June 8, 2023

Business Active

business the management

Major Females in Organization Highlight: Karen Harbin – Lane Report

5 min read

By Lorie Hailey

(Editor’s observe: The March issue of  The Lane Report options our semi-yearly record of the Prime Ladies in Organization. At lanereport.com, we’re shining the spotlight on a single of the honorees every single day. Working day 8: Karen Harbin, president and CEO of Commonwealth Credit rating Union.)

Our occasional element, Best Ladies in Business, highlights some of the women of all ages in and close to Kentucky who are building an influence in business enterprise, the professions, politics and financial advancement. The intent is to acknowledge not the family names, but individuals in vital roles whose get the job done ethic and human body of work are earning critical contributions to commerce—and life—in the place.

Karen Harbin grew up in Mount Sterling, Ky., and presently life in Frankfort, Ky.

The 12 gals featured in this concern are amid the several these kinds of women The Lane Report editorial board has discovered. From automotive producing plant president to medical center govt, and economic progress director to legislation organization leader, these ladies are forging their have paths, proving that really hard do the job, perseverance and creative imagination pay back off. And for the 1st time in this collection, we’re shining a highlight on some of Kentucky’s major female tv personalities, providing a glimpse at the rear of the digicam.

Karen Harbin is president and CEO of Commonwealth Credit Union, exactly where she has labored considering that 1986. Since getting the helm in 2012, she has prioritized improving corporate society and communication with associates.

Karen Harbin

Title/organization: President/CEO of Commonwealth Credit Union. I also provide as a member of the credit union’s board of administrators, balancing that role with the authority of the president/CEO placement.

Years at enterprise/posture: Thirty-I 5 several years with Commonwealth Credit Union, 10 of these as president.

Previous positions: My Commonwealth Credit Union tale began in 1986 when I was employed as main accountant. I have loved serving in distinctive positions through the credit union, which has offered me a holistic look at of the credit union marketplace and served form my leadership design to what it is right now. Because transitioning to president/CEO, I’ve served mature the credit rating union from five to 15 branches, reinvented the business culture, and put the credit union on the map, earning national recognition amongst credit score unions.

Training/instruction: Accounting diploma from Jap Kentucky College. After graduating, I took my 1st work as auditor of public accounts for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and became a certified general public accountant (CPA).

Top accomplishment: When I became president and CEO … we worked with the Disney Institute to overhaul of lifestyle from the floor up. I went into this challenge thinking that we were heading to consider something fantastic and make it good, but the society had to be entirely redefined. I realized that our culture desired to be reshaped so that our concentration was on worker empowerment, recognition and treatment for other individuals. Every person is significant to our results. Each of our team customers has a voice, and they know I am usually in this article to pay attention. Workforce customers have a larger level of engagement when they are concerned and their contributions are valued. As a end result, Commonwealth Credit history Union has been named as just one of the Top 10 Finest Areas to Function in Kentucky in the medium-sized classification by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for the very last two a long time.

The individual(s) who most influenced me: My mom has experienced the biggest influence in my daily life. She labored from property as a bookkeeper so that she could be residence with me and my twin sister. I was drawn to numbers at an early age, and I often knew I required to perform in an business office placing. I located figures fascinating and my mother’s perform ethic admirable. I also wouldn’t be where by I am nowadays devoid of the mentorship of Curt Steger, my Sunday School trainer and higher university historical past teacher. My first task [in banking] was with Curt, who served as president of the Mt. Sterling Savings and Loan. It wasn’t the technical aspects of the work that I took absent [from the experience], it was his means to direct people. He led by his faith and from the heart.

My biggest obstacle and how I overcame it: When I entered the credit union field, there were being no women in leadership roles at that time, but I have in no way been a single to settle for the position quo. I realized I required to receive a seat at the management desk simply because I had a whole lot to present and a large amount to say. I understood it was not heading to be straightforward. By keeping real to myself and understanding that I could incorporate worth, I attained my intention of earning a spot at the table. As I seem at the names of Kentucky and credit union CEOs throughout the country, I’m happy to be between a much larger team of women of all ages who have redefined the management profile.

My advice to young gals in company: Everyone can be taught how to do a task, but to do it properly — that requires enthusiasm. When you find out exactly where your enthusiasm lies and you are ready to put forth the exertion and work tough, your expansion can be limitless. Management means a little something distinctive to anyone. Some imagine that to be a chief, you ought to have the title of president or CEO, but I believe that management is observed at all ranges. If you aspire to move up the ladder, you have to constantly perform on developing oneself. You have to place you in a placement to lead and clearly show that you can increase price. Going up usually takes patience.

Some thing I love performing: I enjoy volunteering for the American Coronary heart Affiliation and elevating cash to additional their mission. One particular way I like to preserve my heart nutritious is by exercising at Pure Barre. I stimulate everybody to continue to keep seeking different methods to continue to be active until eventually you uncover the 1 that you like.

1 important ability every person should have: Corporation. I know it does not arrive very easily for anyone, but finding a way to keep organized will truly aid you excel in lifetime.

A song from my childhood/teenage a long time that I still rock out to when no one else is about: Any track by Marvin Gaye or Aretha Franklin. I adore listening to good new music on my way in to perform.

Other Prime Girls in Business enterprise stories
Day 1: Susan Elkington
Day 2: Marjorie Farris
Working day 3: Sarah Davasher-Wisdom
Day 4: Connie Smith
Working day 5: Diane Whalen
Working day 6: Yajaira Aich West
Working day 7: Rebecca Fleischaker

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