FCCS News & Insights

Happenings, Insights, Thought Leadership, Forward Thinking Podcast Episodes

Professional Experiences Shape Leaders’ Careers


Hear from the 2022 Circle of Excellence Award Winners

Everyone’s life is filled with experiences every day, large and small, pleasant and challenging, and they all contribute to shaping our perspectives, attitudes and behaviors. Some experiences, though, deliver lasting impact, contributing to personal and professional growth and success.

FCCS asked several Farm Credit leaders who were named to the 2022 Accelerator of the Year Award Circle of Excellence about which experiences in their careers most influenced their professional journeys.

Jeremy Anderson, CEO, Farm Credit of Southern Colorado
When Jeremy joined Farm Credit of Southern Colorado as CEO, the organization was facing both regulatory pressure and cultural challenges, both of which needed to be addressed very quickly. Leading through those challenges and guiding his team to a stronger employee culture was immensely gratifying. By focusing on things one day at a time, the organization came through the transition very quickly and smoothly.
One reason for Jeremy’s success in this endeavor was a previous experience at a commercial bank that followed a robust merger strategy where he was responsible for integrating the teams after each consolidation. Succeeding in this hectic environment taught him the importance of culture and defined processes, and how to bring together and guide a team through substantial change.

Molly Gallery, Supervisor of Market Research and CX, AgFirst
Molly’s professional journey was influenced long before it began through her
childhood experience with a mother who instilled in her the value of continuous learning, today achieved through videos, books and hands-on experience. This dedication to learning has led to an openness to new ideas and innovations, and an ability to adapt to new crises and situations.
Another early professional experience with a valued mentor left Molly with a lifelong lesson that resonated with her then and has been reaffirmed throughout her career: “If you don’t make a plan, a plan will be made for you.” Taking the lesson to heart, she has a strong planning mentality when taking on any project.

Mel Koller, CEO, Alabama Farm Credit
Being pushed out of his comfort zone to lead the Farm Credit Bank of Texas District’s mainframe replacement a decade ago gave Mel a new outlook. Engaging with the District’s 14 associations to solicit input and obtain buy-in as they worked toward a modern technical solution was a difficult and complex undertaking. Some of his strategies were successful while others were not, which, he says, is a reality we should all accept: not every idea will work out, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying. Benefiting from numerous leaders at FCBT investing in him personally, he found new
insights that led to personal growth. This included partnering with a coach to explore blind spots. This journey of development culminated in valuing people above process, realizing that together a team can accomplish anything.

Sally Lawson, CFO, Capital Farm Credit
Moving into her executive position was a long-term prospect for Sally, who enjoyed an 18-month mentorship experience with the retiring CFO. Benefiting from his wisdom, she learned both tactical and strategic thinking and developed the broad understanding of the entire organization that the role demands. Citing that time as “priceless,” it prepared her to step into CFO position. Recent years have provided another formative experience for Sally as she led the implementation of an end-to-end loan origination and processing platform, working closely with the Farm Credit Bank of Texas. Effectively conveying the end-user’s perspective meant gaining a comprehensive understanding of how that process works and how a new system could support better customer service and operational efficiency, knowledge that still serves her well.

About the Accelerator of the Year Award
The FCCS Accelerator of the Year Award recognizes a leader who has made
significant contributions to advancing their organization, accelerating change and fostering growth. This is the third year of the Accelerator of the Year award program, which is open to contributors and leaders at every level who accelerate their organization’s success.

Recent News & Views

Stay Connected