When the economy changed, Jennifer Griffith changed Commerce National Bank along with it.
“It has been necessary to focus on efficiency without adversely affecting our client’s experience,” says Griffith, who subsequently led an effort to build diverse focus groups and project teams that were instrumental in maintaining service delivery commitments and energizing their team to support the changes.
Griffith was named one of 2010 Smart Leader honorees by Smart Business and Blue Technologies. We asked her how she overcomes challenges, innovates and gives back to the community.
Give us an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.
Stewarding change and consolidation requires that we keep the client’s perspective at the forefront of all our decisions. Building diverse focus groups and project teams was instrumental in maintaining service delivery commitments and energizing our team to support the changes.
In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?
CNB’s business model has always been to deliver great financial solutions without investing in retail branches. In recent years we have heavily invested in technology to bring our clients great products that allow banking to expand beyond any perceived geographic limitations. With remote deposit and online banking, our services have expanded throughout the Midwest.
How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?
Our approach to banking has always been to support great business decisions that promote growth and reinvestment in our markets. As a SBA Preferred Lender, we have leveraged many of the American Recovery Act initiatives to bring great solutions to small businesses in our markets. We have also used conventional and hybrid solutions to help our clients gain efficiency, reinvest in equipment, expand working capital, fund acquisitions, and create jobs.
How to reach: Commerce National Bank, www.firstmerchants.com/CommerceNational/
The Smart Leaders class of 2010
In August, 2010, Smart Business and Blue Technologies recognized 14 business leaders for their commitment to business excellence and the impact their organizations make on the regional community. Treated to a keynote address by TechColumbus CEO Ted Ford, these 14 leaders composed the honor roll:
- Michelle Adams, president, Prism Marketing
- Jeff Brock, general manager, The Loth Co.
- Tom Dailey, president, 2Checkout.com
- Jennifer Griffith, president, Commerce National Bank
- Darla King, owner and president, King Business Interiors
- Elizabeth Lessner, CEO, Betty’s Family of Restaurants
- Rick Milenthal, president, Engauge
- Michelle Mills, CEO, St. Stephen’s Community House
- Janis Mitchell, founder, president and CEO, Precise Resource
- Neil Mortine, president and CEO, Fahlgren Inc.
- Debra Penzone, president, Charles Penzone Family of Salons
- Joel Pizzuti, president, The Pizzuti Cos.
- Bea Wolper, partner, Emens & Wolper Law Firm
- Eric Zimmer, CEO, Tipping Point Renewable Energy