Home Town: Fabiola Brumley
As is very often the case, the best advice Fabiola Brumley
ever got was from her
father: "Nothing is too easy, and nothing is too hard.
It's the kind of evenhanded aphorism you'd expect from one of South Florida's most successful-and oddly serene-businesswomen.
As Southeast Region Business Banking executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, she is the head of business banking in a 10-state area, ranging from Maryland to Florida.
She's also bank president for Palm Beach County, serves on countless business and nonprofit boards (see sidebar) and has received all manner of accolades and honors, including South Florida Business Journal's Palm Beach County Ultimate CEO and Top 100 Power Leaders, Sun-Sentinel's Excalibur Award, and United Way's Leadership Award.
In short, Brumley
is a big shot, although she'd never say so herself.
in action at the bank is not remotely imperious; she
is a trim, attractive woman in a tai-lored gray pantsuit, impressive stilettos and a man-ner so disarming you'd think she
was about to roll up her
sleeves and start making cookies at her
But there is something else too, a sense of resolve.
A polite but purposeful accounting of what it has taken to come this far.
Now 50, Brumley
way up the bank-ing ladder from a part-time position at a small com-munity bank near Fort Lauderdale during college.
With a bachelor's in accounting and an M.B.A. from Florida Atlantic University, she says simply that she "fell in love with banking."
Throughout the 1980s, as banks were acquired, changed names and got bigger and bigger, Brum-ley moved up to controller, then chief financial officer, eventually landing in her
credits some of her
success to a work ethic inherited from her
parents, who immigrated to South Florida from Lebanon in 1971 to start a life of greater opportunity.