052: Understanding the future impacts on networking and using them to your advantage with Joaquin Altoro

About Joaquin Altoro

As a proud native to Milwaukee’s vibrant community, he has become well acquainted with the diverse neighborhoods in order to serve its commercial banking needs. He is a multi-faceted community banking leader having both significant success aligning business strategies/objectives and a personal commitment to the unique economic development needs of neighborhoods at a local and national level. Joaquin has expertise in commercial banking, building supportive internal lending processes, and establishing and enhancing public and private partnerships. Through an engaged, high-energy approach and previous entrepreneurial experience, this experience complements strong business/quantitative acumen for advising community development projects and assisting individuals and businesses realize their current and future goals. When Joaquin is not working, he considers himself a self-proclaimed foodie. His travels and free time seem always to revolve around food. He enjoys cooking food from around the world for his brave and adventurous family.


How did you get into the world of banking? (1:00)

” I’m born and raised in Milwaukee and was introduced to telemarketing in the early 90s, for a commercial lender, and he eventually asked me if I’d like to work on some deals. So I started as a lender. Eventually, I went off to work for a bank. Which you realize that banks have much more resource and can do so much more because of it.”


What kind of banker are you? (2:00)

” I as a banker and a bank, we’ve been becoming well entrenched with communities. We’ve really tried to understand how we can get involved or become a catalyst for neighborhoods.”


Share with me your most successful of favorite networking story (6:00)

“As a banker: Banks cannot lend to everyone, but there are other sources for people who are ‘unbendable.’  These organizations are CDFI’s and, so I was looking at the board. I don’t normally use LinkedIn, but I was looking through my connections and on the tenth board member I had two connections. So, I said, I’ll come by you, I’ll buy you lunch, etc., and so we met down in Chicago. I usually go the traditional route but that’s what makes it so great.”


What do you do to stay in front of and best nurture your network? (11:15)

“Being everywhere. It takes a significant amount of time. It becomes difficult, through family and other responsibilities, but I’ve been thinking hard about how to be efficient. It’s simply using technology to be everywhere so that someone has seen you or something or yours. People are very comfortable that if that see you on social media, they feel like they know you. Saying thank you for the work that people do in the neighborhood through tagging individuals and it allowed me to tie in passion, work, and nurturing.”


What advice would you offer the business professional looking to grow their network? (15:55)

“I think what really changed the game for me in my networking, is being very intentional and efficient. Don’t be insincere or fake about it, be intentional about learning and not introducing your own self.  When I got very intentional about networking, like, I need to meet this person. That’s when the game changed for me. I would say, that I’m very privileged to be on the board with some movers and shakers, so I usually sit and listen to the first few meetings. I wait for the opportunities to execute the tasks I know I can execute and then I target them and ask them to meet.”


Digital Networking or Traditional Networking? (23:02)

“I don’t consider either one to be valuable. I think you always must be considering your audience. For me to build a significant portfolio in alignment with my work, most of my connections were older so I had to go their route. But as I became older I started to realize I had to learn the next generations preferred method. So, I thought, what do I need to do to get Networked? I’m involved with these younger/millennial like organizations. If I were to say I mastered anything, I have done a very good job connecting with communities I haven’t been a part of.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of, less of, or differently regarding your professional career? (29:29)

“I think I would do more of. When I was younger in that range, I realized we had such a diverse community of people, but we did not have bankers that reflected that community. So, what if “you” became the banker for the community, so I said I became the banker for those communities. I’m not just a Gen X working with Gen X, I’m not just a Latino working with Latinos. What I would do more of is understanding who is underrepresented and then figure out how to create more value for them.”


Who would be the one person you’d love to connect with and do you think you could do it in the 6 degree? (34:20)

“I could absolutely do it. I think it is very easy to do it, it’s a little bit of work, but it’s doable. I love what I do, and I continue to challenge myself – I’ve built a diverse network and valuable network. I’ve collected a lot of data about these communities, I’m trying to figure out how to do I take that data and become more of an effective banker. How do we have a better city?

I’d like to meet somebody who is working like that on a national level OR a corporate level. And they’ve turned their data into significant value, success and impact.”


What book are you reading? (39:25)

“I do not read books. I feel like I don’t have the time. So, if I want to learn about something – I’m constantly reading information in smaller articles or magazines. But publications are probably where it’s at for me. My books end up being people, I think that’s what it really is. ”


Any final words or advice for our listeners for growing and supporting their network? (42:10)

“From a local capacity, we are living in a very interesting time through politics and through everything that is happening. The question is, in whatever industry or field you are in the discussion about the haves and have-nots will impact you. To really understand the future of this and understand how it impacts you will help you understand what you need to do and how you should be networking.”


You can get in contact with Joaquin through going to find him at Town Bank in Milwaukee.