Shelley Drake has built a 46-year career at M&T Bank.
Now she has a new responsibility, as Western New York region president. In that role, she will manage middle market banking in a region encompassing 77 offices in eight counties.
Drake will also remain president of the M&T Charitable Foundation, which last year distributed $28 million in grants to non-profit organizations across the bank's territory.
"She is one of the most experienced commercial bankers we have at M&T Bank, where she has worked with customers and non-profit organizations over the years, and where she always puts the best interests of customers first," said Robert G. Wilmers, M&T's chairman and CEO.
Drake, one of 17 regional presidents within the bank, described commercial lending activity in the Western New York region as good, but not robust. "I think we've seen growth in certain industries, but it's been relatively flat in others."
Drake said there are signs things are changing, with new developments on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. "I think Buffalo is far more vibrant than it has been, and there's always room for more growth," she said.
Her first job with M&T was promoting the bank's Empire cards to merchants.
Drake earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Buffalo. She serves on the boards of the Burchfield-Penney Art Center and the Great Lakes Health System.
She described her family as an "M&T family," since her husband, whom she met at the bank, and her son work there, too.
Jeff Wellington had served as Western New York region president and area executive. Wellington was region president since 2003, and will remain area executive, with expanded responsibilities in commercial banking. Drake will continue to report to Wellington.