Employee Stories: Adrian Villagomez
November 02, 2021
Adrian’s Perspective – Advancement and Finding Your Passion
Adrian’s story with Heartland Bank started nearly 3 years ago when he joined the team as a Retail Support Manager overseeing our greater Champaign – Urbana area. After a 17-year long career in banking, Adrian chose Heartland Bank because of the sincere appreciation placed on employees, customers, and the communities we serve.
Outside of work, Adrian enjoys spending time at home learning the modern complexities of 3rd grade math with his eight-year-old daughter, Ava, playing with his two-year-old son, Grayson, and attending outdoor events with his fiancé, Annette. When he isn’t at home with the family, you can find Adrian boxing training, rooting for Chicago sports teams (go White Sox!), playing chess, fishing, reading books on world history, and listening to podcasts.
After graduating from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in finance, Adrian immediately jumped into the banking world to begin his career. He began his career as a Universal Banker, eventually growing into a Relationship Sales Manager and licensed Investment Representative. Eventually, he accepted a role as a Branch Manager. It was in this position where he discovered his true passion for providing leadership to retail teams, supporting the career growth of his staff, having a positive impact on the financial well-being of customers, and supporting the community. Adrian now manages his teams at a regional level, overseeing multiple bank branches in various markets.
After years of working in banking at other financial institutions, Heartland Bank reminded me of the reason why I got into banking in the first place. There is a strong importance and a sincere appreciation placed on employees, customers, and the communities served. My personal belief of what banking should be aligns with that of Heartland Bank’s vision and mission. It is refreshing to see a financial institution such as Heartland Bank continue to grow through generations of family and remain true to their community roots. Coming from a hard-working, blue-collar family, and now having a family of my own, I truly relate to our phrase “small enough to know you, big enough to serve you” and I would want that same level of personal care whether I’m a Heartland Bank customer or an employee of the Bank.
Having a Career in Retail Banking
My career path in banking has remained in retail. I feel strongly that our frontline teams have the strongest influence on our customer service experience, and they have some of the best opportunities to help our customers meet their financial goals. I started my banking career servicing customers via a teller drawer, directly helping with the customers financial needs, and supporting the community. As a result of my time and experience in the early stages of this career path – I know what it takes to be successful. I am driven to help lead our retail staff to continued success and growth at the bank. I am passionate about providing leadership support and mentorship to our team to help them meet their career goals, as that is what I always wanted from leadership when it came to my early career path in banking.
Tools and Resources
Heartland Bank encourages a self-driven path toward development, and there is no shortage of opportunities for growth and advancement. In addition to having support from retail leadership, our Human Resources and Learning & Development teams provide resources to promote advancement and career development. I personally utilize iDrive, Heartland Banks talent management platform, for the development of my teams and my own development. We have more tools such as LinkedIn Learning, ongoing in-person and virtual training classes, an internal learning catalog, and more. Overall, Heartland Bank is a great place to learn, develop, and maximize your potential.
One of the reasons that I sought a career in banking was because I wanted to help people and support my community. As a Retail Support Manager, I am in a position to do just that. I understand the responsibility that myself and my teams have to our customers and their financial needs, and I truly value the trust they place in us. Watching our customers achieve their financial goals gives me a great deal of satisfaction. It’s a sense of accomplishment that I could never find in any other job or career. I get that same feeling when working with my teams and watching them achieve their professional goals. I couldn’t be prouder of the success they have experienced at Heartland Bank.
Advice from Adrian
Once you find what you’re passionate about, I believe that hard work and dedication will open doors for growth and advancement opportunities. Heartland Bank consists of many departments, and they all present immense opportunities for development. I would encourage everyone to speak to their manager about their career goals and seek advice on what they should do to progress. As a manager, it is our responsibility to provide opportunities for two-way communication with our teams and provide help and support. It’s equally important that you provide honest feedback during these discussions so we can provide the appropriate coaching and guidance. I recommend seeking mentorship from experienced leaders, building strong relationships with your peers in and outside of your office, and getting involved in your company's initiatives.