What advice would you offer to women
just starting out in the industry?
I would highlight that early on, it is very
important to not be in a “career hurry” to
advance to larger and more expansive roles.
Early in your career is the time to cast a
wide net and compile a broad list of skills
and experiences that will provide a strong
foundation for your future career. It is
important to have experiences in varied
functions (marketing, sales, risk, etc.) and in
various types of roles (individual contributor, manager of people). It is also important
to take the time to master critical skills
necessary for your company, industry, or
function. Once the expertise is developed,
the bigger roles will come naturally.
What do you know now that you wish you
knew in the beginning of your career?
I wish I had learned the P.I.E. Model earlier
in my career. It would have helped me understand how my personal brand directly
influences my career advancement. PIE is
an acronym for the three critical success
factors for a positive personal brand.
from big career changes, to how to handle a
challenging business situation. It is critical
to have honest, transparent, and consistent
coaching to ensure you are always learning,
getting better, and growing.
Sponsors are those that advocate for
you when you are not in the room, those
that will hire you or advocate others to
hire you. Sponsors are critical for career
advancement, especially as your career
progresses to more senior roles. In my
experience, I have found that you can only
“earn” your sponsors through strong on
the job performance, often through direct
management or other exposure. You can’t
ask or solicit for a sponsor, since a critical
component of sponsorship is putting one’s
reputation on the line for someone else.
What do you think the industry could do to
attract and retain the best and the brightest today?
Our industry is challenging, dynamic, and
full of varied opportunities. The key to retaining our best and brightest is maintaining a clear focus on why employees stay
at a company or in a particular industry.
Employees stay when they have the following 4 critical items in their roles:
1.) Exciting and challenging work
2.) Career growth and development opportunities
3.) Supportive direct management and
4.) Fair pay and timely recognition – feeling of being valued for the work one
Performance is truly your “ticket to
the game”. It is assumed, as you consider
your career planning, that you are already
functioning at a high level in your current
role. You should secure a reputation for
consistent high quality work. Your image
is what you project. Your demeanor, your
communication style, verbal and nonverbal. Also, things like your posture, and
appearance. Exposure is the network you
create and nurture. This is your internal
and external network. Have your elevator
speech ready, keep LinkedIn up to date, and
consider creating a one-pager that captures
your career profile to help shape the buzz
about you. Again, it has to be an authentic
representation of your values and who
you are, in order to stick. All three of these
items encapsulate your personal brand. If
you have positive marks on all three, the sky
is the limit for your career!
What kind of role has mentoring and/or
sponsorship played in your career?
Mentoring and sponsorship have been and
remain critical to my ongoing success. And
these two topics are uniquely different.
First, for the last 15 years, I have had a
mentor “board of directors”. This group
of 3-5 people have provided me invaluable
mentorship and career advice. This group is
a diverse collection of former bosses, in and
outside financial services, peers, and former
directs. I also try to be conscious about
having male and female mentors of various
career stages on my board. The advice and
counsel this group provides is truly invaluable. I leverage their counsel on everything
Global Chief Customer &
Wells Fargo Commercial
udy Toland is the svp, global head of the customer and strategy office for Wells
Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF). In this role, she is responsible for
all customer and strategy activities across a $48 B inventory finance business,
with 40,000 dealer and 2,000 manufacturer/distributor customers in over 60
countries. This role leads a team responsible for all strategy, new product intro-
duction, commercial excellence, and customer experience initiatives. Prior to her current
role, Judy was the chief marketing officer for CDF, which included all the responsibilities
above, plus cross sell, product marketing, tradeshows and events, communications, and
public relations. From 2014 to 2016, Judy was the commercial leader, electronics and appli-
ances, for GE Capital, CDF. This P&L leadership role was responsible for originating new and
retention of existing customer relationships ( 4,000+ dealers, $5.3B in volume).
Judy has a BS in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and a MBA in
Marketing from the University of Michigan- Dearborn. She is a member of the Wells
Fargo Wholesale Diversity & Inclusion Council, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Board of
Managers, BMA Chicago and the CMO Club.