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Embracing Nonlinear Career Paths with José Tavarez

For José Tavarez, leadership isn’t just about climbing the corporate ladder; it’s about challenging the status quo and advocating for oneself in the face of uncertainty. Raised in a family where hard work and respect were foundational, Tavarez’s career path wasn’t linear but marked by pivotal moments of determination and perseverance. One such moment came during the merger of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, where Tavarez took a risk by asking for a meeting with the new boss, setting him on a trajectory of leadership that defied expectations. 

 As one of the top leaders in finance, Tavarez’s story resonates with the Latino community and beyond, inspiring young professionals. His commitment to authenticity, empathy, and trust has shaped his career and philanthropic endeavors. Through initiatives focused on education and economic empowerment, José knows that to make a lasting impact on underserved communities, he must embody the values instilled from his upbringing. 

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About Our Guest

As Bank of America’s New York City President, José is responsible for delivering the unified capabilities of the Bank of America Corporation enterprise across its eight lines of business, to local clients. In addition to his role as New York City President, José also serves as vice chair, Private Bank where he leads strategic client partnerships across the Wealth Management, Global Markets and Investment Banking Businesses.

Over his 27-year career, Jose has held senior management positions within Bank of America’s Global Markets Business, and Bank of America Private Bank. José serves as the National Co-Executive Sponsor of Bank of America’s Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and also served on the Bank of America Global Diversity and Inclusion Council.

José serves on the Board of Directors for the Partnership for New York City, the Board of the NY CEO Jobs Council, the Board of Trustees of the Spence School, the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Aid Society, and the Board of Trustees of the New York City Police Foundation. He is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania Athletics and James Brister Society Partnership Board of Advisors.

José earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. He and his wife, Dr. Holly Phillips, reside in New York City with their daughters, Olivia and Pascale.