Who is your Treasury Hero?

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, President, Turningpoint Communications

When I think of heroes, sure, I think of Wonder Woman and The Incredibles, but, when it comes to MY heroes, I think of cape-less people who inspire me to be the best version of myself. I have people like that in the treasury world.  They are my mentors, supporters, educators, my inspiration. The world of treasury management is a small one, with colleagues serving 10 to 30 years or more, moving from one role to another and from one employer to another – even one region to another. Career paths are often well defined and chronicled, with insiders well aware of colleagues’ roles – present, past and future. Connections are essential if one is to maximize a treasury management career. I hope my industry colleagues are lucky enough to have admirable colleagues who, support, educate, mentor and inspire.  Do you have these “actors” in your treasury management life? Why not call them out or call them up today to say thank you today?

A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. Do you have someone like this in your life? My mentor, Patricia Mullin, Cambridge Trust Company, took me under her wing, as I got my start in treasury management at State Street corporation’s Global Cash Management division in 1998. As a very young professional, I was charged with building out a marketing discipline which required a great deal of content development for executives and clients – not an easy feat, when the world of treasury management was foreign to me. Patsy took me aside, took me to lunch, and took the time to not only tell me, but show me, how treasury worked – and how our solutions solved operational problems our customers were facing. Decades have passed and Patsy still answers my calls for ideas, clarification and even a request to present or train with me. She remains my calming force, motivator, educator.

A supporter is a person who approves of and encourages someone. Do you have a supporter with no agenda in your life? My supporter, Lee Ann Perkins, Assistant Treasurer, EON Corporation works 1600 miles southwest, but is never very far – always reachable – here for me – and most of the time, I don’t even need to ask. She is always willing to help, no matter the ask or the task – whether presenting, serving as a panelist, starring in a webinar, providing treasury perspectives. She always has a kind word and is often the first one to like just about anything I post on LinkedIn. She also has a great sense of humor, pranking me on occasion. Her smile is infectious and she welcomes new experiences. She is an industry leader, champion and advocate.

An educator is a person who provides instruction or education; a teacher. Do you have someone who passes along his/her intelligence, experience, without judgement?  My educator, Raymond Vines, has served in a corporate treasury leadership capacity for 30 years. His perspective is invaluable to me. He also has a great way of explaining highly complex ideas in layman’s terms, and no question is ever “dumb.” Ray is never short on opinions on just about anything – and never afraid to share those opinions! He shares his treasury goals, realities, his wish list so I feel like an insider into the corporate practitioner side of the business. This comes in handy as we train together, bringing a day in the life of a treasury team to treasury teams from back office to front line professionals.

An inspirer is someone who fills another person with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Ginger Gidden, Senior Vice President, Treasury Management Sales, Wells Fargo, inspires me. She epitomizes grace under pressure, eloquence and intelligence. When others send a text, Ginger picks up the phone, delivering good or bad news in context. This style has earned her trusted advisor status among her clients and as a result, she engages in deeper conversations with these clients – and gets her job done more efficiently and effectively than most people I know. As an industry advocate, Ginger is not afraid to share her experiences (with the appropriate levels of confidentiality, of course), presenting with me at national and regional treasury management conferences.