Boris Ayala is Retail Market Manager for North Florida at Fifth Third Bank and a member of Prospera’s Statewide Board of Directors. Read more below about this esteemed volunteer.
- What are your workplace’s mission and services?
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of Dec. 31, 2017, the Bank had $142 billion in assets and operated 1,154 full-service Banking Centers and 2,469 ATMs with Fifth Third branding across a 10-state footprint. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to more than 54,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management.
Fifth Third Bancorp’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report, available at 53.com/csrreport, explains how the Bank strives to be a good corporate citizen through nationally recognized programs such as Lives Improved through Financial Empowerment® (L.I.F.E.), which focuses on financial education, Feeding Our Communities initiatives and Strengthening Our Communities grants. In 2016, the Bank made a $30 billion commitment to improve the communities it serves. So far, more than $3.09 billion of that goal has been invested in Florida.
- What led you to serve or continue serving on Prospera’s Board of Directors?
My father was an immigrant and entrepreneur. I personally saw the challenges he encountered while starting a business in a different country with the language, legal and cultural limitations he faced. I have the utmost respect for the passion and work it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in the U.S. I value the opportunity to pay it forward to others via my involvement in this organization.
- Please tell us about your Hispanic background.
I was born in Bogota, Colombia. My parents moved a lot, which gave me the opportunity to experience Hispanic cultures in different cities and countries in South America before moving to the U.S. I migrated to the U.S. at 15 years old. It was challenging to learn the English language and adapt to the U.S. culture while going through high school, but I truly feel my diverse upbringing helped me adapt quickly.
- What advice would you have appreciated hearing when first starting your career?
I wish someone would have taught me that hard work and results are not enough to advance your career in the corporate world. My upbringing to respect and not question authority actually worked against me early in my career. I did not know how to be intentional in my own development and the benefit of building a strong network to help you advance your career. I had a great mentor 4 years into my early banking career who taught me these valuable lessons.
- What is the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout your career?
The ability to adapt, embrace and lead others through change is such an important and often underestimated skill. Adaptability has made a difference not only in my career but in my life.
- How do you achieve work/life balance?
This is a tough one for me given the amount of travel outside of Orlando my work requires. When I am working in Orlando, I make it a point to be home on time for dinner. I am an early riser so often I am at work at 6:00 am, which helps.
- Can you tell us one item still on your bucket list?
I have always been fascinated by history. I would love to visit Machu Picchu. I would like to do it by hiking up the Inca Trail. A four day trek up the mountains, the way the Incas did it!