President & CEO, New York Community Bancorp
Ficalora’s vast resume includes positions held in business associations and foundations alongside his presidency at NYCB..
What one factor is most important to success?
Reacting to each situation in a consistent, positive manner.
What do you look for in an employee?
Intelligence, ethics, loyalty, a sense of identity that is conducive to a productive, cooperative individual.
What’s the best way to save money?
Avoid spending too much.
What’s the best way to spend money?
Diligently. You know, very, very conservatively.
What’s your greatest pleasure?
Creating value for other people. It’s become an obvious part of my life in recent years, and I think the greatest pleasure comes from being able to successfully help others. There’s no question that-although you can do it in many, many ways-the largest number of people are helped by creating value in the company.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Depending on who’s awake first, I either kiss the youngest girl or the oldest girl in my bed-and that’s my Yorkshire Terrier, who’s four years old, or my wife. (Laughs.)
How do you deal with stress?
By consistently looking beyond the issues of the moment.
What one lesson do you hope to pass to the next generation?
Be conscious of the consequences of your individual actions to the benefit, or detriment, of all others that are affected by your individual actions.
How do you bounce back from adversity?
By looking at the opportunities that are in front of you instead of the obstacles. Rather than looking at the adversity itself, how do you get beyond the adversity?
What’s your favorite thing about Queens?
Diversity. It’s got the best of many, many things. It also has as a variety of issues and problems, and people have a tendency to come together on them to solve them.
Ficalora has a long list of leadership positions under his belt. He’s been President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Community Bancorp, Inc. since its inception in 1993. Since 1965, when he first joined New York Community Bank after graduating high school, he’s held positions crossing all lines of its operations.
In addition, Ficalora serves as a Board Member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank Thrift Institutions Advisory Council and President and Director of the Asset Management Fund Large Cap Equity Institutional Fund. A graduate of Pace University with a degree in business and finance, he provides leadership to several professional banking organizations.
Ficalora is also an active participant in community affairs. He’s a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, President of the Queens Library Foundation Board, and serves on the Boards of Directors of the Queens Borough Public Library, the Queens College Foundation, the Queensborough Community College Fund, the New York Hall of Science, Flushing Cemetery, and Forest Park Trust and on the Advisory Council of the Queens Museum of Art.