Issue: January/February 2012
Power 100: Daniel Walsh
President, Greater Cleveland Region, Huntington Bank
County Executive Ed FitzGerald could’ve picked almost any local corporate leader to advise him on forming Cuyahoga County’s new government, but he chose two bankers for his 2010 executive task force.
The first was PNC regional president Paul Clark, a veteran of the city’s banking scene. FitzGerald’s second choice was more surprising: Daniel Walsh, Huntington Bank’s Greater Cleveland region president, who had been named to the post the previous April.
Walsh’s ascension to such a vaunted civic role is an indication of his bank’s rapid growth in Northeast Ohio and Walsh’s equally growing civic role.
The 43-year-old guides Columbus-based Huntington’s major moves in the Cleveland market. In an era when banks are closing brick-and-mortar branches to divert customers to online and mobile banking, Huntington opened 18 offices inside Giant Eagle supermarkets throughout Northeast Ohio in 2011, part of the 103 new in-store branches in Ohio that the bank announced in 2010.
Huntington was also named the top Small Business Administration lender in Northern Ohio in the 2010 fiscal year — and not just by a little. Huntington made 352 loans here, totaling $54.6 million, more than the four banks below it combined.
By deposit volume, Huntington is the fifth-largest bank in Northeast Ohio, with Key and PNC topping the list, according to an annual FDIC report. But with Walsh in charge and branches popping up in supermarkets and shopping centers, Huntington won’t be “that Columbus bank” in the eyes of Clevelanders for much longer.
“Cleveland is an incredibly important market to Huntington,” says Walsh, who in 2011 recruited two former Key and PNC executives to lead his corporate banking efforts in the region. Citing the growth of health care, the Medical Mart and new convention center, he says, “we think the area will be at the heart of the economic recovery.”
Likewise, 2010 and 2011 were big civic involvement years for Walsh. He helped raise $1 million for the new Global Cleveland economic development effort, and he sits on its board of directors. He was also named local chairman of the Arthritis Foundation.
“Dan’s involvement in community issues is not just because he’s in this position and therefore needs to be on some boards,” says his Global Cleveland colleague David Gilbert, president and CEO of the Cleveland Sports Commission (where Walsh also sits on the board of trustees). “What he’s done with Global Cleveland, he’s really stepped up with his own time and a big financial commitment from Huntington and taken a significant leadership role.”
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