As a prominent woman in the banking industry, Cristina di Mauro (BBA '01), embraces her femininity and, in fact, believes it contributes to her success. Look in her meticulously organized closet, and you'll find Coco Chanel couture items next to favorites from Old Navy.
"One of the great things about living in this time," said di Mauro, senior executive vice president and commercial line of business executive at BankUnited, "is there is so much more room at the table for self-expression. It's part of why people choose to do business with you."
Di Mauro is responsible for the bank's commercial business in Florida and New York, in addition to corporate and commercial banking, the banks's wholesale deposit business in Florida and all of its specialty lending divisions across the enterprise. She credits her all-girls schooling during her formative years with instilling in her a passion for empowering women, including her two pre-teen girls.
"In the past, women felt they needed to exhibit more traditionally masculine traits to level the playing field. Today, the value of women is inherently in their difference," she said. "The female voice in business today is a female voice."
A trained ballerina since her youth who still teaches evening and weekend Videosync fitness dance classes, di Mauro switched gears at FIU, falling in love with commercial banking during her final semester on campus. An adjunct professor who was a banker at SunTrust encouraged her to apply to the bank's management training program. Di Mauro spent nine years there before joining BankUnited in 2009, when the predecessor institution failed and the bank recapitalized.
"In the past, women felt they needed to be more masculine to level the playing field. Today, the value of women is inherently in their difference."
Cristina di Mauro, Senior Executive Vice President and Commercial Line of Business Executive, BankUnited, Miami
"The ownership team hired me 90 days after coming to Miami, and I've been there ever since," she said. After running the corporate bank in Florida for most of her tenure, she received responsibility for the commercial bank several years ago. In January 2019, the commercial and corporate bank were consolidated and placed under di Mauro's leadership.
Prior to the pandemic, she spent much of her time outside her Miami office, traveling every week around Florida, to New York and visiting clients. Every Friday at 6:00 a.m., she still heads out for a (socially distanced) two-hour run with her boss, Tom Cornish (BBA '85), BankUnited COO and former FIU Foundation chair. They tackle two to three items on their agenda as they jog through Miami neighborhoods.
"We talk about everything," di Mauro said. "There are no phones and minimal distractions, and we are able to take a big step back from being in the thick of things and tackle some of the most important challenges we are currently dealing with. This time has always been valuable, but now more so than ever."
Grateful to the school that launched her career, di Mauro is a director on FIU's Foundation Board. She and her husband, Arturo, a general contractor and FIU alumnus, established an FIU scholarship for single parents that is inspired by di Mauro's mother, who raised her kids as a Miami single mom while working as a school teacher and earning a master's degree. Di Mauro also hires grads from her alma mater at every opportunity. "This school attracts people who are really trying to change their lives and their families, and that as a motivating force is really powerful," she said.