Dave Ralston

by Daven Ralston

What most notably stands out about your leadership style or what is an example of leadership success you can share with our readers?

I have always emphasized the need to find the best talent in the marketplace, provide the support they need, and focus on enhancing their careers through training and development. We offer three leadership development programs within our organization: 

Accelerated Career Track is a one-year training and development program that prepares selected high-caliber college graduates for a career within BOK Financial. The program assists with their transition from college to professional working life through an introduction to different lines of business in the organization and professional development skills. The year ends with participation in track-specific rotations.

Emerge, which is for emerging leaders in the organization, and Empower Engage for established leaders’ further development. Participants in both programs partner with the Harvard School of Business for leadership development to learn from Harvard thought leaders and gain key competency development, utilizing best-in-class curriculum. Participants are also assigned to a cross-functional team to complete an assigned business case. 

In addition to the above leadership programs, all BOK Financial employees have access to multiple online educational courses that allow individuals to expand their knowledge and skills at their own pace. LinkedIn Learning courses focused on the organization’s core competencies as well as business, technical and soft skill development. Employees want to know that, in addition to supporting them in their current role, you are looking to advance their career and provide additional opportunities for advancement. 

What impact has COVID-19 or the disruptions of the past 18 months had on you as a leader?

The pandemic placed unprecedented hardships on so many individuals and families and some are still trying to recover. I am so proud of our team and their resilience in overcoming these challenges and continuing to support our clients. Many of our staff shifted from their normal daily activities to support our clients with their PPP loan process from application to forgiveness or payoff. They were there for our clients every step of the way while also balancing a new day-to-day at home. 

As a leader, I found understanding their challenges and expressing compassion became more important during the past 18 months.

What do you feel we can be doing as a business community to empower economic growth here?

The various chambers of commerce and state-supported economic groups do a great job of attracting new business to our state. It is our role as community leaders to support their initiatives. As long as we continue to promote favorable tax policies and a pro-business environment, companies will consider Arizona for their growth and expansion. 

What is new and notable for your company’s near future that will impact our economy?

BOK Financial has grown since entering the Arizona market in 2005 because we’re so much more than a bank. We’re a financial services partner with diverse expertise for consumers, businesses and wealth clients alike. We build relationships so that our team of experts know our customer’s unique needs, providing them with new technologies, infrastructure and business services to meet their changing needs. 

Two areas of service modernization and enhancement right now are the private wealth platform and treasury services platforms. We also added insurance services for our clients. 

In the future, we will continue to expand existing lines of business and consider opportunistic growth to serve our clients and help build the Arizona economy. With this growth of our organization, we expect to add to our workforce and recruit top talent to the marketplace. 

Name of Leader: Dave Ralston
Position of Leader: Arizona Market CEO
Company Name: BOK Financial
No. of Years with Company: 37
Main Local Office Address: 16767 North Perimeter Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 459-2821
Website: bokfinancial.com
Number of offices in Greater Phoenix: 7
Year Established Locally: 2005
City Nationally Headquartered: Tulsa, OK

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