When Jodi Motta talks about her role as a Regional Manager at VCNB, she rarely talks about herself. Instead, she discusses the team she manages, the people who have helped her along the way, and the drive she has to be better every day.
Perhaps that’s why she thrived in the leadership training programs offered by the Community Bankers Association of Ohio (CBAO). Motta recently completed the organization’s Advanced Leadership Development Program. Before that, she completed their Emerging Leader Program as well.
“There are many opportunities to help others and developing people is my passion. My motivation comes from helping others grow,” she said. “Maybe that’s because it’s important to me that I grow every day and because I’ve had so many people help me. Developing others is a true passion.”
Jodi’s path to becoming a successful member of the VCNB family actually began at Kroger where she started as a teenaged bagger. She went to college while working her way up at Kroger until landing in the back office. “Much of the work was similar to teller work. Balancing cashiers, money orders, some supervisory too so it really was good training for my banking career.”
She started as a teller for the Friendly Bremen Banking Center in Bremen in 2000 before making a shift to the Loan Operations Department. Here she learned all the back end processes of banking and worked with experienced employees who were happy to teach her.
She eventually made the shift back to retail to manage our Bremen branch before becoming a Regional Manager in 2009. While VCNB is just her second employer, she says she gained knowledge and was helped by others every single day and that those experiences have helped her become a better leader.
Her most recent accomplishment, graduating the CBAO Advanced Leadership Development Program earlier this month, was a ten month journey along with just a handful of other bankers who represented various departments of banks of all sizes. “Everyone came from different backgrounds and departments and brought a diverse perspective to the conversation,” she said.
Their instructor asked each participant of the elite program to bring live problems for class discussion and for one-on-one coaching sessions. “It was helpful to be coached through real life situations and to see the results,” Jodi explained.
One of her strategies is finding someone’s strengths and passions and to help them use those tools. “A lot of people don’t know their own strengths, they don’t give themselves enough credit and underestimate where they are. If you can help them identify their strengths, help build their confidence, they will grow,” she continued. “It’s a great strategy to use when building your team. When you, as a leader, can identify everyone’s strengths and develop them your team will succeed.“
Jodi admits that she has high expectations for her team but she holds herself to high standards as well. “I never want to feel like I’m not pushing myself to grow and learn new things and to be a better leader. I have high expectations for my team and push them to be better because I know they’re awesome and I know they’re capable.”
She is actually known for reviewing her own performance on each project or even when facilitating a meeting. “Anytime I do something, I like ask myself what I could have done differently. What could I do better next time to get better results? It’s important to always do this because there is always room to improve and grow, to learn from your experiences.”
The Sugar Grove native has been married to her husband Chris for 22 years. They have three children who keep her very busy. “I guess you could say my hobbies involve spending time with my kids and their activities. Marching band, sporting events – those things and spending time with my extended family keeps me busy,” she exclaimed.
Jodi serves on the Lancaster Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce Board and is a board member and Treasurer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fairfield County. “That organization is very near and dear to my heart. Anything that has to do with children and developing young minds is important and this organization pairs young people with adults or ‘bigs’ as we call them. Every child deserves to grow up knowing that someone believes in them and sees their potential.”
She is known for encouraging others and for supporting those who wish to work in community banking. “Working in any aspect of community banking is very rewarding. It is a profession that offers a variety of opportunities for career growth and development.”
Perhaps that’s why she rarely meets a colleague without extending the offer to help if they ever need advice or just someone to listen on a bad day. “I like to help people understand their why. Sometimes you don’t know what’s bugging you, you just know you’re having a bad day. Understanding the why can help you work through it. In the bigger picture, knowing your purpose and understanding your why will help you to grow, to succeed and to be better.”