American Financial Services Association

Kim Gershon

Kim Gershon

PeopleWomen's Leadership Council

Kim Gershon

Head of Strategic Planning, SVP
Mechanics Bank Auto Finance

Kim Gershon is the Head of Strategic Planning for Mechanics Bank Auto Finance, which falls under the Mechanics Bank umbrella with over $18B in assets. In 2021 Forbes ranked Mechanics Bank as one of the best banks in America. Mechanics Bank Auto Finance is a full spectrum relationship lender satisfying consumer's financing needs.

In this role Kim's responsibilities include identifying and executing growth opportunities, evaluating market forecast and long-term trends, driving cross-functional business processes and maintaining business model innovation. Additionally, Kim is responsible for strategic partnerships with National Account partners.

Kim brings over 30 years of financial services experience to her role, including numerous leadership positions within auto finance. Most recently, Kim was the Head of Auto for Bank of the West, BNP Paribas responsible for the transformation of Bank of the West's Auto Division from a market participant to a full spectrum preferred lender.

Prior to joining Bank of the West, Kim spent close to 19 years at Wells Fargo Dealer Services where her last position was the Western Regional Leader responsible for the oversight of $7B of new originations annually and the management of a $15B portfolio, production of $600MM of annual revenue and $240MM of net income.

She also held progressive positions within the auto finance industry with Household Automotive Finance, Key Auto Finance, and Chrysler Financial.

Kim received her bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Phoenix and her M.B.A. from Texas Woman's University.

Kim is the executive sponsor for the Mechanics Bank Auto Finance Culture Committee, served on the Board of Junior Achievements in Northern California and in Dallas, Texas and was the chair of the Wells Fargo Dealer Services Diversity and Inclusion Council as well as a member of the Wells Fargo Consumer Lending Diversity and Inclusion Council. She is also a member of the American Financial Services Association where she serves as a committee member for the Credit Risk Committee, Vehicle Financial Board Committee and the Women's Leadership Council.

Kim splits her time calling home in Orange County, California and Star, Idaho.

My Areas of Expertise: i.e. strategy, marketing, team building, executive management?
Strategy, Team Buidling, Leadership and Execution

Areas of expertise upon which I would like to continue learning.
Risk, Technology & Innovation

What three keywords best describe you?
Loyal, Honest, Determined

Personal Motto:
If you don't ask the answer is always no.

What are you passionate about?
My family, my friends, and helping people succeed

What is something interesting about you that members might not know?
I've ran two full marathons and over 40 half marathons in my lifetime and didn't start running until I as 36 years old. And I love to fish in Alaska.

Who has been a role model for you?
Someone I've been inspired by - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Someone that has taught me leadership lessons in their books - John Maxwell and Patrick Lencioni. Someone in business - Bill Katafias, Someone who taught me determination - my mom, Nancy.

What are you most proud of?
For the impact I have been able to have on development of team members across companies to help people get closer two or reach their goals and always being true to myself and my beliefs even if it is not always the easy thing to do.

MENTORING:
a. What would you say are the key success factors for a mentoring relationship?
Trust and honesty is the foundation. Mentorships are a two-way street. Both the mentor and the mentee will get something out of it if it is done right. Keep an open mind, listen to the feedback, ask questions and apply the learnings.

b. What advice would you give yourself as a young executive?
It's never going to be as bad as you think it is and to have more confidence in your ability. Tell yourself that you can, and not you can't. Get out of your head. And that it is ok to ask for advice.

c. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started your career?
You are going to fail and that is ok, it's how you respond and pick yourself back up that matters.