FirstBank believes there’s unity in diversity. In February, we observe Black History Month by recognizing and celebrating some of FirstBank’s strongest Black and African American leaders.

Today, we’re featuring Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Danielle Vaughan.

Hometown: Denver

Years at FirstBank: 16

Other positions held with organizations/boards:

Currently:

Previously:       

Describe your experience in getting to where you are today.

Technically, I began my FirstBank journey at 14 years old. I was nervous to go into a bank by myself with my summer job paycheck, but was treated with dignity and respect when I opened my first account. I certainly didn’t know it at the time, but my connection to FirstBank was just beginning.

A few years later, I got an internship at FirstBank, and after I graduated college, I decided to go into the company’s Management Training program. As an Officer, I’ve worked in various leadership roles and was even given the opportunity to complete my MBA with the help of the company’s tuition reimbursement program. I now oversee many of our human resource (HR) functions, including payroll, benefits, and employee relations as Executive Vice President of HR.

Obviously, I’ve had to work hard and maintain integrity; while learning quickly from mistakes. But it’s helped me go far.

How has FirstBank’s companywide philosophy of “banking for good” impacted your life and your career?

FirstBank’s focus on “banking for good” aligns with my personal principles. Working here I’ve never had to choose between doing what’s right and keeping my job, meeting bosses’ expectations, or succeeding in the workplace. I feel blessed to work for a successful and ethical company, where I’ve also had a rewarding career.

What is the best career advice you have for the next generation of leaders? What would you tell someone just starting out? 

For future leaders, I’d advise them to always put ethics before profit and even the law, because rules and regulations aren’t always a sufficient guide for doing what’s right. I’d also say that it’s important to create boundaries, but be willing to roll up your sleeves and dig in deep to whatever you do. Everything you’ve touched should be meaningfully better because of your contribution.

Considering February is Black History Month, which historical figure/s would you most like to meet and why?

There are too many strong, brilliant Black historical figures to choose from. Many have beaten the odds, invented, elevated, broken barriers and literally changed the world. Proudly, I’m overwhelmed with choice!

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