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Home » A Q&A With Women’s History Month Honoree, Jenn Winegar

A Q&A With Women’s History Month Honoree, Jenn Winegar

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Women's History month

In the early stages of Maps Credit Union (and other credit unions), we offered only savings, share draft accounts, and small consumer loans to members who were linked by a common bond (in our case, local schools). The industry has evolved immensely over the decades but for much of it, there were strict limits on the amount of business lending that credit unions were allowed to engage in.

In fact, it wasn’t until 2016 that the NCUA Board changed the agency’s regulations and gave credit unions greater flexibility to make commercial lending decisions. Today—as the credit union commercial services industry continues to evolve—we are able to offer a wide variety of business resources to our members like business and non-profit checking, savings and money market accounts, commercial loans, remote check deposit, commercial insurance, and business credit cards.

So, as we continue with our Women’s History Month celebration, we’re taking a closer look at a woman who plays a key role in this department, Jenn Winegar, our Vice President of Commercial Services.

Winegar joined the Maps team in July of 2022, but she came to us with a long history of leadership in banking at both U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. When asked about working with Winegar, Tim Vickers, Commercial Loan Operations Manager for Maps said, “What I find most remarkable about Jenn as both my boss and mentor, is her unique ability to balance expectations with genuine care and concern for her team. She has helped me grow both personally and professionally. I am appreciative of her guidance and support.” We asked Winegar a few questions about what inspires her and how it feels to be a leader at Maps.

Maps: What motivated you to become a leader in your industry?

Winegar: Throughout my career in banking and finance, I have had the privilege of working with amazingly talented leaders that recognized my strong work ethic and passion for what I do. Many of these leaders became trusted colleagues and mentors who modeled the way and eventually inspired me to serve others in a leadership capacity.

Maps: Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone personally or professionally who has inspired you.

Winegar: I have a very dear mentor and friend, Tiane Soulatha, that I worked with in my time in Government Banking. In our roles, we would routinely travel together, throughout Oregon, to meet with our customers and prospects. It was a privilege to watch her in action. She was an accomplished professional whose success I attribute to being genuine and putting people first. She could handle even the toughest of conversations with grace and professionalism. She was a natural mentor that provided me with sage advice, guidance, and encouragement.

Maps: What motivates you when things get tough?

Winegar: Life is not always perfect, and our work life is no exception to that. I believe in (and value) perseverance and grit. One of my favorite sayings is “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it”. When things get tough, I try not to limit my thinking and always focus on the possible.  This has always provided me with the energy and drive to push on.

Maps: What does good team leadership look like to you?

Winegar: Authentic Shared Leadership is how I lead. I treat all individuals on my team as whole individuals, not just coworkers. I also believe that there is a difference between managing and leading. Not every person on my team is a manager, but every person is a leader. My leadership style involves having the right people, building trust, and empowering everyone to achieve success.

Maps: What advice would you give the next generation of female leaders?

Winegar: I have had the privilege of working for several accomplished and inspirational women. I have also been mentored, guided, and inspired equally by the male leaders and role models. Every great leader has been shaped by their lived experience. The advice that I would give the next generation of female leaders is to keep an open mind and remain inclusive in the sources of your leadership inspiration.

Maps: Who is your favorite female historical figure?

Winegar: Recently I have been studying the leadership of Indra Nooyi, the former chief executive officer and chairperson of PepsiCo. Nooyi was also the first woman of color and first immigrant to head up a Fortune 500 company, leading PepsiCo through a rough period to a place of long-term growth and sustainability. She is extremely intelligent, kind, humble and has a great sense of humor. She is an inspiration to me, and I believe that history will someday point to Nooyi as one of the great leaders of our time.

Check out our Q&As with our Chief Operations Officer, Rachel Pross, and Maps Community Foundation Executive Director, Kim Hanson, and then stay tuned for one more week of interviews as we wrap up Women’s History Month.

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