Diversity Journal Third Quarter Magazine 2021

Page 44

NATIVE AMERICAN INDIGENOUS LEADERS

2021

Assistant Vice President; Business Development Officer

Worth Watching

TM

INTERNATIONAL

AWARD

Veronica R. Lane

Education: BA, accounting (minor: small business management & entrepreneurship), Fort Lewis College MBA, finance, University of Denver Company Name: Native American Bank, N.A. Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Thomas Ogaard Company Headquarters Location: Denver, Colorado Number of Employees: 30 Words you live by: Never give up. Never settle. Who is your personal hero? My late maternal grandmother, Mary—she’s the strongest women I’ve ever known. What book are you reading? Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden and Contact by Carl Sagan What was your first job: Professionally: Investment Performance Analyst at R.V. Kuhns & Associates; Very first job ever: Summer worker at Twin Lakes Chapter House Favorite charity: Various organizations supporting Indigenous students and their post secondary education Interests: Traveling, fly fishing, hiking, beading, special effects makeup, and watching the Denver Broncos. Family: I’m the oldest of my six siblings and have a typical very large extended family.

My Ideals Led Me to My Current Career Throughout my academic and professional career, I have always been a numbers-oriented person and quite analytical, but never thought of a career in banking until I was introduced to the idea by a then friend, now also a colleague. Prior to working at Native American Bank, N.A. (NAB), I worked in finance roles within corporate America—mostly at companies with no real ties to Indian Country. But I always knew I wanted to go back to my people and work in my Indigenous community. This was always a goal of mine, since the first day I left my home in the Navajo Nation to start my undergraduate studies in Colorado. After I finished my master’s program at the University of Denver (DU), which required

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working full-time and being a full-time student during the evenings, I was hired by NAB as a Commercial Credit Analyst III. I quickly realized I could utilize all of my strengths and education in this new commercial banking role—especially my undergraduate accounting degree and my analytical skills. NAB, the only nationally Native-owned community development bank in the country, was created to meet financing needs and support economic development within Indian Country. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to finally be in a position where all of my professional experience, education, and skills were being put to use for the heart work I get to do within my community. I started out my professional

career only knowing that one day I was going to work for my people and give back to my community through my service, and I held fast on to that belief no matter where my life and career took me. I always knew my experiences were building blocks. I was continuously learning and developing my skills in hopes that, one day, all of my work would provide me the opportunity to help make a difference within Indian Country and be a good leader. Throughout my career, I never focused on a specific industry or position, but rather where I could perform at my optimal level, while also doing good work for my relatives. These are the ideals that led me to my current career path and really loving what I do every single day!

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