40 Under 40 The Class of 2017

Trisha Leary

Vice President, Internal Control, PeoplesBank; Age 32

Trisha Leary

Trisha Leary

It’s a challenging, tightly regulated world for banks these days, so it’s hard to overestimate the importance of auditors. But let’s hear Tom Senecal, president and CEO of PeoplesBank, tell it.

“I formerly served as the CFO, so I know how important financial audits and risk-mitigation efforts are to our safety and security,” he noted by way of explaining why Trisha Leary was promoted from Risk Oversight officer to vice president of Internal Control. “Trisha is the person our leadership team turns to for information on federal and state banking regulations, risk management, and related reporting.”

Leary started her career in a different corner of the financial-services world, as an accountant with Wolf & Co., primarily focusing on banking. “That’s how I got into banking,” she said. “I started auditing banks from a public perspective, then came to be the internal auditor here. I focus on policy and procedure, and make sure we’re doing what we say we’re doing.”

In doing so, she gets to interact with every department in the bank. “We’re looking at everything from the teller line to financial statements, making sure everything is in line; we get to see how everything operates, and it’s interesting. I get to work with a bunch of great people.”

Like most PeoplesBank employees, Leary also has one foot firmly planted in community service, volunteering for the United Way Day of Caring — her projects have included revitalizing a rec room at the YMCA of Greater Springfield, restoring and painting fences surrounding Wistariahurst Museum, and landscaping and cleaning up Forest Park Zoo — and serving as treasurer for Girls Inc., a cause especially close to her heart.

“I’m honored to be on the board,” she said of the nonprofit, which provides girls with opportunities to reach their full potential through programs in STEM studies, leadership development, and life skills, among others. “I have two girls myself, and I see the impact this organization has on girls’ lives.”

Leary also volunteers for the bank’s social committee, employee appreciation committee, and holiday committee, but finds it most gratifying to reach out to the community.

“As fun as it is being an auditor, it’s more satisfying when you can go out and help others,” she added. “The bank is very good about allowing opportunities for getting involved; it’s something we pride ourselves on. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that.”

—Joseph Bednar