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Meet Julie Dimitri, National Manager, Women in Enterprise, at TD Bank Group, Who Loves to Empower the Younger Generation at TD

Meet Julie Dimitri, National Manager, Women in Enterprise, at TD Bank Group. With over 20 years of experience, Julie’s professional experience spans business development, leading sales teams, and startup operations. Twelve years of her experience has been in sales, offering human resources and talent management services to small and mid-sized organizations. 

Passionate about professional development, she founded a women’s networking group in her early years in Toronto when she moved to the city from Montréal to help grow her network and enable like-minded professional women to grow theirs. Since joining TD, Julie has been instrumental in helping to empower the TD sales force to elevate their overall practices and continues to be known for her coaching skills and passion for results.

My first job ever was… distributing newspapers, but after that, I worked in a small Italian café/high-end grocery store. I served customers their bread, pizza, cold cuts and pastries, and made them sandwiches and cappuccinos. 

Before my work with TD… I spent a few years with another financial institution. Before that, I spent most of my career in sales in a business development role in the talent management industry — always the hunter, bringing in net new business. Before these 12-plus years in business development, I was an entrepreneur starting a recruiting practice partnership of three (including myself)  in Quebec and then expanded into Ontario. 

I joined TD because… I love that I can do many roles, develop, and grow, always under the same umbrella. Within that, as a leader, I love the role I can play to help empower the younger generation and see them grow and develop within TD. TD has a great brand, and the people I work with are wonderful! 

I’m passionate about entrepreneurship… because it is wonderful to speak with someone putting their heart and soul into starting something from scratch. It’s challenging and exciting all in one. It takes time, patience, dedication, and in many cases, leaving your ego at the door to be successful. If it was easy, everyone would do it. I’m also passionate about helping to empower women. Whether it’s through mentoring, coaching, offering guidance and advice, or nudging them to move out of their comfort zone, I love it. It drives me. 

My proudest professional accomplishment is… having hired and coached many employees who have been promoted many times over. My second proudest accomplishment was, while working a full-time job, I founded a women’s networking club during my early years in Toronto for which every single event that was held was sold out. On the personal side, I would say being happily married for 25 years and being the mother of two teenage girls who are flourishing happily every day and still enjoy spending time with my husband and me. My husband and I push ourselves professionally and physically as well. I recently ran a 19.5 km trail run in Switzerland with an elevation of 1100m. 

My biggest setback was… parting ways with my two partners who were in Montréal after having moved my young family (my daughters were one and three-years-old at the time) to Toronto, just before the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009. Parting ways wasn’t the setback, it was realizing I needed to do more. I wanted to do more than what I had seen from my partners. Now, I was in a new city, the biggest Canadian city, during a very difficult economic period. 

I overcame it by… relying on my strengths and my positive attitude. That is when I started working as a business development manager. I appreciated and still focus a lot on all I have, the great team my husband and I make, and of course, working hard. 

My best advice for anyone who cares about a cause and wants to contribute to it would be… if you are passionate about it, get involved. If we truly care, it won’t even seem like work, and it fuels us. 

The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… maintain your networks. It shouldn’t be so hard with social media today, but to make it meaningful, I still find it a bit hard. 

The thing I love most about what I do is… seeing anyone I coach have an “aha” moment, put advice into practice, and get results from it! 

If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be… that I’m a very positive and upbeat person. I’m also very comfortable being vulnerable and finding humour in uncomfortable situations. I would also add that when in a role, I’m on the lookout for what could be next for me. I plan and meet people to discover what would make sense as a next step. The next step needs to be challenging and an opportunity to learn and grow while leveraging my natural strengths. 

If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… that I love to travel and spend a good amount of time visiting one place to experience and gain a deeper sense of the culture of that place. 

I stay inspired by… meeting new people, asking and hearing about their stories, and placing myself in situations that allow me to learn and be outside my comfort zone.

The future excites me because… the purpose of my new team’s role and mission is necessary and impactful. Looking to be the preferred bank for women-owned and women-led enterprises is feeding my passion and my team’s passion. It’s not just about the funding — which is the number one challenge for women looking to start a business — we also look for any way to wrap our arms around them. We look to help support, coach, and guide them, and very often, we are cheerleaders too! We help them build their social network and try to find ways to share with others their journeys, barriers, and successes. 

My next step is… to work closely with my new team, learn from their experiences and our client’s experiences and see how I can help to positively impact them both. Elevate my team’s performance and look for ways to remove barriers and make any process easier.

On the personal side, I signed up for another trail run in Switzerland and one in Whistler. Maintaining the spirit of challenging myself, both distances are longer than my first trail run in Switzerland (25 km and a higher elevation, 1330m). I will also help my youngest daughter get set up in residence this summer, so we will officially be empty nesters. A new phase, new adjustment.