BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA
Peter Meyer, a former long-time resident of Woodhaven, began his banking career as a teller while attending Saint Joseph’s College.
He slowly climbed his way up the corporate ladder, serving in several capacities as a bank branch manager and a commercial lender. Meyer’s hard work and persistence eventually paid off as he went on to hold a number of senior positions with various banks across the City, eventually becoming the president of TD Bank’s New York City market 11 years ago.
“I was one of the people hired to bring the bank to New York and in that time, we have successfully opened 108 branches in the City,” he said. “And now, we’ve become a significant player in New York City banking.”
Having served in various banking positions, Meyer has been instrumental in shaping a number of loan programs and products for healthcare and non-profit organizations because he understands the need to provide greater access to capital for organizations delivering important services to those in need.
“Over the course of about 15 years or so, I learned how to lend money to small businesses and medium-sized businesses and even started a program to help non-profits and healthcare institutions borrow money to help achieve their goals,” he said.
“I like to work with entrepreneurs and I like to work with the communities to help them achieve their dreams and goals,” he added. “It’s very satisfying to see a company is able to achieve that. Its great to be part of it on a community level.”
In the years that Meyer has been working with financial institutions, he has seen the economic climate drastically change from year to year. There have been many struggles that the government has been faced with that have not yet been overcome.
“Certainly, there are still a lot of small businesses and businesses in general that are in pain. We haven’t fully recovered from the financial crisis and we certainly haven’t recovered from Sandy,” he said.
Although New York has had its fair share of challenges, Meyer believes that the New York market has recovered well, comparatively.
“With that said, the way we’ve recovered today is amazing,” he said. “I do believe we [New York] are probably a step ahead because we are more organized and we have really good channels for education. It’s really about navigating the assistance. Everybody basically has access – it’s just, how do you figure it out?”
While Meyer admits that New Yorkers, particularly small business owners, have not been able to fully grasp the resources available to them, he has faith that the economic conditions and Queens will continue to improve.
“I think we are a very diverse population which means we are constantly bringing in people with fresh ideas and fresh energy that challenges everybody else,” he said. “As long as we make sure we take our focus and keep it on local communities, there really is no stopping Queens.”
Reach Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org or @nkozikowska.