A double Zag alumni, Cindy Runger (’94), started her career in politics, and now works at the Private Bank at JP Morgan. A combined commitment to working towards the greater good while putting analytical and diplomatic skills to use means that Runger is continually helping clients find solutions.
Tell us about yourself and your work
I was born during the Vietnam war, but was fortunate to come to the States as a toddler. I grew up in the very homogeneous state of Idaho. That experience taught me to be resilient and gave me skills to work in industries (law and finance) that have traditionally been dominated by people with traits that were different than mine.
I am proudly a double Zag with fond memories of my time in GSBA and Search Retreats at the University, and the William O. Douglas committee at the Law School.
Following law school, I served as a staff attorney for the Washington State Senate for a number of years. And then as a gubernatorially appointed Legislative Liaison. This experience sharpened my analytical, advisory, and negotiation skills and deepened my appreciation for people’s sensitivities to subject matters and the art of diplomacy. I’ve been in Wealth Management for about 14 years (now as a Private Banker at JP Morgan), building on these skills.
What do you most enjoy about your profession?
At the Private Bank at JP Morgan, I have the privilege of working with successful people and their families, and Pacific Northwest Endowments and Foundations. I enjoy being able to work with interesting people across various industries and learn how they have made their mark in life. I also like introducing them to fresh ideas and solutions on ways in which to help them improve their situation by legacy planning, and asset growth and preservation.
What is the most challenging aspect of your profession?
The regulatory requirements can be onerous. I spend a good deal of time filing paperwork and completing mandatory compliance training. However, irrespective of the mandates, I continue to make sound decisions, do the right thing, and diligently establish and maintain a reputation of trust and fairness.
Why did you choose to attend law school?
There were a multitude of reasons for attending law school. One dominant reason was familial expectations. The other was to develop my critical thinking and problem solving skills, which I hoped would lend itself to useful skills I could use to help people in a variety of career fields. To date, I have done so–starting my career as an attorney for the Washington State Legislature, translating the networking skills and advisory skills to a career in finance, first as a Financial Advisor, and now as a Private Banker at JP Morgan.
How has your Gonzaga education influenced your career?
Some of my fondest life memories are from my experiences at Gonzaga. The opportunities I was provided helped shape my leadership skills and influenced my desire for service beyond self. In the work that I have done at the Legislature and in finance, I try to approach my work with the thought of how I can contribute to the greater good–whether it’s helping influence sound legislation, helping families establish donor-advised funds or private foundations, or working for a company that strives to be a good community partner. I am also a long-time Seattle Rotarian and community volunteer.
What else are you passionate about?
My family, travelling, and physical and mental fitness are things that matter most to me. Being an intellectually, spiritually, physically and emotionally whole person are important characteristics I try to instill in my six year old son as he defines himself. I love to take him travelling to a new location once a year to learn about different cultures by meeting new people, introducing him to a new language, and/or trying the local cuisine.