Episode 2: Christine Benoit of Farmers State Bank gives advice to her 25 year-old self

PWR Peer Group Meeting Notes

The PWR Peer Group holds conference call meetings two or three times a year to discuss professional development topics. Click on the link below to download a copy of the notes from past meetings.

March 13, 2018 Meeting Notes

What You're Saying About PWR – Professional Women Revitalized!

  • "This is wonderful. I appreciate so much that LBA recognizes the need to motivate and encourage women in this industry...Thank you for the motivation and inspiration!"  
  • I would LOVE to join the PWR Peer Group!!
  • “This is such a great opportunity for women in the banking industry, and I sincerely appreciate LBA for offering it!”
  • “POWER TO THE WOMEN!”

Helpful Documents

Click on the links below to download the document.

ABA Banking Journal article "Women Rising" by Kerry O’Leary (posted 8/27/18)

JMFA article, "How to Prepare for & Ace an Interview, Part 1" (posted 5/21/18)

JMFA article, "How to Prepare for & Ace an Interview, Part 2" (posted 5/21/18)

SB Wellness Group Newsletter (May 2018) (posted 5/1/18)

Mentoring Program Document (posted 3/19/18)

Mentor/Mentee Agreement (posted 3/19/18)

Mentoring Action Plan (posted 3/19/18)

"You Can't Talk Enough About Your Company Values" by Joe Scarlett 

Helpful Resources

Podcast: How Emerging Community Bank Leaders Are Building Their Careers

A lawyer and a professional baseball player walk into a bank.... No, it’s not a joke--it’s the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast. Emily Gray graduated from law school, and Blake Taylor began his working life as a minor-league baseball player, but both of them ended up building successful careers in community banking. Gray is now senior credit officer at Hardin County Bank, Savannah, Tenn., and Taylor is an SVP and commercial real estate lender at Southern First Bank in Columbia, S.C. They are chair and vice chair, respectively, of ABA’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Board, and on the podcast they discuss how rising leaders in banking can develop their careers and position themselves to succeed. Click here to go to the ABA Banking Journal article. Click here to listen to this episode. (posted 6/21/18)  

Simon Sinek's Resources
Simon Sinek is an author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant who has some pretty cool things to say. Click here to check out one of his videos. He also has a new book out called Together is Better which he says will inspire readers to ask for help, help others and discover their own courage.  

September 2018

Q & A with LBA's Treasurer Carly Leonards of JD Bank

Carly serves as LBA's Treasurer for the 2018-2019 term, which puts her in line to serve as the first female chairman for LBA in 2020. Below she tells us about the biggest challenges she thinks banks face today and her goals for the Association for the upcoming year, but first, take a look at her impressive CV:

  • Started her career in banking at Calcasieu Marine National Bank 23 years ago.
  • Began working for JD Bank 20 years ago, where she currently serves as Chief Banking Officer.
  • Past banking positions include Consumer Lender, Commercial Lender, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
  • Education credentials include a Degree in Finance from McNeese State University, Wharton Leadership Certification from ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking and Certified Public Accountant designation.
  • Named 2016 Southwest Economic Development Alliance Established Business Woman of the Year and is a Past President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana and Past President and Treasurer of Jennings Kiwanis Club. 

Q & A with Carly Leonards

LBA: How did you first get into banking?

Leonards: I was a Finance major and went to work part-time in college typing loan documents at Calcasieu Marine National Bank. I wasn’t quite sure what I ultimately wanted to do, but I loved math and statistics and loved people, as well, so it seemed like a great opportunity. This was my introduction into banking and began my lending career.

LBA: What attracted you to serve on LBA’s board?

Leonards: I was honored to have the opportunity to serve such a hard working organization! I think service is key in promoting, protecting and advocating for our industry. I believe the LBA staff does a tremendous job and I am excited to have the chance to work more closely with the folks on staff, on the board and with other leaders in our state.

LBA: What are the biggest challenges faced by banks today?

Leonards: I think the biggest challenge faced by banks today is becoming more creative and agile to meet changing consumer desires for products and delivery channels and doing so while mitigating new types of risk. Since much of this is driven by technology, it places us in the position to internally reorganize and streamline our operations to accommodate new investments.

LBA: What are your goals for the Association for the upcoming year?

Leonards: My goals for the upcoming year are continued industry advocacy and exposure of the Association’s mission to more bankers to continue to grow support. I am optimistic about our current environment experiencing positive movement toward relaxing regulation. This is a unique opportunity to see changes supportive to our industry and ultimately our customers. It’s a great time for us individually to involve new, diverse members of our management teams to grow these efforts into the future. 

LBA: How do you spend your free time?

Leonards: My favorite things to do are traveling and sharing new experiences with family and friends, especially adventure, and working in my yard.