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PNC Bank Regional President Linda Bowden, a trailblazer in the banking industry and a role model for corporate social responsibility, was presented with the NJBIA Caren Franzini Leadership Award yesterday at the 4th Annual Women Business Leaders Forum.”

Linda Bowden speaking with NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka standing near by

Linda Bowden thanks NJBIA for the award while NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka listens in.

“I had the opportunity to see Linda in action serving on the Choose NJ Board,” NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said during the award presentation. “I am proud to say that over the years through our professional relationship, we also forged a strong bond of friendship and camaraderie,”

Bowden took the opportunity to address both the men and the women in the audience. First to the women, she said:

“You are here because you care about business, you care about New Jersey and you care about your careers. Caren and I started in business when we were often the only women in the room. If Caren were standing up here, what she would say is, ‘Keep being yourself, and you will prevail.’”

Then to the men in the room, she said:

“We appreciate you being here; we appreciate your support. If Caren were here, she would tell you, “Diversity does matter!’”

Bowden draws on her more than 25 years experience in wealth management to make her mark in the banking industry. As regional president at PNC Bank, New Jersey, she provides executive leadership and supports business development initiatives, as well as the firm’s community-based activities.

Bowden has been named among the “25 Women to Watch” by U.S. Banker magazine and recognized as one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” and “Power 100” by NJBIZ.

“The Caren Franzini Leadership Award is an honor bestowed on individuals who inspire and empower others to achieve professional excellence,” Siekerka said. “NJBIA is proud to honor Linda, who like the award’s namesake, is as an exemplary leader both in the C-Suite and the community.”

The Caren Franzini Leadership Award honors the legacy of the former longtime chief executive of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, who died in 2017.  Franzini worked closely with seven governors from 1994 to 2012 to promote entrepreneurial development and economic growth, particularly in New Jersey’s largest cities. After her tenure at EDA, Franzini served on NJBIA’s board of trustees until her death at age 57.

NJBIA also presented its Rising Star awards to a Rutgers University student and a recent graduate of Ocean County College. Read more here.