40 Under 40 2016: Carla Molina

SVP, corporate communications, Bank of America, 38

Leading corporate comms for the nation’s second-largest retail bank through the past decade is no small feat, and Carla Molina has proved herself bankable.

Rising through the ranks at Bank of America, she has been instrumental in helping the organization during the recession and post-recession turmoil.

As SVP of retail banking comms, Molina communicates with key internal and external audiences about the bank’s value propositions, pricing strategies, and strategic initiatives while maintaining a focus on protecting and enhancing the company’s reputation through the media and influencers. She’s been invaluable in shifting the bank’s communications model from reactive to proactive and rebuilding trust with key audiences, including customers, media, and stakeholders.

At the company, Molina previously headed up comms for three major initiatives: She helped introduce an industry-leading policy on overdrafts to key media and influencers, launching the most-customer-friendly overdraft policy of any bank at a time when competitors were seeking to increase their overdraft revenue. Second, Molina assisted in simplifying products for the bank’s more than 42 million customers by communicating the whittling down of more than 10 checking products to three to better serve the full spectrum of customer needs. Finally, she had a hand in launching SafeBalance Banking — unveiling an alternative to traditional checking accounts that helps curb chronic customer overdrafts to promote better banking habits.

These projects and others have solidified the brand’s position as a leader in digital banking. Bank of America’s award-winning Trends in Consumer Mobility report, which Molina created and developed, proved the results. For the past three years the report has increased the bank’s executive visibility by more than 1,000%, driven annual media impressions of more than 1 billion, and allowed the bank to nab top-tier media placements, including on NBC’s Today.

Molina also serves as the bank’s Hispanic media spokesperson, sharing the company’s newsworthy stories with Spanish-language media and spearheading the bank’s Hispanic PR efforts.

- Molina is a contributor to the Women Unlimited’s Leadership Education and Development  (LEAD) program, participating in the San Antonio chapter’s mentoring program.

- She’s an active member of the Hispanic-Latino Organization for Leadership & Advancement (HOLA), the bank’s program to foster Hispanic-Latino employee growth.

- Molina also carves out time every year to visit Nicaragua to see family and further strengthen ties with her heritage.

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