Tell us about yourself.
My name is Joshua Zickefoose and I?m the Senior Relationship Manager at SunTrust Bank of Central VA. I have been in banking for about 10 years, 9 years in my current position as a commercial relationship manger. I have a business degree from Northwest Nazarene University and will finish my MBA with Liberty University in Dec 2015. I am formally trained in credit analysis and I am an expert in commercial lending with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
What is the focus of your work?
One focus of my work is helping not-for-profit organizations get the capital they need to provide services to the community at maximum capacity. Typically this comes in the form of lending and educating the organizations on how lending can help them leverage their cash to stretch further and get them to a better cash flow position while increasing their usable assets.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
The most rewarding part of my job is when I see the aforementioned capital get put to good use and meet the goals of the organization it was meant to help. Seeing the fruits of my educational efforts is also exciting, when I can educate an organization and through that education they make positive changes to move their organization forward.
Tell us about your biggest accomplishment in this position?
The biggest accomplishment in my position is being the top producing Relationship Manager in two different states, Idaho and now Virginia, for 5 years in a row. This accomplishment is continued encouragement that I am doing the right kinds of things for the right organizations and that is very rewarding.
The major challenges that I face are the constant beliefs by the general public that banking is a commodity and not a valued area of expertise and support. It has been an uphill battle to change the mentality that was mostly self-generated by the banking industry. I use education on lending, strategic planning with clients, and continued new ways of doing something to present contrast to the thinking of banking as a commodity and progress is being made one client at a time. The main lesson I have learned in my position is that you never stop learning and that you have to make smart changes when needed to avoid doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
What?s coming next for your organization that really excites you?
SunTrust is constantly looking for ways to better serve our clients and ways to remove any obstacles for employees. This is exciting because it means that SunTrust wants to be around for years to come and continue stay current with the times and needs of today, not simply those of the past.
How are you leveraging ConnectVA to achieve your mission?
I use ConnectVA to find events to be involved and find others in the not-for-profit industry to align with and meet. In addition I look for opportunities to support the organization through sponsorships.