Carol Nelson will retire in June as KeyBank Pacific region executive and Seattle-Cascades market president.
Nelson joined the Cleveland, Ohio-based bank in 2015 after serving as CEO and director of the Washington state Department of Revenue. Prior to that she spent 22 years at Seafirst Bank, a well-known Seattle institution which at one time was the largest bank in the Northwest. Seafirst was acquired by Bank of America in 1983.
Nelson, who graduated from Seattle University, was strongly influenced by her mother, who owned a flower shop in downtown Seattle. Nelson’s family moved to Seattle to be closer to her mother’s family after her father passed away at age 42 of a sudden heart attack.
“Your core values define who you are,” Nelson told Seattle Business magazine in 2017. “My values were developed at an early age and shaped by experience.”
Nelson is credited with raising KeyBank’s profile and reinvigorating its brand in the community since joining the bank more than four years ago. She is accountable for the bank’s $3 billion wealth management/private banking business and for sales teams managing $3 billion in loans across Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Seattle Business magazine recently honored Nelson with an Executive Excellence Award for her leadership.
KeyBank is the fifth-largest in the state by market share, with $11.65 billion in deposits and 154 locations.
A search is already underway for Nelson’s replacement. A retirement celebration to recognize Nelson’s 30-year financial services career is planned for May.