Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Anita Colvin the accidental banker


Anita Colvin had no idea that working as a part-time teller at a US Bank branch in the greater Portland, Oregon, area would lead to a career in finance.

“I was a total accidental banker,” Colvin said. “My plan was to take a year off school and work the part-time teller job while I figured out what I wanted to do with my life, and here I am 25 years later.”

Colvin spent more than 12 years in branch banking, earning a series of promotions and working her way up to the position of district manager, before joining the business banking group in 2016 and seeing an opportunity on the equipment finance team.

Colvin began her career as the director of sales for the equipment finance team's small-ticket group, which assists customers with transactions of less than $1 million. In early 2021, she was named the head of U.S. Bank Equipment Finance's manufacturing vendor services and the company's first female general manager, serving clients across the country.

Manufacturing vendor services, as the name implies, provides financing for manufacturers in the metal-cutting, plastics, woodworking, glass, stone, and other manufacturing industries to purchase or upgrade equipment. The US Bank team collaborates with equipment manufacturers to provide financing to their industrial customers in the same way that automakers provide financing to consumers.

"I’m always of the mindset that great leaders ask great questions, and my team would certainly tell you I ask a lot of them,” said Anita Colvin

Colvin didn't know much about manufacturing when she accepted this position of leadership.
“When I took this role, I knew enough about manufacturing to be dangerous, and I still continue to learn every day,” she said. “In my sales organization, we have folks who have been in this space for many years and are experts because they’re working on transactions every day. I’m always of the mindset that great leaders ask great questions, and my team would certainly tell you I ask a lot of them.”

Colvin takes pride in being the first woman to hold her position.

According to her, there has traditionally been a lack of women in senior leadership positions in the equipment finance industry, particularly in sales organizations.

“There has been a big focus in the industry to change that,” Colvin said. “The workforce is becoming more diverse, which is exciting.”

Colvin is involved in diversity efforts, serving as a female advocate in a number of professional organizations. She is the treasurer of the Women in Manufacturing Oregon Chapter Board, an organization that supports, promotes, and inspires women in the manufacturing industry. She is also a member of the US Bank Women's Business Resource Group and a mentor in US Bank's internship and MentorConnect programs.    

“I’m absolutely trying to help other women follow my path,” she said.

“Creating a diverse team is a critical piece of moving forward. When we all think alike, we limit our long-term growth.”

While the industry is traditionally male-dominated, Colvin claims she hasn't encountered much bias.

“People have been extremely open and welcoming, giving me the grace to ask questions and learn,” she said. “I’ve been so blessed to have great mentors and sponsors at the bank who advocated for me.”

Anita enjoys the most about her job because of the people she meets.

“Whether it’s working with my team or working with our clients or customers, it’s really about building mutually beneficial relationships,” she said.

“I just love watching people succeed.”