As the Ottumwa Leadership Academy welcomes its 10th class of leaders, we’re checking back in with alumni from the first nine classes to see where they are now. Today, we’re catching up with Wes Krenz, a graduate of the Ottumwa Leadership Academy class of 2015.
Ottumwa Leadership Academy: How has your career changed since you were a participant in the Academy?
Wes: My career has changed in many ways since O.L.A. Since the Academy, I was promoted from a branch manager at Community 1st Credit Union to a regional manager. This promotion has put me in tune with a lot more different aspects of leadership, not just within the company but throughout the communities we serve. Looking back, while I was a branch manager, I was fairly set in my ways when it came to being a leader. However, now overseeing different areas and branches, I see how other leadership tactics work or fit that particular culture and environment.
Ottumwa Leadership Academy: How do you find yourself still using skills or things you learned in the Academy?
Wes: The Ottumwa Leadership Academy taught me the value of having servant leadership and the importance of becoming more involved in the community where I live. I take pride now in serving on numerous boards and committees in the community. However, I’ve realized there are quite a few areas economically that need attention to help promote the success and vitality of our community. So I want to make sure I do my part to support this the best I can.
Ottumwa Leadership Academy: You are currently serving on the O.L.A. Advisory Board. What made you want to take on a leadership role with the Academy?
Wes: This program helps emerging and established leaders develop their leadership skills, which are needed in every community. I wanted to help Hollie (the Executive Director) continue to build a sustainable foundation for the Academy, and what a wonderful way to support this cause even further. Not to mention that working with the other board members has been a fantastic experience in itself!
Ottumwa Leadership Academy: You recently joined the Legacy Foundation Board of Directors! What has been your favorite project thus far?
Wes: ALL OF THEM! I was able to catch the tail end of the Street Scape project last year. The before and after pictures of our downtown main street area speaks for that project alone! We are currently working on multiple projects that are extremely exciting to be a part of. All of them lookout for the best interest and future of our community.
Ottumwa Leadership Academy: What other opportunities have you had to serve as a leader since graduating?
Wes: Quite a few, actually! I was Chair of the Board of Directors for Red Cross Heroes of the Heartland, President of the Morning Kiwanis group, I was selected to be part of the Iowa Credit Union Leagues Innovation Group, I’ve directed several fundraising races and skateboard events, and I’m currently serving as the President of the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.
Ottumwa Leadership Academy: What advice do you have for members of this year’s class of the Ottumwa Leadership Academy?
Wes: You’re on the right path! Enjoy it! Have fun! NETWORK! Also, it’s easy to get lost in trying to find your specific path of leadership. I think all of us have the potential to be great leaders, but to be a successful leader, you have to know what you’re passionate about. Understanding who you are or what defines you as a person will bring those unique qualities into your own leadership and help you excel further as a leader.