As I sat in the small conference room with the bright orange chairs, I listened intently to CEO John Zmolek and Director of Human Resources Justin Martin. Everything they were saying was exactly what I wanted to hear from a prospective employer. “People come first, before the bottom line. Teamwork is the foundation of our success. Community engagement propels us forward.”
After working at credit unions and regional banks throughout my twenty-three year career in bank marketing, I had heard similar words before, and to be honest, I was skeptical. “I want to be where the people speaking these words really mean it,” I said to them.
It’s been sixty days since taking on my new role as Chief Marketing Officer, and to say I’ve found a place where they really mean it is an understatement. Throughout my career, I have been involved in “trying” to build a positive culture in a financial institution, but without complete and whole-hearted support from the entire executive team, it never went far. At Verity, though, the values are engrained in everything they do. They are a part of every meeting—of every conversation.
Beginning the first day of New Employee Orientation, I have been greeted with enthusiastic, passionate and engaged team members. This team is bright, experienced and forward-thinking, implementing programs and systems that other institutions I’ve worked for only talk about. They are focused on the mission and work hard to move us forward. And they have fun in the process—from morning trivia to “pop-up desk parties,” these folks make me laugh every day.
It may seem like an over exaggeration to say that this is the job I’ve been looking for my whole career, but it’s true. I’m given the freedom to create an effective marketing program with a dream-team staff and internal partners that are truly a pleasure to work with. When Verity team members profess the mission to “enhance members’ lives by creating trusted relationships,” I know they really mean it because that’s what they’ve done for me as a member of this team.
My first week here I said to CEO John Zmolek, “My family is amazed when I come home from work in a great mood. They keep telling me, ‘this isn’t you!’”
“It IS you,” John answered, “you’ve just had to fight your way through things to get here.”