(Editor’s note: The March issue of The Lane Report features our semi-annual list of the Top Women in Business. At lanereport.com, we’re shining the spotlight on one of the honorees each day. Day 6: Yajaira Aich West, VP, client and communications director, at PNC.)
Our occasional feature, Top Women in Business, highlights some of the women in and around Kentucky who are making an impact in business, the professions, politics and economic development. The intent is to recognize not the household names, but those in key roles whose work ethic and body of work are making important contributions to commerce—and life—in the area.
The 12 women featured in this issue are among the many such women The Lane Report editorial board has identified. From automotive manufacturing plant president to hospital executive, and economic development director to law firm leader, these women are forging their own paths, proving that hard work, perseverance and creativity pay off. And for the first time in this series, we’re shining a spotlight on some of Kentucky’s top female television personalities, offering a glimpse behind the camera.
Yajaira Aich West is vice president at PNC Bank and leads the bank’s involvement in the central and southeastern Kentucky communities it serves, overseeing charitable sponsorships and PNC Foundation investments.
Yajaira Aich West
Title/company: Vice president, client and community relations director, PNC Bank. I’ve been with PNC for 15 years, 12 of those in my current role. I lead PNC’s involvement in the community by understanding the market’s growth strategy and bringing it to life by developing, facilitating and implementing key initiatives, events and projects. Primarily, I oversee charitable sponsorships and PNC Foundation investments. I build relationships with various communities, nonprofit organizations and diverse populations to advance PNC’s position in the market.
Education/training: Bachelor of Arts, Transylvania University, 2004; Master of Business Administration, University of Kentucky, 2011.
Top accomplishment: In 2004, PNC made the decision to focus on early childhood education through our signature initiative Grow Up Great. It is a $500 million, multiyear, bilingual initiative designed to help prepare children—particularly underserved children—for success in school and life. An investment in pre-K students makes good economic sense and plants the seeds for the dynamic workforce of tomorrow.
My advice to younger women in business: Make diversity and inclusion a top priority. Whether working with individuals from various backgrounds or learning new diverse skills, it is important to surround yourself with people and experiences that make you grow as a person daily.
I’m inspired/driven by: My inspiration comes from the powerful women I surround myself with and read about, and the women I want my young daughters to become. My mother, cousins, sisters and many girlfriends I’ve had for over 20 years inspire me to be the best version of myself. These women make me want to learn, grow and spread wholesomeness to my community.
One important skill everyone should have: Empathy. Without empathy, it is very difficult to work on a team, learn from one another and be successful. I strive every day to understand other people’s feelings, their preferred communication style and methods of recognition. Empathy takes hard work and extra time, but it is the right thing to do.
A song from my childhood/teenage years that I still rock out to when no one else is around: As a child I helped at my parent’s restaurant where Lionel Richie songs played “All Night Long” and to this day still makes me happy. In high school, the Dave Matthews Band made all of our dramas bearable. On the first warm day of each year, I still roll down all my car windows and play Dave Matthews to welcome spring. But the songs you can’t stop me from singing like I’m on stage come from the Broadway musical “Miss Saigon.” I just love music!