Julie Glynn was a senior in high school when she joined the staff of Associated Bank for the first time – or, to be more precise, the staff of First Savings Bank, which would ultimately become a key part of Associated.

She started out as a teller and worked her way up to manager. But then, even though she loved her work, her husband relocated and she decided to stay at home to raise their children.

Eventually, however, like so many women who’ve taken a break for the sake of family, Julie headed back into the work force. She spent eight years with another bank, rising to the position of Regional Manager.

And then Associated called her with an offer she couldn’t refuse. The year was 2005, and it had been almost a quarter century since she’d left her original teller post. But she remembered that experience fondly, and knew of Associated’s sterling reputation. It didn’t take her long to accept the offer.

A load of responsibility

Today, Julie is Associated’s Senior Vice President-Director of Colleague Experience, working out of her office in downtown Milwaukee. It’s a new position with some pretty ambitious goals – enhancing new-colleague onboarding, equipping them for success, increasing retention, and improving their experience in terms of everything from productivity and job satisfaction to customer service.

That’s a tall order in a company that already enjoys high levels of employee satisfaction. Julie is approaching the challenge systematically.

“Training is naturally one area of focus,” she said, “especially for new colleagues. We’re always looking for ways to support them throughout their onboarding process, and to help them become both comfortable and productive in their new roles just as quickly as possible.”

Julie is focusing on other areas as well -- everything from career development to employee recognition.

She also has the opportunity to work on some projects that are just plain fun. “We’re currently exploring the idea of career apparel, to see if it would work well for our colleagues and with our new brand. I was involved in picking a merchandiser and am now working on this project with our brand ambassadors -- the branches that have volunteered to evaluate this option.”

She’s enjoying herself thoroughly.

“This position is giving me the opportunity to spend time with colleagues in all our lines of business,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Adapting to change

In fact, Julie has loved every minute of her banking-career journey, even though it hasn’t been exactly straightforward.

“I’ve explored other avenues within the industry,” she said, “taking leadership training courses, for instance, and going for my insurance licenses. I even earned my Series 6 license, which qualified me to sell securities, annuities, and mutual funds.”

Ultimately, Julie had a hand in many areas of banking, including both mortgage lending and financial consulting. But she missed working in a team environment in which helping her colleagues become successful was part of her job description. So she returned to management – most recently, serving as Senior District Manager for the Central Region. In this position, she oversaw 14 offices in Ozaukee, Washington, Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

That job created a solid foundation for her current position. “It taught me to assess talent, and to help my colleagues set and attain realistic goals for themselves. This experience is serving me well today.”

In a good place

Julie’s positive outlook is partly the result of her mother’s attitude.

“She was amazing. My father passed away when I was just 10, and she went to work in a factory to support us. I never heard her complain. She found a way to pay off her house, and then – at age 65 – she bought her first car.

“I get my motivation and drive from her.”

She is applying that drive to helping to make Associated the best possible place to work, and to do business. As a senior-level executive, she has both a window into the process and the clout to have an impact on it.

Associated seems to appreciate Julie. In fact, not long ago a statewide magazine did a story on the top three women in local banking – and the bank chose to recommend her as its representative.

Then there’s the rest of her life. At the end of even the busiest day, there’s a happy home awaiting her. Her mechanical-engineer husband Mike is a partner in Kurz Electric Solutions of New Berlin and Appleton. They have four children: a daughter studying to be a nurse, two sons at UWM, and a 10-year-old daughter – the family “caboose.”

Life has been good to the Glynns, and so has their community, and Julie makes a point of giving back. She serves on the board of the Richfield Lions Club and also helps out with the annual Gathering of the Green in Mequon – southeastern Wisconsin’s largest non-profit music festival.

Still, work seems to be her passion.

“I love my job and I love working for Associated,” she said. “I wouldn’t change a thing about the path I’ve taken.”