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Giving Back to the Community through Professional Development

All banks need the services of at least one person who is a communication professional, but most of the standard professional development tracks for bankers are not designed to apply to these employees. One communication professional at West Bank has found a way to give back to the community while satisfying her particular professional development needs.

West Bank’s Support Returns Value

West Bank sponsors Communication and Engagement Director Peggy Fleming’s membership in the Association for Women in Communications (AWC). The bank also provides a meeting place for the group’s monthly luncheons. In return, Fleming takes full advantage of what her professional organization has to offer in order to make the most of the experience and bring value back to the Bank.

Professional development programs are offered on the chapter level each month along with one or two skill-building workshops. By serving on the chapter level board, Fleming has been able to influence what programming is offered. There are also informal discussion groups aimed at the exchange of ideas and tips among communicators from different disciplines of the profession. At the national level, there are conferences and monthly webinars aimed at keeping skills up to date in an ever-changing world.  These offer the chance to network with communication professionals from across the country and learn from them.

Taking Full Advantage of Opportunity

“I have been the president of our local chapter for seven years,” says Fleming. “Since West Bank specializes in helping small businesses get off the ground and grow, having our meetings here and becoming more familiar to women communicators who have or want to start their own businesses is my contribution to business development.”

Fleming now serves on the national board of directors and has been the marketing/communications chair for the entire organization for the last 3 years. The opportunity to serve brings with it big dividends in the education and experience gained.

Ready for the Next Big Thing in Communication Technology

“My national board service with AWC has given me a chance to learn, practice, and develop many communication industry skills that the bank wasn’t quite ready to employ. As West Bank expanded into social media, for example, I was prepared from years of doing social media for AWC both on the chapter and national level,” said Fleming. “I could not have done this without the support of West Bank. Many AWC members do not receive financial support from their companies and those companies are missing a big opportunity.”

Participating in a big way in her professional organization accounts for many of the nearly 400 community service hours Fleming logs each year. In addition she serves on the committee for the Cure Rett Iowa Strollathon and volunteers for other charitable organizations as opportunities arise. She has been with West Bank for 14 years and is a graduate of Drake University School of Journalism.


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