Leaders Credit Union announces Leadership Promotions

September 9, 2019

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Photo from left to right includes Leigh Anne Bentley, Chief Marketing Officer; Karen Freeman, V.P. of Community Engagement; Trent Taylor, V.P. of Indirect Lending; Joel Wyatt, V.P. of Consumer Lending; and Kim Hawks, Electronic Payments Manager.

Leaders Credit Union, a member-owned financial cooperative based in Jackson, Tenn., is pleased to announce five leadership promotions within the credit union. Leigh Anne Bentley has been promoted to Chief Marketing Officer, Karen Freeman to Vice President of Community Engagement, Trent Taylor to Vice President of Indirect Lending, Joel Wyatt to Vice President of Consumer Lending, and Kim Hawks to Electronic Payments Manager.

"These promotions reflect our company's commitment to excellence," noted Todd Swims, President and CEO of Leaders Credit Union. "We have built a reputation on great member relations and the highest standards of integrity, which requires that we recruit, retain, and recognize individuals for their leadership and contributions to our organization.”

Leigh Anne Bentley has been promoted from V.P. of Marketing to Chief Marketing Officer at Leaders. Bentley has acquired twenty years of marketing experience and has been with Leaders since the Fall of 2016. In that time, Bentley has grown and developed Leaders community presence, overseen business development, handled strategic marketing, media buying, digital strategy, and member engagement. She is married to Glenn Bentley and resides in Jackson, TN.

Karen Freeman has been promoted from Business Development Manager to V.P. of Community Engagement. Freeman has over 16 years of combined financial services experience specifically in the areas of bank marketing and business development. Freeman has been with Leaders since Jan. 2017 and has expanded and deepened Leaders relationships with Select Employee Groups and the community. She and her team take the credit union to the community and consistently deliver relevant financial solutions and customized educational courses to Leaders Select Employee Groups, organizations and members. She is married to Ryan Freeman and has two children.

Trent Taylor has been promoted from Indirect Program Manager to V.P. of Indirect Lending. Taylor started with Leaders in 2013 and has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry. At Leaders, Taylor has managed and grown our Indirect Lending Program over the past six years and has a proven track record of success. He has taken the program from $28 Million in annual volume to over $100 million annually. He works with over fifty dealerships in the West TN market and helps members success through this indirect channel. It allows new members to recognize Leaders as a viable option for all their financial needs. He also manages Leaders Edge CUSO (Credit Union Service Organization) providing underwriting to other credit unions. There he works with another 150 dealerships in Tennessee and Kentucky and processes over a billion dollars in loan requests each year. He is married to Joanne Taylor and has two step-children and two grandchildren.

Joel Wyatt has been promoted from Director of Consumer lending to V.P. of Consumer Lending. Wyatt began with Leaders as a student in 2006 and full time in 2012. He has served as an accounting assistant, teller, member service representative, branch manager, data analyst, and director of consumer lending. With his longevity and breadth of knowledge in various areas of the credit union, he was a natural fit to take on this Vice President role. He has proven to elevate Leaders and provide the best consumer lending practices to support membership and help Leaders grow year over year. Wyatt is married to Katie Beth Wyatt and recently had their first baby.

Kim Hawks has been promoted from Electronic Funds Specialist to Electronic Payments Manager. Hawks has been with Leaders since 1995 and has 24 years of experience in the industry. She has served as a teller, collection manager, administrative assistant and in electronic funds transfer services. Hawks has proven to be a lifetime financial champion for the team at every level at Leaders. In this managerial position, Hawks will oversee all electronic transfer services, debit and credit card management and works to prevent fraud in all electronic channels. She has been married to Fred Hawks for 39 years and has one son.

“These financial champions are passionate team players who consistently work to advocate for our members and exceed expectations, all while growing our organization and expanding services,” said Swims.

Leaders employs around 150 financial champions and serves over 50,000 members. Leaders is the third-largest financial institution in Jackson and is locally and nationally recognized as a top-performing credit union. To learn more about Leaders, visit our website at leaderscu.com.

About Leaders Credit Union

Leaders Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative headquartered in Jackson, Tenn. Leaders was established in 1957 by five Jackson educators and has grown to over 50,000 members and eight branches across West Tenn. As one of the largest and most stable credit unions in the nation, Leaders exists to serve the needs of its members and lead the way on their behalf. Leaders was awarded the 2018 Best Place to Bank and Best Mortgage Service by Jackson Sun’s Readers’ Choice Award and the 2018 Best Place to Bank by the Bartlett Express. Leaders is an Equal Housing Lender and is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. For more information about Leaders Credit Union, visit their website.