Now that Boland, managing director of consumer lending, is moving to Charlotte, we wanted to reach out and welcome this distinguished, committed African-American leader and his family to the Queen City. We recently spoke to Steve and wanted our readers to get to know more about this successful new member of our community.
A: Changes in location have played a big part in my life, actually. I spent my childhood in Florida and Jamaica. During my career, I’ve lived in Chicago, San Francisco, southern California and New York, while traveling to many other places, too.
I’ve always considered experiencing new locations to be an opportunity to learn more, make new connections and serve as a member of a new community.
In a certain sense, relocating to Charlotte feels a lot like coming home. I began my banking career with NCNB — one of the direct predecessors of Bank of America. And, of course, I’ve enjoyed spending time in Charlotte when business brought me to Bank of America headquarters frequently over the years.
My family and I are enchanted with the culture, the environment and the lifestyle. This city is vibrant and has so much to offer.
Q: Can you explain your role and being based at Bank of America Corporate Center?
A: I am thrilled to be in this role at the bank. As the consumer lending executive, I have leadership responsibilities for Bank of America home loans, the consumer vehicle financing unit and the residential real estate portion of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management – areas that directly serve some of our clients’ biggest financial needs.
So, it makes sense for me to be based in Charlotte – especially since 2016 will be a strong year for consumer lending.
Stable home values and employment numbers suggest that home purchase activity will be constant. Also, interest rates are still lower than people expected, which continues to offer home refinancing opportunities. In auto lending, there should be great refinance opportunities also, as well as lower payments for those looking to purchase — people like me coming from New York without a car.
At the beginning of my career, when I was a young banking center manager, I realized there is nothing better than the reaction you get when you tell people they are able to own their own home or get the car they want or the line of financing they need because their kid is getting ready to go to college. I feel the same way today! Even though I’ve spent more than 25 years in the lending side of banking, that feeling never grows old.
Q: Outside of your rewarding career, what other factors motivate you to succeed?
A: Whether it’s in my career or my personal life, success for me revolves around family, faith and education.
Even when I was a very young boy, my mother thought there was nothing that I could not achieve. With support like that, it became second nature for me to believe in myself. My wife and I have tried to instill that same level of confidence in our children.
My family truly is everything to me. Like all parents, there are days when it is startling to realize how fast the time goes by, and that our precious small children have become teenagers and young adults.
We are a family of strong faith and we’ve always been very busy with school, sports and fellowship activities. The whole Boland household is excited about the new connections to come in Charlotte.
Q: What would you tell others who want to follow your example?
A: I am passionate about the importance of education. My education has played a huge part in my success. I continue to use – and build upon – the knowledge and skills that I acquired while earning my degree in organizational studies at Northwestern University.
So, the most important piece of advice I would give is: Focus on your education and that of your family members. For example, I’d encourage young people to participate in mentoring programs like the Pride Entrepreneur Education Program here in Charlotte.
At every step along my career path, I’ve advocated for resources to support education. I’m very proud of the extraordinary investment in educational resources that Bank of America has made, and our track record in helping people make informed decisions about their financial goals. This is particularly gratifying now that we work with so many millennials who want to learn how to be ready to buy their first car – and their first home.
Q: What is new and exciting in banking?
A: In the world of banking, the most exciting stuff is happening in the online and digital space.
With 19 million active mobile users – and growing by about 5,500 users each day – our digital capabilities impress me to no end. We have digital wallet integrations, like Apple Pay™ and Samsung Pay™, mobile check deposits, card-less ATMs, online loan applications and we’re adding more features all the time – all making it easier for our clients to manage their finances at their fingertips. And, specific to home loans, we’re launching a new online service called Home Loan Navigator, which will let our mortgage clients see their loan status real time, understand next steps, upload and sign documents electronically and communicate with their loan experts, all within the secure online banking platform Bank of America hosts for our customers’ other banking transactions. We continually ask clients what they want in their mortgage experience. And while a knowledgeable and responsive loan officer continues to be the most critical piece, clients expect an online experience to complement that personal relationship.
It’s all about providing transparency with what is going on with their loan – and it is digital capabilities, coupled with real people, that make that possible.
Content provided by Bank of America. Photos by Vic LeDan Photography