Want to know the Mary Coffin story? Start with the details.

One of the first things she will tell you is that she is a detail person. If you think details are boring, think again. They have led her through a career in banking — which was tarnished during the payments scandal of 2016.

Attention to detail guided her through the roles of volunteer coordinator for the Solheim Cup professional women’s golf tournament that was held last year in West Des Moines and as co-chair of this year’s Bravo Des Moines Gala.

And there are the more niggling details than you can count that come from building careers in banking, along with husband Don Coffin, who is president and CEO of Bankers Trust Co., while raising three children and acting as guardians for a fourth. Those details can leave the best of us scratching our heads.

The fact that she is soft-spoken and measures every word as though it folded into the secret ingredients of a closely guarded family recipe speak to her attention to detail. She knows the recipe will turn out just right.

“I get my self-assurance by really analyzing and understanding the facts and knowing the facts and bringing those to the table with accuracy and integrity,” she said.

In 2008, Coffin was called to explain the mortgage industry to Congress. She was shuttling between Des Moines and Washington, D.C., meeting with congressional staff to explain an industry few, if any, understood. There were midnight meetings and conversations with then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. She visited impoverished areas of Chicago and met folks suffering the effects of the housing crisis.

She came prepared and she believes those meetings have brought us to a better place in the home lending market.

“It showed me the importance of standing in someone’s shoes and finding a balance,” she said.

Her commitment to youth programs are another example of standing in someone else’s shoes.

“I’m particular on what I choose to do,” she said. “I have a lot of passion for children, especially Boys and Girls Clubs. I had a tremendous opportunity to get to where I got because of family, home, food, clothing, shelter, mentors, a responsible community that surrounded me, and I see so much of the youth who don’t even have the basics.”

You know she is paying attention, gathering the facts and sorting out the details.

Areas of Influence:

  • She guided Wells Fargo, one the nation’s largest banks, through the housing crisis, including testifying six times before Congress and talking with former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to explain the complex layers of mortgage lending.
  • She currently leads a team from all Wells Fargo divisions that seeks to assure consistent complaints management, improve controls, responsiveness, compliance and customer experience.
  • She cofounded Financial Executive Women, which encourages young women to be involved in the financial industry, and is the executive sponsor of Wells Fargo’s Des Moines Women’s Team Member network. She also is involved with Principal Charity Classic’s Networking on the Green. Coffin is particularly committed to Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Iowa.