Chatham University

Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series

Bernadette Eyler Smith

Bernadette Smith

Bernadette Eyler Smith is part of a small group of executives that established Fifth Third Bank's Western Pennsylvania offices in 2004. Fifth Third recruited her to play an integral role as Senior Portfolio Manager within the Private Bank. With more than 25 years of investment management experience, she implements tailored investment strategies for private and institutional clients - managing complex fiduciary, agency and individual retirement accounts, as well as charitable endowment accounts.

Her leadership and passion for the empowerment and advancement of women lead her to form the Fifth Third Women's Financial Network Affinity Group in Western Pennsylvania where she serves as the group's managing executive. The Women's Network has three goals: professional development of women employees; volunteerism and community engagement; and creating a welcoming environment to meet the unique needs of Fifth Third's women clients.

In addition to her leadership at Fifth Third Bank, Bernadette is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, XXIV and active in the community. She presently serves on the Boards of the Women and Girls Foundation, FISA Foundation and Gilda's Club of Western PA. Over the past 16 years, Bernadette has served on the Women's Center & Shelter Ted Craig Humanitarian Award Spring Clothes Out event committee which has raised more than $650,000.

In 2009, she was appointed by Governor Rendell as a member of the Inter-branch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the PA Courts. Also in 2009, Bernadette was honored as a "Leading Lady" by Oakland Catholic High School for demonstrating leadership and serving as a personal and professional role model for young women at Oakland Catholic High School.

Past volunteer roles include board member for Pittsburgh International Children's Theater, member of the Junior League of Pittsburgh and volunteer for the Pittsburgh Center for Grieving Children (currently The Caring Place). She began volunteering as a child in the early 1970s organizing backyard carnivals to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's, "Jerry's Kids." One of her proudest memories was presenting a check for MDA on the Paul Shannon Show!

Born and raised in Pleasant Hills, PA, she is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in a dual major of Business Administration and French. After graduating from Penn State, she relocated to the Washington DC area beginning her long career in financial services as a Financial Consultant with Prudential Securities then as a Trust Officer with NationsBank (currently Bank America). She returned home in 1992 to join PNC Advisors where she worked for 12 years prior to joining Fifth Third Bank in 2004. She holds the Certified Financial Planner designation and is a member of the Financial Planning Association, Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council and Pittsburgh Estate Planning Council.

Bernadette lives in the North Hills of Pittsburgh with her husband, Lowell, her 15 year old son, Lowell, III, her 12 year old daughter, Abby, and the family dog, Allie. She is an active member of St. Sebastian's Church currently serving as lector and previously as Children's Liturgy of the Word instructor.