Zions Employees Recognized for Outstanding Service

At annual Service Awards Banquet, 12 employees receive Excellence Awards and one receives the Roy W. Simmons Community Service Award.

Kaitlyn Smith and Kelsi McCabe Aug 17, 2019

During Zions Bank’s Aug. 15 Service Awards banquet, 12 employees were honored as 2019 “Excellence…It Starts With Me” award winners, and one employee was selected as the 2019 Roy W. Simmons Community Service award winner.

Nominated, in many cases, by their peers and selected by executive management, the recipients of the “Excellence” award are the “best of the best” among the bank’s officers and employees. They are dedicated professionals who have exemplified, in their work style, that they haven’t forgotten who keeps us in business.

2019 Roy W. Simmons Community Service Award

Zions Bancorporation CIO Jennifer Smith leads in the office and in the community with the paradoxical belief that “our strength as leaders and our ability to succeed is directly related to our ability to be vulnerable.”

jennifer smith accepts an award
The Roy W. Simmons Award is named for the father of Zions Bancorporation Chairman Harris Simmons, pictured with this year’s recipient, CIO Jennifer Smith.

Smith sees the current under-representation of women and the longer-term talent gap in the technology sector both seriously impacting our economy, and she has chosen to focus on helping develop this talent. Last year she was awarded the Women’s Tech Council’s prestigious Technology Leadership award due to her work in the technology community.

In previous years, Jennifer has served as a board member for the United Way of Salt Lake, and as chair of the Women’s Philanthropic Network. Today, she serves on the board of directors of the YWCA of Utah, where she is the chair of the Board Development and Governance Committee. She also chairs the Board of Directors of the Berkana Institute.

In the community, Jennifer and her colleagues volunteer at elementary schools to teach computer coding, serve meals to the homeless, represent Zions Bank in the Pride Parade, creatively raise funds for the Utah Food Bank, and lift paint brushes in our annual Paint-a-Thon. 

2019 “Excellence…It Starts With Me” Award Winners

Karen Appelgren is director of Zions Bank’s Idaho Business Resource Center, which provides customized, one-on-one counseling appointments and high-quality business education workshops to both new or established small business owners. Karen is proud of the futures she has positively impacted by creating opportunities for success for the people in her community, including the students she taught in the Boise School District for 11 years and the business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs who have relied upon her expertise at the BRC.

Sandy Doerr is an engineer on the Data Transmission Services team, which manages all of the file transmissions for the bank. She has a great ability to build partnerships, an amazing technical capability and attention to detail. Sandy’s focus on customers makes them feel as if they are the only one that matters to her. Sandy is a consistent mentor, teacher and team player known for being friendly and persistent.

Coby Drake, manager of Zions Bank’s Enterprise, Utah, branch, is known as a dedicated professional who keeps his clients foremost on his mind. His happy nature lifts those with whom he associates. Coby portrays himself in the same positive, confident way he does at the branch by helping in his community whether he’s coaching a team, building the city park or serving a neighbor.

As the director of operations, Jackie Francis is known as “the guru” in the Business Payments and Technology department. She oversees the operational processes for the division, which includes onboarding, training and supporting Treasury clients. Everyone knows to go to her when no one else seems to have the answer to a question or problem. Sharing her knowledge of banking, specifically Treasury Management products, has been her passion for the last several years.

Chris Hayward’s singular goal as a commercial relationship manager is to take the best possible care of her clients in the Idaho Falls area. The greatest compliment Chris can receive is having a client refer another client to her. Her clients trust her as a resource because she successfully services their financial needs. One client said: “Although she is small in stature, she is a giant in the banking world.” Another said: “Her advice has always been timely, accurate and complete.”

women with scott anderson at awards event
In addition to receiving an Excellence Award, Chris Hayward celebrated 45 years of service to Zions Bank with President and CEO and several of her colleagues.

As manager of Retail Products, Melanie Jordan has been leading Zions Bancorporation’s effort to streamline and simplify its deposit products. Melanie would be the first to praise all those who assisted in this effort, but without Melanie at the helm, there likely would be a broad consensus that we would not have achieved the level of success we’ve experienced. The leadership and personal commitment that she exhibited to oversee this critical enterprise initiative has been exceptional and aligns perfectly with the recognition of this award.

HR Planning and Analytics manager Marc Nadauld has made a meaningful impact not just on the discipline he has created around budgeting, reporting, expense management, and analytics, but also on his team and colleagues in HR. Beyond Marc’s remarkable skill and dedication to his work, his positivity, humor, and genuine care for his teammates makes him a pleasure to work with.

Frey Shawel, a business systems analyst for the Paper and Electronics Payments team, has played a key role in helping prevent numerous fraudulent transactions, including a complex fraud case that required her to overcome a language barrier to get information from a company in China for supporting evidence in the case. The effects of her dedication can be seen in her work, as she continually strives to exceed expectations and to perform her best in every aspect of her job. Frey meets each day with enthusiasm and does not balk at a challenge.

Risk and Governance Manager Ross Varner brings commitment to improvement, curiosity and patient listening in his oversight of New Initiative Review, Credit Systems and Initiatives, Risk Reporting and Analytics, Integrated Risk Management System, and Reputational Risk. He has been instrumental in improving the New Initiative Review Committee’s processes, including responsiveness, timing and measures. This has resulted in being able to get new products to the market sooner.

Financial analyst Emil Waavê excels at finding creative solutions to unstructured problems and is at his best when developing new projects. Emil goes out of his way to do a good job whether it’s cultivating relationships at Zions, valuations of assets, or work on stress testing. Emil understands that the success of an organization depends not just on the success of the individual but of all of those around him. Emil goes above and beyond in his own work and in helping others.

David Wenk is congratulated by Scott Anderson
David Wenk is congratulated by Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson.

Private Banking Regional Director David Wenk is a dedicated professional who keeps his clients’ best interests at heart, whether his client is someone who needs an $18 million loan to purchase an airplane in two weeks or is someone who simply needs a credit card. Because of his devotion to his clients, David considers coming through for them his greatest accomplishment. At the end of last year, he worked tirelessly to make sure his client’s deal closed on time, despite several challenges along the way. To David, hearing his clients say, “There is no other bank in town that could have pulled off this deal so quickly,” makes it all worth every hour spent.

Real Estate Banking Group Manager David Young specializes in financing home builders and residential developments and says his greatest accomplishment is knowing he has played a small part in providing housing for thousands of families. In 2017, with a new initiative to expand the bank’s geographic reach into the small volume home-builder space, David created training curriculum for loan officers who had never financed production homebuilders. This year, he successfully coordinated the $10 million development portion of a $70 million single- and multifamily project in Jackson, Wyoming, currently the largest affordable housing project in the area.

Congratulations to all of the award winners!

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