Not many people can say they helped to craft a system that a major corporation uses on a regular basis, but not everyone is Lelia Voss, currently the vice president of commercial lending for U.S. Bank in Springfield.
When working in Minnesota for Schwan’s Food Co. subsidiary Lyon Financial Services, the company was acquired by U.S. Bancorp.
Under the terms of the acquisition, Lyon employees were allowed to continue on the existing Schwan’s mainframe for tracking, underwriting, documenting and booking of transactions.
New software was required for U.S. Bancorp to accurately serve leasing clients of Lyon Financial, and this is where Voss came in handy.
“During that time, I was identified for my strength in knowing both the credit and documentation aspects of underwriting, funding and servicing of a new lease,” she says. “For this reason, I was assigned as a project manager in the development of the new software so U.S. Bank could continue business after the purchase.”
With a timeframe of two years, Voss, other project managers and their teams were tasked with weaning staff off of the Schwan’s mainframe and onto the new system, a project that often took long hours and weekends. All the while, Voss worked as a credit and documentation department manager with 26 employees.
“It was very exciting to see the project go from inception to a successful implementation,” Voss says. “U.S. Bank still uses this system today, even through all of the regulatory changes in the industry. The system was developed to be progressive and change as our business needs and client needs changed.”
Now with U.S. Bank in Springfield, Voss is responsible for the retention and growth of a commercial loan portfolio, and she manages a staff of three loan assistants.
Having worked as a manager for a decade, Voss prides herself on being able to tell which employees want to move forward with a company and which ones are just happy to have jobs. What she brings to the table, she says, is the ability to help employees stay focused and motivated, rewarding their accomplishments as needed.
“As a successful leader, you must also recognize that their needs may change as they understand a career path or company progression plan, or even having a life-changing event,” she says.
Voss, a member of Leadership Springfield Class XXVI, says her involvement with community groups allows her to achieve personal growth. Among the entities she works with are United Way of the Ozarks, the chambers of commerce in Springfield and Rogersville, and the Logan-Rogersville Education Foundation.
“Each year, the foundation underwrites grants for items such as Smart boards, school equipment, library books, new high school stadium seating and tennis courts that the students and faculty might not have otherwise received,” she says.Click here for full coverage of the 2011 40 Under 40.