From serving in the military to guiding businesses toward growth, Teachers Credit Union (TCU) Business Banking Relationship Manager Stephany Leonard is all about helping people. After serving in the Army National Guard, Leonard was searching for a stable, challenging job that would also allow her a comfortable work/life balance and found what she was looking for at TCU.
While Leonard served in the National Guard on the weekends, she also got a job in the banking industry as a teller. Over the course of her early career, Leonard would advance by learning many of the skills required to move into management. It was then that Leonard knew that the financial industry was right for her.
Leonard began at TCU in 2016 as the manager of both of TCU’s Valparaiso branches, and during her tenure, she has continued to grow her management skills. In January of last year, Leonard started doing microloans for her members and found that she had an interest in moving to the commercial side of the credit union. She continued to build more small business clients, and as a result was offered her current position as a business banking relationship manager, which she accepted last December. In this new position, Leonard will be able to build strong relationships with business owners in the community and help them grow their businesses.
“The opportunity to grow and develop within my position as a manager initially drew me to TCU,” said Leonard. “I love TCU’s culture of people helping people and having the ability to showcase the leadership skills I learned as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the military. My role as a manager allowed me to develop those skills even further and take on new responsibilities. Plus, TCU really encourages its employees to be active in their communities and I have whole-heartedly taken them up on that. I spend a lot of time working with the American Heart Association, Kiwanis, Women United, and the Valparaiso Creative Council.”
In her new role, Leonard has a whole new set of challenges to master. Through learning about the businesses she works with, Leonard formulates a plan to introduce products to help them grow. Leonard emphasized the importance of networking and making connections to pinpoint how to add value to both businesses and communities alike.
“What I really like about this new position is that no business is the same; you get to think outside the box. It’s about taking those active listening skills, hearing what my clients are saying, and then proposing a plan of action to make sure I am helping set them up for success. I get to plant those seeds and watch them grow throughout the process with my clients,” Leonard said.
Although she is new to her position, Leonard understands the difference that having a financial plan can make, whether it is for a business or individual. That’s why she felt a connection to the financial industry in the first place. Working as a business banking relationship manager has only given her greater opportunities to help others.
“I’m enjoying my new role and working with small businesses,” said Leonard. “You feel fulfilled when helping a business achieve its financial goals. However, starting a business or obtaining your first loan can be intimidating, so I aim to make that process as simple as possible while identifying products for my clients that I feel will better serve them.”
Leonard has a son and a daughter, and she loves spending time with them playing board games, going to the movies, and visiting amusement parks.
To learn more about Teachers Credit Union and its staff, visit https://www.tcunet.com/.