2021 Women Who Mean Business: Abby Wendel, President of Consumer Banking

Abby Wendel, President of Consumer Banking, was recently named to the 2021 Class of Women Who Mean Business by the Kansas City Business Journal for her outstanding accomplishments at UMB Bank and in the community. We chatted with Abby to learn more about her passion for banking, her dedication to Kansas City, and what it means to be a businesswoman.

Tell us about your role as president of consumer banking at UMB?

I’m responsible for the consumer banking division, which includes mortgages, retail banking and private banking. I take a collaborative approach to the design and execution of business strategy. Basically my focus is on customer acquisition and the customer experience. In order to achieve the high standards we set for ourselves in terms of acquisition and customer experience, I make sure that we have strong business processes and functionality in branches and our other channels.

What challenges have you encountered in your professional life and how did you overcome them?

The transition from leading a team of professional staff to that of a business line leader was an exciting challenge, especially since my banking experience during the first 22 years of my career had been in largely in professional staff roles. Although I did not “grow up” in consumer banking, my experience at the Federal Reserve has provided me with the tools to be successful in the banking world, and my previous roles at UMB have allowed me to be a front row seat to learn more about the company. However, working at the corporate level is very different from running the business directly, and I was excited about the opportunity presented to me while being aware of the potential challenges.

I overcome challenges and uncertainties by having an open line of communication with leaders and decision makers and by being deliberate by not making assumptions about my own personal development opportunities. Earlier in my career, I built my credibility by achieving success in each of my roles and by gaining the influence and confidence of leaders. I also focused on developing self-awareness and organization. For me, success is not always being right; Rather it’s about rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done to advance collaborative initiatives while maintaining strong relationships and using influence to get results.

What business achievement are you most proud of?

Winning the role of President of Consumer Banking is something I’m extremely proud of, but I truly believe the best is yet to come. Reinvigorating personal banking at UMB is an exciting challenge – but also an opportunity as we have significant growth potential, and I believe realizing that potential will be my most remarkable business achievement (at least in the short term). The competitive landscape for retail banking is fierce, but we see an opportunity to differentiate due to our reputation as a strong, local bank in Kansas City.

What contributions have you made to the Kansas City community?

Of all the causes to which I am committed, the most dear to my heart is that of the arts. I believe that a vibrant arts community adds great value to the city and helps illustrate human history for others to experience. I am proud to have served in leadership positions on various arts-related boards and am particularly pleased to have ensured age and gender diversity within these groups. By being a leader of the arts community and supporting development efforts, I have exposed my peers and other broader audiences to the beauty and power that the arts can offer.

Two roles in particular made me a champion of the Kansas City arts community. One was Vice President of the Kansas City Repertory Theater and the other co-chaired the Kansas City Arts Institute Art and Design Auction with my husband in 2017. It was the highest grossing fundraiser. for the school, with over $ 500,000. in donations.

What contributions have you made to empower women in business?

My goal is to be a genuine and transparent leader and to have one-on-one relationships that help women be themselves. Through my leadership and mentorship, I strive to show that there is not necessarily a mold to fit into in order to be successful – if you are yourself and you are good at your job, you will be. appreciated for who you are and what you contribute. My intentional approach to personality, engagement and transparency, I believe, has helped make me a role model and mentor, and make great strides for women both at UMB and in our community.

To learn more about Abby Wendel and this prestigious recognition, check out this feature article in the Kansas City Business Journal ‡.

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UMB Financial Company published this content on October 13, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on October 14, 2021 08:01:02 PM UTC.

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