Meet Berwyn’s Entrepreneurs: Diane Salemi of Republic Bank of Chicago

Welcome to Meet Berwyn’s Entrepreneurs! Berwyn has become a hot spot for urban professionals, entrepreneurs and creatively minded individuals. From musicians to crafters, small business owners to dedicated team members, Berwyn is home to a remarkable group of movers and shakers who keep our community vibrant. This segment gives us a chance to get to know what makes our local leaders tick! Enjoy!

Hometown: Berkeley, IL
Current Residence: Berkeley, IL
About Diane: I grew up in Berkeley, attended Proviso West High School, and graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, IL. During my time at Bradley, I studied abroad in Mexico City.  I have been a Village of Berkeley Trustee for 20 years strong and am the treasurer of the Necahual Foundation in Melrose Park. I have one son, Nico, who is in the second year of his masters program at UIC for social work. I love to play cut throat racquetball and enjoy watching Telenovelas.

The Business Side: My career in banking began over 20 years ago at a bank in Berkeley. The banking industry has taken me to 4 banks and I’m now the AVP/Branch Manager at Republic Bank on Oak Park Ave. Republic Bank of Chicago is a family-owned institution dedicated to serving our local communities. We concentrate on what matters most: our customers. Every day we dedicate ourselves to providing outstanding customer service to all of our business, retail and commercial customers!

Describe yourself using 3 words.
Positive, Ambitious and Humble are three words that describe me.
Positive: I always have a good outlook on business and personal life situations
Ambitious: I’m eager to get that next opportunity!
Humble: I’m definitely a down to earth person.

What inspires you?
People inspire me, plain and simple.

Tell us something that people might not know about you.
I have been a water aerobics instructor for 30 years with Veterans Park District and Memorial Park District.

What makes you laugh?
Life. The trials and tribulations that I encounter in my business and personal life make me laugh.  My family makes me laugh and smile.  I laugh at myself all the time.  Laughter is the best medicine and I’ve found through my long journey with Lupus SLE that laughing makes it all better.

What is your fondest memory?
My fondest memory comes from the day I got off the plane in Mexico City to live in a boarding house and attend La Universidad Ibero Americana.  I had no idea where the taxi was taking me and when he pulled in front of the house, it was like, “Okay, now what do I do?”

If we were to hang out, what would we do?
We’d lay on a beach in Mexico and have a Corona. We would talk to the locals and find out about their lives. We’d ask them about their their favorite place to eat and join them there. We would share stories and become friends.

What are you most passionate about?
People—they fascinate me. I love meeting and getting to know a person both on a professional and personal basis.  My clients are my family, as well as the girls that work in my branch.  I want to see the people that I encounter succeed to their fullest potential and be a part of that process.

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