Spokane Journal of Business

2023 Rising Star Brandon Rose: Pulling double duty pays dividends

Community-focused work brings success

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Having one person manage two branches of Washington Trust Bank isn’t a normal operating procedure for the company, but 32-year-old branch manager Brandon Rose was not slow to volunteer his skills and fulfill both roles when he saw a need in the company.

“With how close they are proximitywise—they’re just a couple blocks away—I can make it work,” says Rose. “Sometimes I go back between the two of them 10 times a day.”

For about 1 1/2 years, Rose has been splitting his time between two downtown Spokane branches of the bank, one at 706 W. Second and the other at 717 W. Sprague. He has been with Washington Trust for the last six years.

Rose was born and raised in Spokane, attending Mead High School and Eastern Washington University, where he studied general business before deciding to jump into the workforce early. He worked at McDonald’s restaurants for eight years, gaining experience as general manager.

Looking for his next step, Rose listened to a friend who recommended Washington Trust Bank, where he started as a financial concierge. Such a concierge is similar to a bank teller but also can help customers with other financial services. Rose moved through the five levels of financial concierge and landed as manager at the Second Avenue branch. That’s when a position for branch manager at the bank’s main branch on Sprague Avenue became available.

“I suggested that I just try to do both branches and took it from there,” says Rose.

He now manages a team of 12 people—six people at each branch. His role is to ensure that operations are running smoothly and that his team is well-trained while meeting the bank’s goals related to customer numbers, deposits, loans, community service hours, and other metrics. Rose says he always has had goals for leadership positions in his career but didn’t expect to work in finance.

Kelley Nieffenegger, vice president and retail banking regional manager at Washington Trust, says she saw leadership qualities in Rose right away.

“He immediately started covering both locations but also helping me on projects, helping mentor his people, helping share his people with others,” Nieffenegger says. “I thought, ‘he is really one who will be an amazing future leader for the company, but also in our community.’”

In his time at the bank, Rose has displayed his leadership abilities in some unusual situations, Nieffenegger says. Rose and his team members assisted a client having a heart attack by using their CPR training. 

Another time, he assisted a young man who had been the victim of a crime, by getting the man a bus ticket home and some fresh clothes from his own closet, she adds.

Rose says he’s passionate about helping his team meet goals and mentoring others in the bank.

“I think the thing that I am most proud of is the people I have developed,” says Rose. “It’s fun, because when I see accomplishments in the bank, I see names of people who I have gotten to work side-by-side with.”

Nieffenegger adds, “Brandon was about his team, and he asked me, can you make sure that we reward the team for how good of work that they did, which was all his leadership and ensuring that they had the proper training.”

Rose says he takes a community-minded approach at work and in his personal life. 

He volunteers with The Community Cancer Fund, where he helps with the organization’s annual Showcase, a celebrity golf tournament that brings in millions of dollars in funding for cancer research.

“Care about the people,” Rose advises. “It all comes down to that, because when you care about your people, they’re going to want to do more for you, but on top of that, they’re going to want to help other people too.”

Rose says that he was in disbelief when he learned he had been selected as a 2023 Rising Star.

“I tell my assistant managers this, wins should be celebrated as a team, so this is weird for me,” says Rose. “You celebrate wins as a team, and then as a manager, you handle the times that don’t go well.”

Veronica Keizer
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