PCSB Bank announced that Michelle A. Nicholas has joined the Bank as Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Community Development. In this newly created position, Ms. Nicholas will be responsible for shaping the Bank’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy, as well as building relationships with key leaders, communities and organizations throughout its lower Hudson Valley footprint.
Ms. Nicholas brings a remarkable range of talent to her new role, with senior-level experience in the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Her commitment to DEI initiatives is a hallmark of her nonprofit leadership, which spans Westchester County to her native Guyana.
“Having Michelle A. Nicholas join our team is an exciting opportunity to further elevate our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access,” said Joseph D. Roberto, Chairman, President & CEO, PCSB Bank. “Her unparalleled dedication to community outreach will enable us to build on our core mission of offering the highest level of service to our customers as caring neighbors and business partners.”
Michelle A. Nicholas commented, “I look forward to reaching out to people across all our communities to raise awareness that at PCSB Bank diversity is not on the sidelines—it is a priority. We want everyone to know that we are not only listening; we hear you.”
She added, “With my background in community service, I truly understand the importance of community banking. Knowing that the banker you’re meeting with understands your neighborhood, your family and your concerns is paramount. When customers apply for a mortgage or financial services at PCSB to enable the startup of a business, they are not just viewed as a set of numbers, they are seen as whole people with dreams and goals—and treated with the respect that it brings.”
Prior to joining PCSB Bank, Michelle A. Nicholas served as Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Westchester County, where her achievements included increasing areas of service and the introduction of new programs, raising the organization’s budget by accessing new multi-year revenue streams in her first year, and in partnership with her team being recognized nationally and locally for growth and effective service transitioning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, she held leadership positions at Family Services of Westchester, Healthcare Chaplaincy Network, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In the financial sector, her experience includes positions with JPMorgan Chase Bank and as the Co-chair of Recruitment and Development of the JPMorgan Employee Diversity group for African American Professionals - Ujima. She holds degrees in economics and social work from the University of Guyana as well as certifications in project management and diplomatic practices.
In addition to volunteering with many Westchester organizations, Ms. Nicholas is the founder and president of Sexual Assault and Family Education (SAFE) Guyana Inc., a human services nonprofit. She has been recognized as one of Westchester Magazine’s 12 Black Leaders Changing Westchester, Business Council of Westchester’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars, Face2Face Africa’s 30 Black Stars and Caribbean Life’s Impact Award recipients.
Her notable commitment to volunteerism as well as her professional nonprofit roles dovetails with PCSB Bank’s history of giving back. Building on the Bank’s legacy of philanthropy and service, the PCSB Bank Community Foundation provides donations to nonprofit organizations in the region that need financial support. Ms. Nicholas will collaborate with the PCSB Foundation Board to help establish a strategic approach to further the Foundation’s goals, community collaboration and partnerships.
Ms. Nicholas concluded, “Community outreach is not just a job; it’s my life’s mission. It is very gratifying to be working with a financial institution that shares this commitment and values the importance of respect, inclusion and representation.”