From Leader in Corporate America to Rockstar
After a successful journey in Top 50 Fortune 500 firms, MJ Klimas culminated her corporate career at Bank of America as President and Chair of Banc of America, Public Capital Corporation. Along the way, she learned valuable life lessons about perseverance and adherence to personal values of integrity, kindness, and service. Now through her own consulting firm, MJ shares those lessons with others. MJ is Principal of PresencePlus where she helps others take control of their personal brand and achieve their professional goals. “I’m helping people, of all ages and stages of their career, bring their best and most brilliant selves to the world every day. I help them apply tools and techniques to prepare for interviews, craft presentations, manage career changes, seek promotions, or simply enhance their overall presence,” she explains.
When not consulting with clients, MJ gives back as a member of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC), both to serve her community and to engage with peers to lift all women up. She credits her parents with raising her to succeed and instilling the value of hard work at a time when the options for women were more limited. “Growing up, people told me I was smart, which meant I could be an executive secretary or maybe the manager of a fast-food restaurant – both positions I held,” she says. But through a strong work ethic and determination, MJ landed on Wall Street instead of Main Street.
MJ has chosen to support United Way due to the organization’s accountability and access to so many sectors of the community. “I started giving early in my career because United Way has always been about changing lives and throughout the years, they’ve made it so easy to give and make an impact.”
MJ currently volunteers with programs such as United Way’s Tools for Schools, Salvation Army Disaster Relief, the Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh, and urban gardening programs.
What might surprise most is that MJ also has a passion for music, and plays lead guitar in her rock band, Ruby and the Riptides. She is a “rocker at heart.” As a youngster, she appeared on stage at church gatherings and Italian-American festivals. Now she performs at local Pittsburgh venues. Her love of music led her to serve for many years on the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and Pine Richland Orchestra Association boards. She has also inspired her husband and two daughters to embrace music. You can check out her band on Facebook, #RubyandTheRiptides, or on Instagram, @RubyandTheRiptides. To learn more about PresencePlus, visit linkedin.com/in/mj-klimas.
To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash at firstname.lastname@example.org in Allegheny County, Terri Dominick at email@example.com in Westmoreland County or Sherrie Dunlap Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org in Butler County.