Internal Audit Manager
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
New York, N.Y.
Germeen Greene’s single mother urged her to aim for a career that would yield a great return on her college investment. Greene explains, “There’s a lot of advice to young people to follow your passion, but no real-world advice on how to do so. My mom said, ‘Pick a career that pays you well, affords you the lifestyle you want, and puts your degree to great use.’”
Greene earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Pennsylvania State University and a master’s in forensic accounting at New England College. She is a certified anti-money laundering specialist and works as an internal audit manager at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, one of Canada’s Big 5. She got her start in accounting at Ernst & Young. “It was a great company to work for, but I was in a big pool and not able to be as hands-on as I wanted, where I felt my contribution was valuable,” she comments. “My mother taught me to be my authentic self; an aunt taught me to know my worth and negotiate for what I deserve; and reading Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead taught me not to diminish myself in work settings.”
Greene owns a ValueTax Franchising Corp. franchise and established an online personal and small-business finance resource for career-driven women and women entrepreneurs. She still dreams of establishing an institution to educate Black youth about building wealth and the financial history of African-Americans. A Delta Sigma Theta Inc. soror, member of the Penn State University African American Alumni Organization, and of the financial literacy committee of the National Black Association of Black Accountants, she feeds the homeless, helps senior citizens and speaks to high school students about financial literacy.
She sings gospel. “It helps me to remember that things are never as bad as they seem,” she says.