Little girls probably don’t grow up saying they want to be a successful community banker – maybe a teacher, nurse or even a veterinarian. However, it is somewhat probable that Ashley Trout might have said that as she devotes her time and talents to Heartland Bank in ways that many associates wouldn’t even imagine. With over 17 years of banking experience, she remains extremely modest about her career sharing what she has done and can do for others rather than herself.
Ashley started her banking career near the bottom of the Heartland Bank ladder of success as a Teller Supervisor. She then explored working outside of the banking arena at her father’s business, ultimately returning to the Retail team at the Gahanna branch. When a new position caught her eye, she pledged her commitment to the Retail division after landing the role of Retail Coordinator. She then quickly moved up the ladder to Branch Operations Manager, Retail Administration Manager and finally to her current position, not actually in the Retail world, as Director of Distribution Strategies.
Ashley and her team provide structure and support for the vision and growth of Heartland Bank. Their goal is to drive the bank’s strategic initiatives relating to product delivery channels, branch innovation and product management. Her team members must be energetic, collaborative and innovative as they are the driving force behind implementing and researching the collective visions of the executive team and the board members of Heartland Bank.
Thus, Ashley contributes to the strategic plan and long-range forecast of the bank – something that is often not shared with most of the associates at Heartland. Her experience has allowed her to possess a bit of inside knowledge at times. “I believe in being authentic, passionate, and working hard. Even if you are not currently in your ‘dream role,’ if you give 150 percent, your efforts will be noticed. Sometimes, your leadership knows what your next role should be before you do. So, don’t be afraid to share your ideas and opinions, you just never know who’s watching,” offers Ashley as she explains why commitment and dedication can make all the difference. Identifying potential and commitment is part of her job, complimenting her dedication to helping her co-workers reach their goals too. “I have the most unique and best job in the bank” – admits Ashley while recognizing that she can be a significant cheerleader behind the scenes for the advancement of many others’ careers as well.
This selfless attitude is also displayed in her commitment to her family, friends and community. Ashley volunteers for many after-hours events at the bank, in her community and at her children’s schools. She is also the lead project manager of her household – effectively navigating the day-to-day operations involved with having a husband, Kevin, and three children Hannah, Griffin and Evelyn – not to mention devoting over 40 hours a week to an incredibly demanding position at the bank.
Does she have time to think about the future? “Personally, I hope to travel more, read more, try as many new things as possible, and give back to my community more. Professionally, I want to continue to make meaningful, innovative, and exciting changes at Heartland and to community banking as an industry.” Planning is part of her duties at the bank and at home, and there is no doubt that Ashley has strategic plans in her mind for both.
Earning the Quality and Excellence pin in 2009, Ashley admits that she bleeds Heartland blue – “Which means always doing, saying, and honestly believing in the bank’s mission and shared values. It is giving it your all every day and all day regardless of the circumstances because it is the right thing to do. It means you view your role within the bank as more than just a job and you see your coworkers as your family.” If you are looking for a community bank that treats you like family, come on over to Heartland and experience the difference a community bank can make for you!