February 3, 2018

A Look Inside the World of Banking

Women in Banking

Join us on February 3 for an in-depth look at the banking industry.  Mike Flynn will interview two prominent women in Seattle banking:  Carol Nelson of Key Bank and Melanie Dressel of Columbia Bank, and the short program features Rick Riccobono, addressing the state of our state’s banks.


Carol Nelson is Key Bank’s Regional Sales Executive and Seattle Market President.  She is responsible for leading KeyBank’s resources across Washington, Oregon, and Alaska while directing Key’s sales efforts to drive revenue and growth within its commercial and private banking businesses. Prior to joining KeyBank in January 2015, Carol was the Agency Director and CEO of the Department of Revenue for the State of Washington as well as a member of the Executive Cabinet for the Governor.  Previously she spent ten years as president and  CEO of Cascade Bank where she successfully transformed the company from a savings bank to a community bank serving businesses, commercial real estate builders and developers, and consumers. Prior to joining Cascade, Carol spent 24 years at Seafirst/Bank of America in a variety of commercial banking and retail banking roles.

Active in civic endeavors, Carol is a member of the Board of the Washington Roundtable, the Downtown Seattle Association, and Federal Reserve of San Francisco Seattle Branch.  In 2016, she serves as Chair of the American Heart Association’s Puget Sound Go Red For Women campaign.  She is a past member of the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, and past Board Chair and Director of the Washington State Bankers Association.


Melanie J. Dressel was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Bank in January 2000.  Columbia has over 150 branches in Washington, Oregon and Idaho and is the third largest bank heaquartered in the state. She is a member on the Boards of Puget Sound Energy, Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma, Washington Bankers Association, Washington Roundtable, Washington State Historical Society and numerous other boards.   In the past, she served as a Board member of The American Bankers Association.  She further served as Chair of the Boards of Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation, Bellarmine Preparatory School and Tacoma/Pierce County Chamber of Commerce as well as on the boards of the Tacoma Art Museum and United Way of Pierce County.

Melanie was honored as 2011 Community Banker of the Year by American Banker Magazine, and was also named in 2014 for the sixth time by the magazine as one of The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking. Ms. Dressel was awarded CEO of the Year by Seattle Business Magazine’s inaugural Executive Excellence Awards in January 2013. For the eighth consecutive year, Columbia Bank was named as one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Washington’s Best Workplaces 2014.” Columbia Bank ranked in the top 20 on the 2015 Forbes list of best banks in the country, as well as ranking the best in Washington and second in the Pacific Northwest for the fourth year in a row.


Rick Riccobono is the Director of Banks for Washington State’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), which examines and supervises Washington State-chartered banks, savings institutions and independent trust companies. 

Rick has spent over 25 years in the financial services industry both as a banker and regulator.  Most recently he served as president & CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Seattle.  Previously he worked in Boston and Atlanta for the FHLB and was acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision in Washington DC.  He started his public accounting career with the firm now known as Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.   

He holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the Western New England School of Law in Springfield, MA and a Bachelor’s of Science degree from State University of New York at Albany, NY He is a member of the Georgia Bar Association, Texas Bar Association and holds certification as a Public Accountant. 


Mike Flynn retired in 2006 after 24 years as publisher of Puget Sound Business Journal building the publication into one of the nation’s most successful and creating the events that are now part of PSBJ’s image in this state. He then moved to what he refers to as his “entrepreneurial encore”  of consulting, counseling and advising businesses, business people and business organizations, mostly in Washington State and Southern California.

In 2007 he received a special award from Gov. Christine Gregoire for lifetime contribution to economic development, and un 2013 he was selected as a laureate of the Puget Sound Business Hall of Fame.

For the past seven years, Flynn has written a weekly column called Flynn’s Harp which is emailed to 1,500 business leaders and elected officials.