In this month’s Board Spotlight, we’re proud to share words of wisdom from Jennifer Eugene, a member of WDCEP’s Board of Directors. Jennifer currently serves as Manager of Utility Sales for the Washington Gas Utility, bringing a plethora of accomplishments and expertise along with her.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from someone else (at any point) in your career?
Timothy Veith (TV): Early in my career, a senior banker took me under his wings and provided guidance that has lasted my entire career. Of the many valuable pieces of advice, one piece that always stuck with me was that it is important to know as many people in your world as possible, but more important that they know you.
How does community play a role in your day to day at work?
(TV): United Bank’s tagline is that we are “The Community Bank of the Nation’s Capital”, with major emphasis on “Community”. Having spent the last 5 years with United Bank and the vast majority of my 41 year banking career in the DC area working with a community bank, community plays a significant role in my work and my personal life. Community means living and working within your community, active engagement in your community, including volunteering time, talent, and treasure. This is all put in context by one of my favorite characters and movies, Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
What does leadership mean to you?
(TV): A successful and effective leader has a variety of traits and characteristics that encourage others to follow. At United Bank, we live by the following values that are the foundation of solid leadership: Integrity, Hard Work, Teamwork, and Caring. These qualities inspire the trust and respect of your team.
What has been an invaluable learning lesson from a challenge you’ve faced in your career?
(TV): While facing and overcoming many challenges throughout my career, the most recent was created by the Covid-19 pandemic and involved the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). As this program was rolling out in April of 2020 there were constant changes that impacted both the lender and the borrower, and a demand from customers never experienced before. This was all happening as most employees had recently started working remotely. The challenge was to keep our team motivated, even as they worked unusually long hours seven days a week, for many weeks. While what we were facing could have forced employees to back away and just say “it cannot be done” or “we can never accomplish what is being asked of us,” it was amazing to see the teamwork and positive attitude exhibited by all. And we got it done. In all, United Bank originated over 13,500 PPP loans totaling $1.8 billion. The lesson learned, never say never!
What is something you are excited to either solve or spearhead in the next five years?
(TV): While I love what I do and look forward to coming to work every day, I do plan on retiring at some point. So over the next five years I am excited about planning, strategizing and executing on my retirement plans, and living happily ever after!
Regional President, EVP | United Bank
+ WDCEP Board of Directors