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 Vice President, Hawzien Gebremedhin.

Hometown: Denver, Colorado via Tigray, Ethiopia

Years at FirstBank: 12 years

Other positions held with organizations/boards:

Emily Griffith Foundation – Board Member

Describe your experience in getting to where you are today.

When I was one, my family and I immigrated to the United States as refugees from Ethiopia’s Tigray region. We came straight to Colorado where I’ve been ever since.

At 19, I started as a Teller at FirstBank while attending the University of Colorado Denver. After graduating in 2011 with a Communication degree, I realized that a long term path at FirstBank was a bright one, so I returned to CU Denver for additional business credits to qualify for the Management Training program. I became an Officer shortly after.

I feel blessed with the path I’m on, and am grateful for the opportunities FirstBank has provided me.

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

“Banking for good” influences the choices I make everyday. Rather than making decisions based on what’s easiest or most profitable, I now look at it through a lens of, “is this good for our customers, community or employees?” This way of thinking has also started to pour into my personal life and interactions with others.

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

Build your community! Having a solid support system is key to navigating the ups and downs of a professional career.

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

I think it would be awesome to meet the following figures, because they were such transformational leaders and have inspired me greatly.

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