Dynamic Dr. Betty Uribe
How the Pandemic Helped her Pivot
to Make Transformative Impact
By Christine Bolaños
Dr. Betty Uribe arrived in the United States as a child from Colombia
with nothing to her family’s name. Today, she is an international brand
name and oversees JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s entire California retail
bank network. She credits her success to hard work, strong values and integrity,
coupled with the ability to pivot and a strong dose of passion. Through all of
life’s joys and accomplishments, she remains humble and prefers to be called
simply “Betty” by her colleagues.
As JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s California consumer bank divisional
director —- the largest bank in the United States with more than $3.2 trillion
in assets under management —- Uribe is responsible for over 10,000
employees across nearly 1,000 branches. It’s a significant career move for
Uribe, who left California Bank & Trust in late 2019 after eight years to grow her
“Dr. Betty” brand internationally. This effort included speaking engagements,
consulting and philanthropic work, but she says those plans were cut short
when the global pandemic reached Europe, causing a chain reaction that
ultimately led her back into banking.
She was on her way back from her #Values book tour in Mexico City —-
a book that was endorsed by The Vatican and has a foreword by the Pentagon
—- when she heard that Italy was shutting down in response to the
“I thought, holy mackerel, what does that mean? The next day they shut
down Los Angeles and things started to pivot,” Uribe shares.
One moment she was accepting recognition as Ambassador of Peace and
Human Rights in The Americas UN, UNICEF, CNDH, CIDH, UNESCO and OEA
and the next she was reaching out to her contacts at the Small Business
Administration and the U.S. Dept. of Treasury figuring out how she could help
small business owners open their businesses and keep them afloat at such an
uncertain time. Uribe has owned and operated businesses in manufacturing,
automotive, transportation, real estate and business consulting. Then she got a
life-changing LinkedIn message from a connection at JPMorgan Chase that
eventually led her back into banking.
Uribe understood the big responsibility the position entailed so she had to
“really fall in love” to accept the job. After nearly a dozen conversations with
division heads at the company and employees at all levels “that’s exactly what
happened,” she says. Uribe says she feels like she’s “coming home” every day
she goes to work.
“It’s a bank with a heart and you don’t find that (much). Most people lead
with the numbers but this company leads with a heart. It’s a genuine culture of
people and community and how could I not fall in love with that,” Uribe shares.
Working to better focus organizations along their core values is a
central focus of Uribe’s career in banking and as a speaker and consultant. She
Dr. Betty Uribe, Consumer Bank Divisional Director for
JPMorgan Chase California.
thought she would have to bring that to JPMorgan Chase but was pleasantly
surprised to find the bank was already largely aligned along with its key values.
For example, the company is expanding its involvement in the local
community. It made a recent $30 billion commitment to improve racial
financial equity over the next five years in Black and Latino communities across
the United States. This includes financial commitments to mortgages, business
loans, furthering financial education in underserved communities, and
expanding diversity and inclusion in its own workforce.
“These are two large communities in our nation that have faced racism and
because of the pandemic, they have been affected even more. We want to
reach out and help in areas where traditionally our industry has not done so
much,” Uribe shares. “We’re taking a systemic approach to this by teaming up
with community-based organizations and locking arms to really affect positively
in the ability for people to own their homes.”
8 www.latinastyle.com LATINAStyle V ol. 26, No. 6, 2020