September 2018

Q & A with LBA's Treasurer Carly Leonards of JD Bank

Carly serves as LBA's Treasurer for the 2018-2019 term, which puts her in line to serve as the first female chairman for LBA in 2020. Below she tells us about the biggest challenges she thinks banks face today and her goals for the Association for the upcoming year, but first, take a look at her impressive CV:

  • Started her career in banking at Calcasieu Marine National Bank 23 years ago.
  • Began working for JD Bank 20 years ago, where she currently serves as Chief Banking Officer.
  • Past banking positions include Consumer Lender, Commercial Lender, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
  • Education credentials include a Degree in Finance from McNeese State University, Wharton Leadership Certification from ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking and Certified Public Accountant designation.
  • Named 2016 Southwest Economic Development Alliance Established Business Woman of the Year and is a Past President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana and Past President and Treasurer of Jennings Kiwanis Club. 

Q & A with Carly Leonards

LBA: How did you first get into banking?

Leonards: I was a Finance major and went to work part-time in college typing loan documents at Calcasieu Marine National Bank. I wasn’t quite sure what I ultimately wanted to do, but I loved math and statistics and loved people, as well, so it seemed like a great opportunity. This was my introduction into banking and began my lending career.

LBA: What attracted you to serve on LBA’s board?

Leonards: I was honored to have the opportunity to serve such a hard working organization! I think service is key in promoting, protecting and advocating for our industry. I believe the LBA staff does a tremendous job and I am excited to have the chance to work more closely with the folks on staff, on the board and with other leaders in our state.

LBA: What are the biggest challenges faced by banks today?

Leonards: I think the biggest challenge faced by banks today is becoming more creative and agile to meet changing consumer desires for products and delivery channels and doing so while mitigating new types of risk. Since much of this is driven by technology, it places us in the position to internally reorganize and streamline our operations to accommodate new investments.

LBA: What are your goals for the Association for the upcoming year?

Leonards: My goals for the upcoming year are continued industry advocacy and exposure of the Association’s mission to more bankers to continue to grow support. I am optimistic about our current environment experiencing positive movement toward relaxing regulation. This is a unique opportunity to see changes supportive to our industry and ultimately our customers. It’s a great time for us individually to involve new, diverse members of our management teams to grow these efforts into the future. 

LBA: How do you spend your free time?

Leonards: My favorite things to do are traveling and sharing new experiences with family and friends, especially adventure, and working in my yard.