Written by The Business Journal Staff
Benjamin J. Maddox, Senior VP and Market Manager
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
What we do: Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Middle Market team manages and grows a diverse portfolio of commercial and agribusiness clients with annual revenues of $50 million to $2 billion across the Fresno, Madera, Kings, Tulare and Kern County markets.
Education: I am a graduate of the Craig School of Business at Fresno State with a B.S. in Business Administration (Finance) and a minor in Economics.
Family: Wife – Alison; Children – Emily (11), Brenton (11), Brooklyn (7) and Carson (3)
Tell us a little about your career to your current position, Benjamin?
My Middle Market banking career began in 2000 as an intern at Cal Fed Bank while still attending Fresno State. Over the past 15 years, I have held roles that included Credit Analyst, Credit Officer, Relationship Manager, and Loan Team Manager. The roles have included both underwriting and marketing positions, which have helped prepare me for my current position as Market Manager with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Thirteen of my 15 years have been spent working with business clients in the Central Valley, and now I have responsibility for business clients from Madera County to Kern County.
What does your military experience add to your professional life, Benjamin?
The five years I spent in the Navy were instrumental in my development and growth. The military requires you to mature at a very quick rate and provides leadership opportunities for those willing to step up. I was promoted to 3rd Class Petty Officer in 18 months, became duty section leader and was the junior enlisted representative to the Executive Officers Board at the Naval Hospital. Responsibility and accountability is core to success in the military. These qualities carry over very well into the civilian workforce.
What brought you to the Fresno area, Benjamin?
In 1995, my initial duty station out of basic training and “A” school in the Navy was NAS Lemoore. I wound up being stationed there for four and a half years. Alison, my wife, later joined me in Lemoore, where she transferred to Fresno State finishing up her BS in Business Administration. Upon completion of my naval career, I opted to attend Fresno State as well and we made the commitment to stay in the area. After spending a two year hiatus in Carlsbad, CA, Alison and I felt like Fresno/Clovis was home and we wanted to bring the kids back to raise them here, closer to family and friends.
What are the biggest opportunities and challenges for Bank of America in the Fresno market, Benjamin?
Bank of America is actively and aggressively looking to grow market share in the Central Valley, adding resources to Fresno. We recently hired some of the best Middle Market bankers in the region and are bringing more business expertise to the clients we serve. This will give our clients and prospects that look to us as a valued resource the assurance that we are committed to Fresno and the Central Valley. Challenges, like in all businesses, are creating a market awareness and presence that will serve the community and the organization for the next 100 years and beyond. Additionally, our current drought situation will allow us the opportunity to define new ways of supporting businesses financing needs. We have the resources, and are committed to doing exactly that. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is one of the largest providers of financial services to the food and agribusiness sectors with over $33 billion of financial support.
What’s one thing about Bank of America’s local operations that people may not know, Benjamin?
Bank of America is extremely committed to the Central Valley and Fresno in particular. There are currently about 650 employees in the region along with 45 banking centers with several key lines of businesses such as wealth management, small business banking, commercial banking, and experts in agriculture-related industries. In addition to being a major employer and housing such local market expertise, we are a major contributor to the community, having awarded $500,000 to two dozen nonprofits last year alone. Also of note is our direct work with area food banks to serve families hardest hit by the drought due to its impact on farming and agriculture jobs. On top of all this, employees logged about 3,800 volunteer hours with local charities and causes.
There was a South Valley pioneer named Ben Maddox who has a Visalia street named for him. Do people ever ask you about that, Benjamin?
This is a question that I get asked often. It is a wonderful conversation starter, but I am not related as far as I know.
What was the best advice you ever received, Benjamin?
Never stop learning and growing. This is advice that I try to act on every day. There is something that can be learned from every individual that you meet and from every situation you are faced with. The best way that I have found to make sure this happens it to try to talk less and to listen more.
What was your very first job and what did you learn from it, Benjamin?
I had a few jobs in high school that included pumping gas at a service station, and chasing hot air balloons (you actually pull them down with a rope). These jobs taught me many things, but most importantly they taught me responsibility and hard work at an early age.
What do you like to do in your spare time, Benjamin?
I love spending time with my family. Whether it is traveling, spending time at the beach or coaching and playing sports with the kids. We are actively involved with baseball, softball, soccer, gymnastics, swimming and golf.