How the President and CEO of Volt Credit Union Conquered a Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity

Loretta Roney shares how to tackle an intimidating career moment.

By Lillian Stone

Aug 2018

Loretta Roney stands in front of a big screen, speaking into a microphone at a podium.
Photo by Brad ZweerinkLoretta Roney spoke at Biz 417's Ladies Who Launch conference where Volt Credit Union was the presenting sponsor.

When Loretta Roney was 28 years old, she became the president and CEO of a Jefferson City–based financial institution. The catch? She thought she was stepping into a general management role.

“The [human resources department] at the institution had listed the position as a manager,” Roney says. “Then, on my first day, I kept seeing sheets that said ‘president and CEO.’ I asked my staff, ‘When will I meet the president?’ And they said, you’re it.’”


Volt Credit Union

Since accepting such a high-pressure role as a young professional, Roney has learned a lot—and she’s thankful for the experience. “It was intimidating,” says Roney, who currently serves as the president and CEO of Volt Credit Union (formerly Community Financial Credit Union). “I had a good base level with a background in accounting and finance, but there were a lot of things I didn’t know how to do.” 

“I realized at that moment that I had a choice. I could step forward into growth or backward into safety.”
Photos by Brad Zweerink

Instead of leaving a position she didn’t feel ready for, she leaned into the discomfort. “I realized at that moment that I had a choice,” she says. “I could step forward into growth or backward into safety.” First, she connected with the president of another local credit union, who schooled her on the union’s electronic processing system and connected her with other helpful community members. Roney also spent a lot of time growing her knowledge outside of work hours. “I had a lot of long nights,” she says. “I went to every training session, took every webinar and focused on building my network.” 

Her advice for other individuals facing intimidating career opportunities? Stay humble. Instead of bluffing her way through a period of ignorance in the new position, she asked countless questions and focused on growth, not pride. “As long as you have a learning mindset and are willing to work hard, you might be surprised at what you can do,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to raise your hand in that meeting.”

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