Chief Experience Officer
United Bank, Zebulon, GA
Vice Chair, 2021-2022 GBA Women in Banking Committee
Q: What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today?
A: My first real job was for a local insurance company in Griffin while I was in high school. I worked two hours every day after school answering phones, processing payments and adding policy updates to customer files. I learned how to serve customers and work alongside others in a professional setting to meet a common goal.
Q: What led you to your career in banking?
A: I needed to support myself during college, so I responded to an ad in the Atlanta Journal Constitution for a parttime teller position at Bank South (formerly Fulton National Bank). My managers were so flexible as my schedule changed each quarter, which built my strong loyalty to them and the company. I was offered an interview to join their Management Associate program as I approached graduation, and the part time college job evolved overnight into a career in community banking.
Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing professionally?
A: I love a good project, and I’ve had the opportunity to lead many across my 30+ years of banking. There is nothing more rewarding than assembling a diverse team of talented employees, some who don’t even know they hold those talents yet, leading them as we work together to meet a strategic objective. People grow and develop in the most difficult circumstances - I’ve learned that personally. I am most proud when I see a team persevere together to succeed beyond their own expectations.
Q: If you could thank someone for becoming the professional you are today, who would it be and why?
A: Soon after completing my Management Training assignment at Bank South, I took on a role co-managing an instore banking region under Bonnie Irwin. Bonnie spent so much time with me, teaching me how to be a strong and determined female banker. She also taught me how to listen, show compassion and equip others to succeed. I was in awe of her professionalism and grace and have strived to emulate it throughout my own career.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not at the bank?
A: Perhaps the most interesting thing about me is that I studied piano for more than eleven years and competed in many competitions across my childhood and teenage years. I earned a seat on a nine-person piano team for the Georgia Governor’s Honors program, where I quickly learned that I would never succeed as a professional musician. I lacked the passion and focus needed to prepare for a flawless solo performance, yet I found that I loved joining other musicians in a chamber group or providing the musical support for a theatrical/musical performance. Maybe that’s where I learned it’s more fun to gather with others and succeed as a team. I’m grateful because I would have starved as a concert pianist.