The Boston Globe: Malia Lazu rises from community organizer to bank president, but she still might not believe in capitalism

The Boston Globe, July 25, 2020: Malia Lazu rises from community organizer to bank president, but she still might not believe in capitalism

Malia Lazu has worn many hats during her two decades in Boston: community organizer, reality TV star, and political provocateur. But her latest role could be the most radical of all: bank president.

Until she went to work for Berkshire Bank about a year ago, Lazu had never held a corporate job. You would sooner find her protesting in the streets than presenting Power Points in the boardroom. Those close to Lazu aren’t even sure she believes in capitalism.

Longtime friend Grace Moreno, head of the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce, likened Lazu’s career move to “AC/DC doing Bach.”

But to Richard Marotta, chief executive of Berkshire, Lazu’s heavy-metal approach is exactly what the bank needed to make structural changes so communities of color feel welcomed — a customer base he sees as Berkshire’s future after its headquarters relocated to Boston from one of the whitest parts of the state.

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