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Sherry Wideman Named Outstanding Young Professional

picture of sherry widemanPrinted in the Missourian on October 5, 2022

Sherry Wideman, 38, of Washington is a loan documenting manager with the Bank of Washington, where she will commemorate her 19th year in banking next month. She began working as a teller at the Bank of Washington and joined the loan operations department in 2004. A graduate of Washington High School (Class of 2001), Wideman has a business management degree with a minor in economics from Central Methodist University (Class of 2006). Wideman is involved in the Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Washington where she volunteers for a number of school and parish events. In addition to being active member of the Washington Lions Clubs, Wideman also volunteers with Downtown Washington, Inc. sponsored and Washington Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored events. 

What does it mean to you to be named one of this year's Outstanding Young Professionals?
It's an honor to have been selected as an Outstanding Young Professional. Words can't describe how truly thankful I am to be a part of the Bank of Washington and our community

What was your first job?
I got my first job at age 15 working as a waitress at Pizza Hut. I had a passion for customers and making sure everyone walked away satisfied. Teamwork meant a lot to me and I was lucky to have a mentor who helped me work my way up to a lead and eventually a shift manager. 

Favorite local hangout? 
I enjoy hanging out anywhere downtown and love that we have so many restaurant options. The Tilted Skillet is my favorite for lunch and dinner. My husband and I are big foodies so we enjoy date nights at Olivino and love getting new recipes to try out. Their cocktails are a plus, too! On the weekends I spend time with my family at many local parks, the riverfront and trails being a family favorite. 

What's been your biggest accomplishment at your current job?
My biggest accomplishment in my job has been helping loan operations move into a more technology driven environment. I was asked to be a part of a technology advisory board for our loan operating system. In doing this I've been able to bring back many efficiencies to our team and ultimately our customers. 

Best advice for a young professional?
The best advice I can share with other young professionals is best described by the following quote: "Believe you can and you're halfway there" by T. Roosevelt. 

Who's the mentor who's made the biggest impact on you?
I've been fortunate enough to have several great mentors over the years. Those who shared knowledge in regards to process and procedures and the why behind how we do things. However, Robin Kramer stands out among the others as she brought a different perspective to the table. She empowered me to stand on my own and to make decisions and become the leader I am today. She taught me how to give and receive constructive feedback, the importance of building internal relationships, and overall helped me to find the confidence needed to move forward in my career. One of the best things she ever did for me was to tell me the truth, even if it hurt a little. We're not all perfect and that candid feed back opened a new opportunity of growth for my development. 

What's been the best lesson you've learned while at work?
There are many different personality styles and there is no one style that is right or wrong for a position. It takes a team of different personalities to bring strength and well-roundedness to be successful. If you build relationships and work to focus on how you communicate with others based on their style you can achieve so much more. 

Most surprising fact about you?
I love to read and I read about a book a week. I read anything from fiction, biographies, and everything in between. 

Most rewarding volunteer experience?
Volunteerism has been near and dear to me since high school when I was the community service commissioner. I love seeing how I can make an impact on others and our community. One of the most rewarding experiences I've had was volunteering for Grace's Place and watching children so their parents could go out for job interviews. It was rewarding to know I was making a difference and impacting those families and their future. Today, some of my favorite events to volunteer for include Music at the Market, Sunset on the Riverfront, Lions Club Superbowl BBQ, and the Art Fair & Winefest. It means so much to give back to our community. By participating in these events for different organizations, the proceeds support keeping our Downtown area thriving, making sure parks are up to date, and supporting the needs of our community members. Also, it's a great opportunity to get to know your other community leaders!

Tell us about something that you hope to accomplish in your career?
I want my contribution to be greater than the reward. When I'm finished with my career I want to walk away knowing that what I did made a difference to not only future staff but for our customers as well. 

What's one thing that you will always keep on your desk or work area?
Something I always keep with me is a photo of my family. They are my inspiration and drive for what I do. I want my parents and husband to be proud, and I want to be a role model for my children. 

How do you want to make your mark in Washington?
I want to make my mark in Washington by giving back all it's given me. I want to engage to help others be generous, kind, and compassionate in all we do. 

"Sherry focuses on setting goals, expectations and the vision for her department, while consistently looking for ways to improve efficiencies through technology and increasing the customer and employee experience. She motivates her team by creating an environment where employees have the opportunity to consistently learn, collaborate and grow as one. She is a natural leader and has earned the respect and trust of all of her peers." - Buzz Eckelkamp, bank of Washington