As an e-banking specialist, Devyn Gentry works daily with many INB clients, but – due to the online nature of his role – he couldn’t put a face to a name for many of them.

Devyn Gentry

That all changed when he joined the most recent class of Leadership Springfield.

“My favorite part of the program was getting to tour local businesses in the Springfield area and meet a lot of the faces I tend to work with each day,” he says. “Quite a few of the locations we visited are clients of INB, so it was great to finally meet some of the leaders of these organizations and make a personal connection with them.”

Leadership Springfield is a 14-week series of half day programs focused on interactive professional development. Facilitated by the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the program aims to develop, strengthen, and equip local professionals to benefit the Springfield area, featuring topics like healthcare, team building, government, technology and much more.

INB has encouraged staff members to participate in Leadership Springfield over the years. We’ve seen firsthand the benefits that come from gaining leadership skills and in-depth exposure to critical issues affecting the Springfield area.

Growing as an Effective Leader

When another INB staff member was unable to participate, I encouraged Devyn to consider it because I knew this program would help him with his career path and growing into an effective leader.

Immediately after he started with INB in 2021, we recognized that Devyn has the skills to grow personally and professionally with INB. He’s always willing to accept what is asked of him and takes pride in everything he does for both customers and INB coworkers.

“It was clearly an amazing opportunity that I could not pass up,” Devyn says. “From the beginning, INB let me know that they would help me with any questions or roadblocks I may have during the program, as well as adjust my schedule to make sure I could participate 100%.”

Leadership Springfield classes generally comprise 35-40 participants from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. The group fosters collaboration between businesses and explores commerce in Springfield in a variety of ways.

“My biggest takeaway of the program was how to truly manage and operate as a team to fulfill tasks and achieve our goals, not just in regards to our assignments but also to apply what was learned to my future opportunities,” Devyn says.

While Devyn acknowledges that he generally prefers to be a “supporting member” of a group, Leadership Springfield motivated him to analyze and mold his leadership skills and “truly understand how to bring out the best in myself and others I work with.”

“I’ve been working on learning how to effectively communicate with team members and help position everyone to handle areas they will excel in. For me, that included stepping up and being the leader in charge,” he shares.

Applying the Lessons

After graduating Leadership Springfield in December 2023, Devyn has already found the lessons and connections “fruitful” to his career.

“As new tasks arise and new problems need solved, I have found myself more confident and ready to tackle things that may have made me uneasy before,” he says. “I may not fully know what a solution to an issue might be from the jump, but I do know I have the ability to find it.”

He encourages others to seize the opportunity to participate: “I would highly recommend that anyone who wants to either enhance their abilities to be a leader or group member, as well as those who may already have these skills but need to get connected with the local community, participate in future classes of the program.”