First V.P. & Community Reinvestment Act Officer, Valley Nat’l Bank, Wayne, N.J. Age: 37
Michael A. Fields’ support group is rooted in his parents, Burnell and Bernice Fields. It is they who instilled in him a love for God, values and morals predicated on scriptural principles, a staunch commitment to helping the community and doing what is right. As first vice president and community reinvestment act officer at Valley National Bank, Fields carries these teachings, values and principles into his work. He is responsible for guiding the bank’s activities to finance affordable housing for low-and moderate-income people and small businesses and advises the bank on investment and service opportunities in New Jersey. His work ethic and commitment to assisting his fellow man is reinforced by his favorite biblical phrase: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live … I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.
Fields earned two bachelors degrees—in history and geography—from the State University of New York at Albany in 1991, and a master’s degree in regional planning in 1995 from the same university. He also holds a continuing education certificate from Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, Iowa. He spent three years in the Peace Corps, which gave him the opportunity to learn new languages and customs and to adapt to working by a different corporate ethic in order to transform communities. Ultimately, he was able to transcend his own expectations and those of the people around him for the overall good.
Determined to be a force in his community, Fields sits on the board of several local institutions, including St. Paul’s Community Development Corp., Paterson Habitat for Humanity, Housing Partnership for Morris County and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Senior Center. He also serves as deacon and Sunday school superintendent at the Bethel Gospel Church, East Orange, N.J.. He would love to spend more time with his wife, Angela, and playing hide-and-seek with his son, Noah. If only he had the time, he says, wistfully.