By: Kathy Greer
Senior Vice President, Retail Executive Manager
Diana Nielsen is a “people person.”
And while she enjoyed working with numbers after getting a degree in accounting, she missed the customer interactions of banking while being behind a screen all day.
“Retail is about the customer touch. That’s what I missed while in accounting,” Diana says. “Accounting was great and I do miss it, but I am a people person!”
After originally beginning her career at INB in the accounting department, Diana was presented with the opportunity to work directly with customers again, within a new manager training program in the retail department. She accepted.
Now, Diana has reached a new step in her management training, with a promotion to assistant branch manager of INB’s North Branch on Dirksen Parkway.
Attracted by Culture and Commitment to Community
Diana came to INB accounting in December 2015 after years of retail experience at another bank. She was especially drawn to INB’s culture.
“I was attracted by the size of the company, and it was also a totally different environment,” she says. “I could walk into the CEO’s and CFO’s offices, and I could talk to them. If something was going on, we could deal with it and not have to go through so many steps like the larger bank I was with.”
INB’s emphasis on community involvement also appealed to her.
“I’ve enjoyed being in the Running Club, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and being involved in United Way,” Diana says. “I appreciate opportunities to be more involved in the community; at INB, it’s not just about going into work.”
Back to the Customers
While working in INB accounting, one of Diana’s responsibilities was to compile a quarterly report about branch profitability, which came easily to her with her background in retail banking. She also developed good relationships with staff in the retail department.
Although Diana wasn’t initially looking for a change, Kathy Greer (SVP, retail executive manager) approached her about taking on INB’s new role as branch manager trainee.
“She wanted someone who could be mentored and eventually move into the role of branch manager. I thought about it for a couple months and decided it was something I’d like to do,” Diana says. “I was attracted to the opportunity for management experience, which can be applied to any field of work.”
“I also remember so many of my customers, like elderly people who would come to the bank just to talk – they become a part of you,” she adds. “There are hard days of course, but it’s rewarding. For me, that’s really important.”
Under INB’s retail management program, Diana has been able to participate in management training and gain new skills and experience in the branch setting – all with the goal of managing her own branch one day.
“My ultimate goal is to take on my own branch; I’m definitely ready and excited,” she says. “A branch truly becomes like your own little family. I’m looking forward to this next step.”