Kate Carr, president and chief executive of Abigail Adams National Bank, is in the market for a job.
"I haven't decided what I'm going to do," Carr, one of the best-known women executives in Washington, said Friday. "I'm at a point in life if I'm going to make a change I have to do it now." She said she is considering several offers.
Carr, 59, announced Sept. 23 that she was resigning after seven years of running Adams, the District-based community bank founded to serve women and minority-owned businesses.
She plans to stay at Adams until Oct. 24 to help in the transition. She is being succeeded by Jeanne Delaney Hubbard, chairman of the holding company that owns the bank.
In an era of consolidation and big banks, Carr emphasized personal service and a community focus. Adams more than doubled its assets during Carr's tenure.
"From our perspective, it's a huge loss to the banking community," said Barbara B. Lang, D.C. Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive.
Carr, a District native and the daughter of a banker, has spent her entire career in the local banking industry. She even named her dog, a Tibetan terrier, Abigail Adams.
Carr, who never earned a college degree, rose through the ranks at several local banks. In 1997 she left a job as a senior vice president for private banking with NationsBank to join Adams as a senior lender. A year later, the board of the bank's holding company removed chief executive Barbara Blum and made Carr president and chief executive.
Carr was a stabilizing force at Adams, where assets increased to more than $250 million from $112 million in 1997. The bank has six branches in the District and Maryland.
Earlier this year, Adams completed the acquisition of Consolidated Bank & Trust Co. of Richmond, one of the nation's oldest black-owned banks, for $2.5 million. The deal was criticized by at least one shareholder, Lew Sosnowick, vice president of bank securities at Koonce Securities in Bethesda, who thought it was a bad move.
Carr defended the purchase, saying, "It doesn't appear to be a natural fit going from Washington to Richmond, but when you're a community bank with a niche in urban areas," it makes sense.
Sosnowick did not fault Carr over the deal, calling her "a brilliant banker."
"She knows this market," he said.
Carr said small-business owners like the "personal touch" Adams offers.
"I answer my own phone," she said. "It's access to the lenders and not a 1-800 number."