Chidi Ofoma

Chidi Ofoma
Vice President, Business Client Advisor, Business Banking Group, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

What do you consider your greatest strength, and how do you think it benefits your business?

My greatest strength is persistence. As a business advisor, I’ve learned to overcome objections, be patient, and persist—it may take several calls and meetings to determine a potential client’s financial needs and secure a new business relationship.

Who inspires you? What did they motivate you to achieve or accomplish?

My parents have always been my heroes. They’ve inspired me to pursue my education and live a life of service. Although neither has a formal education, both are givers, and they’ve used their lives to help others. “It doesn’t matter what’s going on around the world,” my parents would say, “stay true to who you are and work hard, and you will achieve whatever you set your mind to.”

How do you motivate others?

I use my life experience to motivate youth by sharing my story of coming to the United States before I was 18 years old. I mentor and provide resources to high school students, and encourage them to get good grades and go to college.

What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African American community today?

I believe the greatest issue facing the African American community today is the lack of support and family structure for children living in many African American homes. Single parents are amazing, but it takes a village to instill strong values, pride, and a sense of community in our children.

How do you give back to the African American community?

In the last two years, I’ve been actively involved with the Parents Advisory Group in the Corona-Norco Unified School District. African American parents and teachers have joined forces to make a difference in the lives of African American students at the high school level. I go to high schools and talk to students about the importance of education. The group advocates grades before sports, so I also talk to student athletes and remind them that they are students first, then athletes.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned in the course of your career?

I’ve learned that integrity matters. It may not translate to immediate recognition or a lot of money, but at the end of the day, honesty is still the best policy. The way people perceive you, and the name that you carry for yourself, is the most important thing.

What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her career?

I would advise them to pursue a career they are passionate about. Don’t begin a career for financial gratification only, but look for something you’re going to love 10 or 20 years into the future. I would also advise them to select a profession that will allow them to be of service and help others.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” Zig Ziglar
This is my favorite quote because it resonates with my values. Talent alone does not guarantee success. Talent must be combined with character, commitment, and discipline. This is the measure of a strong work ethic.