As the recipient of numerous accolades over his 19-year tenure with PNC Bank, Salvatore J. Patti could claim exalted status, but the resident of the 2500 block of South 21st Street shuns showing off, instead finding satisfaction in pondering the copious connections he has made professionally and personally. For his commitment to forging quality relationships in the financial and communal realms, the Millay Club, the alumni association for Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School, 1736 S. 10th St., will endow him with the Philadelphia Pinnacle Award Saturday.
“I feel really honored and excited,” the 48-year-old said from his Center City office, where he strengthens the banking behemoth as senior vice president and market leader for the Philadelphia-Southern New Jersey Region. “I will truly treasure the distinction for the rest of my life.”
The Girard Estate dweller will collect his commendation at The Hyatt at The Bellevue, with his alma mater, from which he graduated in 1985 when it bore the name St. John Neumann High School, formerly 2600 Moore St., furthering his focus on appreciating one’s duty to others, the fulfillment of which reflects what he tabs his “value fingerprint.” Owing to his humility, which he credits to his parents, Patti is passing on considering the accolade a cause for displaying excessive pride, deeming its acquisition another example of the rewards of his penchant for surrounding himself with those whose talents exceed his.
“I initially said ‘Absolutely not, there are plenty of others you could acknowledge,’” he said of the alumni group’s outreach to him. “I’ve been around so many brilliant people, and I’m not the type of guy to toot my own horn or have it tooted for me.”
Though he will surely retain his reluctance to accept recognition, even noting he is particularly looking forward to hearing about what attendees have going on in their lives, Patti will deliver a speech and acknowledge the kudos with a beaming smile. He sees the evening as another opportunity to laud Catholic schooling, which he will continue to champion as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia-appointed chairman of the Advisory Board for Elementary Education. The ceremony will have Patti as the centerpiece, but, like other instances along his never-monotonous journey, it will enhance his enthusiasm for connectivity, which he sees not only as a key theme within his existence but a core element to anyone’s handling of life, which he considers a “contact sport.”
“You’re really only as good as the contacts you have and the relationships you build,” Patti said. “Wherever I’ve been, especially within the finance world and at PNC, I’ve known amazing individuals and great mentors. As I’ve matured, I’ve realized that with every person you touch and you talk to, you’re learning something.”
Born in Sicily, the impending honoree has been compiling local lessons for 46 of his 48 years. His family relocated from Palermo to Overbrook before settling on the 2400 block of South Mole Street and the 2300 block of South 15th Street, where his mother still resides. Having established a banking foundation as a registrant at St. Monica School, 17th and Ritner streets and 16th and Porter streets, he began to bank on the financial world as his destiny while attending Neumann.
“I just seemed to have a knack for it,” Patti said of the defunct Grays Ferry institution’s influence on his maturation. “I started to think I could distinguish myself as someone who helped others to have a better grasp of their financial identities.”
Matriculation at Philadelphia University, where he studied accounting and finance, yielded his first job as a certified public accountant, with Meridian Bank bearing his durable career in ’91. An adept climber of the corporate ladder, he has become a highly regarded member of PNC’s 50,000-employee-strong family and has won many plaudits, including admission in the Chairman’s Circle, which prizes figures as leading sales professional company wide, in 2000, the year after earning the first of four Laurel Society awards, acknowledgments that praise top sales professionals and managers within the commercial banking group.
“We have valued constituencies here, so I have had no difficulty with paying it forward and giving back with regards to the blessings that I have been fortunate to enjoy,” Patti, who won the Gallup Great Workplace Award for excellence in leadership and employee engagement in ’09, the Special Achievement Award in Business from the National Italian American Political Action Committee in ’10 and inclusion in the Biltmore Who’s Who for demonstrating leadership and achievement in ’11, said. “In banking and finance, we always talk about diversification, which is a term that I like extending outside the business world to reflect my interest in bonding with all sorts of people.”
He has courted such characters through various board affiliations, including turns with the Girard Estate Neighborhood Association, for whom he served as treasurer, the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., the Philadelphia Police Athletic League, the Italian American Chamber of Commerce and the Union League of Philadelphia. Those opportunities and other ventures delight the ebullient personality, who noted how much he enjoys coaching, leading and mentoring individuals, especially youths and young adults, including Annalise and Joseph, his children with wife Josephine, with whom he recently celebrated 25 years of marriage.
“I can’t sit still, it seems,” he said with a laugh, noting he enlists sports, art, agriculture, farming and wine making as pastimes. “I certainly want to keep being inspired and offering wisdom.”
Two days away from the Center City-situated event, Patti finds himself blessed to have achieved so many memories along his professional and personal paths. For someone whose livelihood depends on dollars and cents, those experiences have staked their claim as boons that he can count on forever.
“I appreciate each day because it’s another chance to grow,” Patti said. “I’m ecstatic to see what’s next.”
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