The power of connection drives success for Corporate Banking group head

March 20, 2024
Young man holding a trombone and standing in front of a piano.

Corporate banker Judy Kelly leads a specialized industries group that includes Consumer and Retail, Food and Beverage, and Hospitality and Leisure

Judy Kelly has been in the consumer and retail space for her entire 35-year career and has been with U.S. Bank for the last 15 years, serving some of the largest and most recognizable corporations in the world.

In 2023, she took on expanded responsibilities as one of the heads of the U.S. Bank Specialized Industries group.

Clients trust her experience, she said, and know she’s deeply committed to their goals. She’s received top awards from the bank throughout her tenure.

“For nearly a decade, I was a relationship manager in the bank’s Retail and Apparel group, and then I was the division manager for five years before being named to my current role in 2023,” Kelly said.

Kelly leads the team that covers Consumer and Retail, Food and Beverage, and Hospitality and Leisure – in other words, businesses where people shop, eat or stay.

“It gives you a whole new perspective on lodging, restaurants, food production, and retailing,” she said. “Every day is different, and there are always new challenges. It’s very rewarding to help businesses navigate crises and emerge stronger.”

Kelly’s team works with many well-known brands – grocery store chains, drugstore chains, high-end and discount clothing stores, hotel chains, consumer packaged goods manufacturers, protein companies and more.

The team provides credit, as well as treasury management services, capital markets, corporate cards, merchant services, prepaid cards, tax credits and other solutions.

Kelly’s expertise is about more than industry and product knowledge, she said. She understands the value of a strong, ethical banking partner -- and the power of personal connection.

“I’m naturally curious and always want to know the answer to things, what motivates my clients, how they think, where our common ground is,” she said. “There’s something remarkable that happens when you and a customer discover a mutual interest or experience. We’re the lead bank for one of the nation’s largest discount-clothing retailers. That’s attributable to our experience and our product set, but I sometimes joke that it’s also because their CEO and I are both Boston Red Sox fans.”

Kelly said she enjoys the relationships she has with clients.

“You should always keep your connections open,” she said. “You never know what opportunities may come and how you’ll grow from them.”

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