Joselyn Baldner is a natural leader.
As executive vice president and chief retail officer for Central Bank of the Ozarks, she leads 130 employees ranging from tellers, trainers and salespeople to the company’s business banking team, operations staff and branch managers.
Baldner believes in working to “be the best me that I can be in all aspects of my life.” Most often, that approach puts her in a leadership role.
“I recognized that I love to help people develop and grow,” Baldner says. “My role is to make it easier for all of them to be able to take care of our customers, which is why we are here.”
Key to that effort – and Baldner’s proudest career accomplishment – is Central Bank of the Ozarks’ Central Connect program that helps develop current and emerging leaders from within.
Baldner says it took a year of “persuading, influencing and demonstrating the benefits” of the her idea before it got the green light. In 2015, she helped form a planning team that developed a two-year leadership program. The first Central Connect class launched in 2016, and this year the company is running its third class.
During the first year of the training program, participants learn about all areas of the banking system and how what they do as employees impacts the bottom line. In the second year, the employees dive into leadership development, strategic planning and a class project.
“I have had the opportunity to help develop my peers through this process, and it is just as exciting to see them inspired, engaging and invested in our groups of employes that go through this program,” Baldner says. “The sweetest success is hearing our bank president say this is the best thing we have ever done as an organization.”
Teri Cantwell, a former U.S. Olympian who’s now vice president of human resources for Central Bank of the Ozarks, sees the value Baldner brings to the company.
Cantwell says Baldner’s actions drive the company’s culture and workplace, as well as the bank’s influence on the greater Springfield community. She says Baldner ranks among some of the greats.
“In a former life, I’ve worked alongside some of the biggest names in athletics: Gary Pinkel, Mike Alden, Les Miles and multiple fantastic coaches and supervisors,” Cantwell says. “As far as leading a team, Joselyn Baldner is the best I’ve ever seen.
“She has a true gift for communicating and she knows the right questions to ask to gain buy-in, commitment and engagement.”
Outside of her office life, Baldner says she’s wading into civic duties to position herself as a role model to her three daughters, family and friends, and to co-workers at Central Bank of the Ozarks.
She’s involved as treasurer of The Library Foundation, where her strategic planning expertise comes into play to aid the Springfield-Greene County Library District, and with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s P-20 Council of the Ozarks.
The Forward SGF comprehensive plan was born from the input of residents, and one message that came through loud and clear was their desire for connection.