Retired banker opens doors to the world
By Willie Kiernan
After retiring, W. Valen McDaniel, a Certified Internal Auditor, wanted to be known for more than just being a good banker.
"I wanted to do something different, something special. I wanted to see if my little two cents could make a difference," McDaniel said.
McDaniel, who lives in Cazenovia with his wife Sandy, has been traveling the world as a volunteer, bringing his expertise of banking to struggling governments. He teaches the concepts of internal auditing and helps governments to stabilize their economies.
"I was welcomed very well. Most foreign countries have great respect for teachers," McDaniel said.
Financial Services Volunteer Corps, impacting almost 30,000 participants in nearly 50 countries in the past 17 years, needed someone with extensive internal auditing experience in rural banking with a CIA designation to assist the Bank of Albania in setting up a risk-based audit department. In March of 2001, McDaniel was selected from a roster of members of the Institute of Internal Auditors and met the criteria necessary for an assignment in Tirana, Albania.
"Albania was the most isolated country in all the world," McDaniel said. "They had no combustible engines, no cars, no streetlights."
Suddenly the wall came down about 1990. One corrupt government succeeded another and by the time McDaniel was invited to help in their situation, there was little or no trust in investing in the central bank.
"I was there to get the government going before it could be overthrown, quite frankly," McDaniel said.
McDaniel, a resident of the Syracuse area since 1991, is also a Certified Financial Services Auditor, Certified Risk Professional and A certified Fraud Examiner. He has more than 40 years in banking and retired in May of 2007 as Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for Community Bank System, Inc. in DeWitt.