Women in Business Spotlight on Lucia Stegaru
Vice President, Branch Manager
Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? Why did you choose the business career you are in?
I grew up in the communist Romania and graduated with a degree in engineering. For my first engineering job I was part of a team that was building a luxury Ship, on the Danube River, for the Romanian dictator at the time. That experience helped me put everything in prospective in my life so when I immigrated to the US over 20 years ago, everything seemed easy and I felt that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to do.
The banking career, I did not choose – It chose me. My first job in the US happened to be in banking and I enjoyed every aspect of it – especially building relationships with my clients. I found that to be one of my strengths – helping people reach their financial goals is very satisfying.
Why Princeton? How long have you been in business or worked in Princeton?
I remember walking on Nassau Street and looking into the Chemical Bank’s windows (Now PNC) – I remember thinking how fortunate the employees were to be working at those desks. I dreamt that one day I would be the one to hold that job. I liked everything about Princeton; it reminded me of my hometown Brasov, Romania.
I have been working at PNC Bank in Princeton for over 20 years in various capacities and all this time I can say that I held my dream job at the time – how lucky is that?
Why would we choose your business over similar others? What makes you special?
What makes PNC special, among so many competitors in Princeton is the attention that we pay to our clients’ financial well-being. We are a relationship bank and focus on understanding clients’ needs and offering solutions tailored to the individual. PNC being the 5th largest bank in the US has the resources of a big bank but the community involvement and feel of a local bank.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment so far?
I measure myself in the relationships I build with my employees, community members, clients and friends. I see myself as a good connector and I take pride in being able to facilitate connections that are beneficial to others.
One example is the Women in Business Alliance Group at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce – I helped get it started 4 years ago and it grew from 11 members to over 1000 attendees at various events. I like to believe that I played a role in that and that many women benefitted from joining.
Who influenced you the most in your career and why?
I think I was influenced by many people in my career, however if I were to name one person, that was Christine Lokhammer, my first boss at PNC. She embraced me, guided me and helped me get where I am by empowering me to make my own decisions and leading by example.
Are you involved in any charitable/community causes that you are passionate about?
Currently I support Dress for Success, Princeton Farmers' Market and One Simple Wish among many others supported by PNC Bank.