The women of Key Bank mean business, and now they will be able to get down to it at one of the nation's first Key4Women Resource Centers, located at its Wolf Road branch.
The red ribbon was cut on Wednesday April 2, celebrating the opening of the center, which will provide comfortable spaces where area businesswomen can get together, network and use resources to help their businesses thrive.
Local businesswoman Joan Heffler, who owns Pictures with Personality, a photography business specializing in weddings and celebrations, portraits, corporate and assorted events, said the opening of the resource center is a great step for women.
Women need to feel that now is their time, and that it's OK to be successful, she said.
Heffler said such a resource was not previously available in the community, and it will be beneficial to spread awareness about businesses owned by women.
According to Chief Executive Vice President of Key Bank Maria Coyne, the program behind the Key4Women Resource Centers has been around since the late 1990s and was given the name "Key4Women" in 2005.
Coyne said that Key Bank recognized a difference in the way women ran their businesses and began establishing specialized banking resources to assist them. She also explained why, as of Wednesday, Albany houses the first two Key4Women Resource Centers in the country.
"It was born here because women business owners here told us they wanted it," she said. "[At the Wolf Road location], we have attached a facility to the branch to make space available for women business owners and their clients to have their own meetings."
At the second Key4Women location, on South Pearl Street, the resource center is in a separate building, located close to the Key Bank branch.
President of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce Lyn Taylor praised the bank for recognizing the special needs of women who own businesses, and said that, "Women-owned businesses are quickly moving forward in this community."