The Lane Report spotlights UK MBA alum Yajaira Aich West in their "Top Women in Business"

Yajaira Aich West

University of Kentucky MBA alumna at the Gatton College of Business and Economics, Yajaira Aich West, was recently selected and recognized in the "Top Women in Business" by the Lane Report

Lane's 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.

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.

Full Story by the Lane Report