Thought Leadership

Leading Ladies

Meet the women banking team at Sunrise Banks in the North Loop

At Sunrise Banks in the North Loop, it’s no surprise that customers are often greeted by name when they walk through the door. In fact, getting to know people and their families is a top priority for the women banking team at the North Loop location.

The staff at Sunrise Banks in the North Loop speaks seven different languages. “We have a little bit of everyone here,” explains Mortgage Loan Officer Andrea Altamirano. “We are well known for being a bank that goes above and beyond to serve the underserved community.”

As the North Loop area has developed over the past five years, Sunrise Banks has been a key partner in supporting local businesses. “We have been able to support people with commercial loans and lines of credit,” Relationship Banker Fowzia Mohamed says.

Sunrise Banks also gives back to the community by donating part of its annual income to nonprofits and volunteering with local organizations. “When I started with [Sunrise Banks] in 2012, I was amazed at what it does for the community. It gives back in so many ways,” Mohamed says.

Alongside Mohamed and Altamirano, Senior Vice President and Private Commercial Officer Aleesha Webb, AVP and Portfolio Manager Margee Lancaster, and VP Portfolio Manager Barb Neiland, make up the banking team at the North Loop location. Whether they’re assisting a client in buying their first home, or helping a new business get off the ground, the group of women draws on both their career successes and challenges to help people achieve financial success.

What has been your greatest success?

Altamirano: My greatest success occurs at many loans closings. I recently helped a family buy their first home after 20 years of renting. When I showed up to the closing, I saw my customers with tears in their eyes. Success for me is when I see my clients’ dreams come true.

Lancaster: The ability to listen to customers, understand their business needs, and provide services that meet those needs.

Webb: I am a very passionate person and I bring my drive to work with me every day. I am enthusiastic about the challenges that banking has in front of it, and how to stay relevant. Today, banking is about passion, branding, and teamwork.

What’s the best part of being on a team of women bankers?

Webb: Women are authentic, hardworking, and passionate. Women show up. Women understand teamwork and create a culture where everyone matters. Women have a knack for being exceptional jugglers; to juggle is a beautiful talent and I would say the best jugglers I know tend to be my female cohorts in banking.

Neiland: I benefited by joining the workforce when women were being welcomed into the world of banking, and it’s fun to have friends at work!

Lancaster: Women are nurturers. The best part of being part of a team of women bankers is that the customer is taken care of.

Mohamed: We care. We work together. We are good at building relationships and we put everything away and listen to our customers.

Altamirano: Success! I have a lot of respect for women who have a successful career, are mothers, wives, and friends — and they make it look so easy, when sometimes it isn’t. And that’s something we have to celebrate.


Sunrise Banks
Headquarters: St. Paul, MN
Inception: 1986
Leadership: David Reiling, CEO
Employees: 220
Description: Sunrise Banks, N.A., based in St. Paul, Minnesota, seeks to radically change the way urban communities and underserved people thrive by empowering them to achieve their aspirations. Sunrise is certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), a designation earned by approximately 100 banks nationwide. Sunrise Banks is also a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values and is a certified B Corp for its demonstrated commitment to transparent corporate governance and positive community impact.