and building good relationships with them is so important and it’s my favorite part.”

As a non-traditional student at SUNY CCC Renée took the majority of her classes in the evening and on weekends. She credits the professors at SUNY CCC for creating a positive atmosphere and providing the foundation she needed to be successful.

“I really enjoyed being around other like-minded individuals at [SUNY] CCC,” said Renée. “As nontraditional students many of us had full-time jobs and families and we were there to get the job done. The professors all supported us and were willing to help in any way possible.”

After she graduated from SUNY CCC, Renée received her bachelor’s degree in business administration at Elmira College and her master’s degree in management from Keuka College. She achieved all of this while maintaining her growing career at Elmira Savings Bank.

With her multiple titles and positions at Elmira Savings Bank, Renée considers herself a life-long learner who wants to continue to grow in her field. She is currently enrolled in the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and the Wharton Leadership Academy through the University of Pennsylvania.

“I love my career because there are always new things to learn, especially when it comes to rules and regulations,’ said Renée. “Obtaining these credentials will bring great opportunities to me and my family.”