RW INSPIRE: Rita Bartol
SVP Director of Human Resources, Five Star Bank
By Brandy White Whitbourne | Photo by Jenniffer Merida
Being senior vice president as well as the director of human resources and training for Five Star Bank may seem like a daunting task, but Rita Bartol is just the woman for the job.
After studying communications at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Bartol found herself in charge of recruiting. “I just gravitated to it,” she said. “I decided to go back and get my master’s in human resources.”
Juggling school, a daytime job, and new motherhood, Bartol managed to successfully graduate and land a human resource position for a retail company. She started making headway in her career by making lateral movements until 2010 when she received an opportunity from Five Star Bank.
Residing in Richmond, Virginia at the time, she eagerly accepted the position and transferred to Rochester where she is currently keeping busy driving leadership function. “My schedule is not very regular,” said Bartol. “It is a fun and interesting job. It is different depending on the organization you are doing business with.”
Focusing on organizational succession, executive and leadership assessment and training strategies has found her job to be propitious.
Bartol continues to be inspired by her high school mentor and friend who demonstrated the value of maintaining trustworthiness and integrity in the business realm.
“I hung out with a group of friends as teenagers. We are all competitive, went to college, have achievements and have decent jobs,” she said. “I was with people who always encouraged me.”
Currently working on an electronic marketing and curriculum project for a Five Star University, Bartol finds her job to be very rewarding. “What I like most about my job is having the ability to influence people on all levels,” said Bartol. “I get to help people do what they’re doing better by becoming more organized and more successful, not just supporting them. I am making more of an impact rather than just giving advice.”
When it comes to women in the business world, Bartol feels that we are making headway. “Anyone can be successful with the right skill and ability,” said Bartol.
“Woman are still paid less but we need to take credit for what we do – keep believing and thinking that ‘we can’ and strive for achievements. You need to help yourself and focus on the bottom line. Personal or businesses, if you act like a victim you’re going to be a victim.”
Bartol says the best advice for women looking to be successful is to practice servant leadership in any industry they’re in. “You never hear about people having good leadership,” said Bartol. “It is their coaching and mentoring that they talk about. Male or female, you need to
determine your best kind of leadership and help people practice consistently. The most successful ones are the ones who do that well.”
Bartol is continually encouraged by the community around her. Discussing the recent tragedy in West Webster stirred many emotions within her. During Bartol’s time attending the firefighter processions, she noted and was immensely gratified by the respect, compassion and sense of community that she saw.
“They have so much respect for each other that it generated so many volunteers,” said Bartol. “They feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, like leadership. They’re inspiring people.”
Such is the part of humanity that will continue to fuel Rita Bartol in doing what she does for others every day.