PNC Plaza in Cleveland

A business strategy informed by the BW MBA connects the successful career paths of four regional PNC presidents.

Presidents x4: BW MBAs lead PNC Bank markets

July 27, 2017

PNC Plaza in ClevelandThe Baldwin Wallace School of Business likes to say that a BW MBA is a "career catalyst," but for a quartet of graduates who've risen through the ranks at PNC, a better expression might be "money in the bank."

PNC, one of the largest banks in the U.S. based on both deposits and branches, relies on the executive leadership of Brian Bucher, MBA '86, Paul Clark, MBA '81, Dale Klose, MBA '91 and Kevin O. Thompson, MBA '83, who all serve as regional presidents.

Brian Bucher, MBA '86

Brian BucherBucher is president of the Alabama region, a growth market for PNC since the 2012 acquisition of RBC. Bucher and his three BW colleagues have all survived and thrived beyond the country’s difficult financial crisis a decade ago.

"Anyone who was in banking during 2007-2008 faced many challenges," Bucher says. "I was fortunate to end up at PNC, which had great leaders to navigate through the challenges."

Bucher, who earned his undergraduate degree in finance from The Ohio State University, says the BW MBA program provided a superb graduate business education.

"I really enjoyed the intimate atmosphere of a smaller university that also provided a world-class faculty," he explains. "The Berea campus was perfect for me." The fit was also perfect for one of his sons who recently earned his undergraduate degree from BW.

Paul Clark, MBA '81

Paul ClarkClark is president of the Cleveland region, the second largest market in PNC’s footprint. Clark joined the former National City Corp. after his graduation from Denison University and credits his rise through the ranks, in part, to the BW MBA he added 5 years later. 

"I realized early on that if I wanted to develop in banking, I needed an advanced education," Clark says. "My experience at BW was very practical and very real. The instructors tied together all of our classes. That taught us how to build relationships horizontally across different functions. Boy has that served me well!"

Clark cites those relationships as a most valuable educational asset. "My study group included people from a variety of backgrounds such as Ford, Kroger and Bonne Bell. It was the perfect opportunity for learning." 

Clark’s leadership rise continued after PNC acquired National City in 2008; in 2010, BW awarded him the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters recognizing his leadership and service to the region, which includes service on the BW Board of Trustees.

Dale Klose, MBA '91

Dale Klose of PNCKlose was named president of PNC’s Kansas City region earlier this year and has oversight for 14 regional markets, as well. Kansas City is another growth region where PNC is deploying its "Main Street" banking model under Klose’s leadership. "It’s exciting to be part of this growth strategy," he says. 

Klose started his career with National City following graduation from the University of Pittsburgh and stayed on after the transition to PNC.

He recognized the need for graduate business education early in his career and chose BW for the "strong reputation and structure of the MBA program" where he learned "alongside other professionals with different experiences and from varied backgrounds and industries. I know that learning in this group setting helped me to expand my thinking and to become a better leader," Klose says.

Newly relocated from Northeast Ohio, Klose is eager to get involved in the community and to introduce Kansas City area residents to "Grow Up Great," PNC’s $350 million program to improve early childhood education.

Kevin O. Thompson, MBA '83

Kevin ThompsonThompson is president of the Akron, Ohio region, where he has deep roots. Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree in labor economics from the University of Akron and, like Clark, appreciated the people power in the BW MBA program. 

"Being from different backgrounds, we learned from each other," Thompson notes. "The structure of the program fostered teamwork, which is much more productive than going through the program as individuals."

Thompson also considers BW’s "systems approach" to be a huge benefit. "They connected all of the courses and helped us understand how each discipline was interdependent."

"We didn’t just take an economics class for six weeks and move on," he continues. "That economics class was tied to every other required course in some way. It was a well-rounded approach to learning that greatly impacted my career and still has an effect on how I operate."

Ties that bind

PNC Regional President Paul Clark is active in the bank's Grow Up Great community education programIn their roles as regional presidents, Bucher, Clark, Klose and Thompson all operate in two spheres. They are not only responsible for corporate and commercial banking, wealth management and institutional investments in their regions, but lead PNC’s community-based philanthropic initiatives.

In that capacity, they are deeply involved in their communities, serving on an impressive array of nonprofit boards and leading (or, in the case of Klose, launching) PNC's "Grow Up Great" initiative. Hands-on support for that signature PNC community program even takes them into classrooms to read to children.

For all four regional PNC presidents, a commitment to community, an appreciation for people and a business strategy informed by the BW MBA are ties that bind together their successful career paths at one of the country’s biggest banks.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit