Ellen Comeaux is in a relatively new role at TIAA Bank, having been named senior vice president and commercial division sales leader last November, but three decades in the equipment finance industry have equipped her with all she needs to build a foundation for growth.
Ellen Comeaux, SVP and Commercial Division Sales Leader, TIAA Bank
During her more than 30 years in the equipment finance business, including time with MetLife Capital and GE Capital, Ellen Comeaux has remained dedicated to people and to delivering results for clients.
Comeaux’s emphasis on the people side of the industry dictates her approach to leadership, as she has always sought to build cohesive teams and create open lines of communication.
“I’m really a firm believer in the saying that a rising tide raises all ships,” Comeaux says. “I want our associates to feel connected to the strategy of our business and to understand that how they show up every day matters and how they’re connected to the business strategy and our growth.”
When a team is in sync, Comeaux’s other passion, delivering results for clients, becomes easier, even in times of turbulence, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. For Comeaux, addressing the challenges of the pandemic has been a major focus since she was named senior vice president and commercial division sales leader for TIAA Bank in November 2020. Recently, that has meant navigating the business ‘back to normal’ and pivoting to new work environments while providing support for clients and vendor partners in the form of new lending programs, such as deferrals and step-up payment structures.
Comeaux has also begun building beyond 2021, specifically working with TIAA Bank’s senior leadership team to formulate the bank’s strategic plan for the next five years as a foundation for sustainable growth.
“I want to be realizing that growth. I want that foundation to be in place so we can have a sustained growth,” Comeaux says of her aspirations for the future. “And I think for equipment finance particularly, this means really building upon our strong reputation as a trusted partner in our strategic segments of healthcare and industrial.”
To lay the groundwork for success, Comeaux has made it a point to form relationships with colleagues at TIAA Bank and external partners and customers.
“I’ve been meeting with the business teams and the clients whenever possible,” Comeaux says. “I’ve been spending a lot of time learning and listening, trying to understand our strengths better, where we can build upon those strengths.”