Leading Girls in Company Spotlight: Karen Harbin – Lane Report

By Lorie Hailey

(Editor’s observe: The March challenge of  The Lane Report characteristics our semi-annual listing of the Leading Females in Organization. At lanereport.com, we’re shining the highlight on just one of the honorees every day. Working day 8: Karen Harbin, president and CEO of Commonwealth Credit history Union.)

Our occasional characteristic, Leading Women of all ages in Business enterprise, highlights some of the girls in and all around Kentucky who are generating an affect in company, the professions, politics and financial progress. The intent is to realize not the family names, but individuals in key roles whose function ethic and overall body of perform are generating significant contributions to commerce—and life—in the spot.

Karen Harbin grew up in Mount Sterling, Ky., and at the moment lives in Frankfort, Ky.

The 12 females highlighted in this issue are among the the numerous these kinds of women The Lane Report editorial board has identified. From automotive manufacturing plant president to clinic govt, and financial growth director to legislation agency leader, these gals are forging their have paths, proving that challenging perform, perseverance and creative imagination fork out off. And for the 1st time in this series, we’re shining a highlight on some of Kentucky’s best woman tv personalities, providing a glimpse driving the digital camera.

Karen Harbin is president and CEO of Commonwealth Credit Union, the place she has labored since 1986. Considering the fact that having the helm in 2012, she has prioritized improving upon company tradition and interaction with associates.

Karen Harbin

Title/corporation: President/CEO of Commonwealth Credit history Union. I also provide as a member of the credit history union’s board of administrators, balancing that function with the authority of the president/CEO place.

Decades at enterprise/placement: Thirty-I 5 years with Commonwealth Credit rating Union, 10 of all those as president.

Former positions: My Commonwealth Credit rating Union story started in 1986 when I was employed as chief accountant. I have relished serving in unique positions throughout the credit score union, which has specified me a holistic view of the credit union marketplace and aided condition my leadership design and style to what it is currently. Given that transitioning to president/CEO, I’ve aided expand the credit score union from 5 to 15 branches, reinvented the firm society, and put the credit rating union on the map, earning nationwide recognition amongst credit unions.

Education/coaching: Accounting degree from Eastern Kentucky University. Just after graduating, I took my 1st work as auditor of public accounts for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and turned a certified general public accountant (CPA).

Major accomplishment: When I turned president and CEO … we labored with the Disney Institute to overhaul of culture from the floor up. I went into this venture contemplating that we had been heading to acquire one thing good and make it good, but the lifestyle experienced to be wholly redefined. I realized that our lifestyle required to be reshaped so that our concentration was on staff empowerment, recognition and care for other folks. Anyone is important to our good results. Each and every of our staff associates has a voice, and they know I am normally listed here to hear. Workforce customers have a higher degree of engagement when they are involved and their contributions are valued. As a consequence, Commonwealth Credit rating Union has been named as 1 of the Top rated 10 Very best Areas to Work in Kentucky in the medium-sized class by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for the very last two years.

The individual(s) who most influenced me: My mom has had the largest influence in my lifestyle. She worked from house as a bookkeeper so that she could be dwelling with me and my twin sister. I was drawn to quantities at an early age, and I usually understood I wished to function in an workplace location. I found numbers fascinating and my mother’s get the job done ethic admirable. I also would not be where by I am today with out the mentorship of Curt Steger, my Sunday University trainer and higher college background trainer. My 1st career [in banking] was with Curt, who served as president of the Mt. Sterling Financial savings and Financial loan. It wasn’t the complex aspects of the task that I took away [from the experience], it was his skill to guide people today. He led by his religion and from the heart.

My largest problem and how I overcame it: When I entered the credit union sector, there were no females in leadership roles at that time, but I have hardly ever been just one to settle for the position quo. I understood I required to earn a seat at the management table for the reason that I had a lot to offer and a large amount to say. I realized it wasn’t heading to be quick. By being correct to myself and understanding that I could increase price, I achieved my purpose of earning a spot at the desk. As I appear at the names of Kentucky and credit score union CEOs throughout the country, I’m happy to be between a greater group of women of all ages who have redefined the management profile.

My advice to young women of all ages in small business: Everyone can be taught how to do a job, but to do it perfectly — that requires enthusiasm. When you locate out the place your passion lies and you are inclined to set forth the effort and hard work and operate tough, your development can be limitless. Management suggests something unique to anyone. Some believe that to be a chief, you will have to have the title of president or CEO, but I believe that that leadership is uncovered at all stages. If you aspire to transfer up the ladder, you have to continually function on producing on your own. You have to put on your own in a placement to lead and display that you can insert worth. Relocating up normally takes tolerance.

A little something I really like accomplishing: I enjoy volunteering for the American Coronary heart Affiliation and increasing funds to even further their mission. A person way I like to keep my heart balanced is by working out at Pure Barre. I stimulate anyone to hold hoping diverse ways to remain active till you come across the 1 that you enjoy.

Just one essential skill everybody should have: Firm. I know it doesn’t occur conveniently for every person, but discovering a way to remain organized will certainly assist you excel in everyday living.

A music from my childhood/teenage decades that I even now rock out to when no one particular else is about: Any track by Marvin Gaye or Aretha Franklin. I enjoy listening to excellent tunes on my way in to function.

Other Leading Girls in Enterprise stories
Working day 1: Susan Elkington
Working day 2: Marjorie Farris
Working day 3: Sarah Davasher-Wisdom
Day 4: Connie Smith
Working day 5: Diane Whalen
Day 6: Yajaira Aich West
Day 7: Rebecca Fleischaker