Meet Pamela Sharar-Stoppel
Industry: Finance and insurance
Success with Vistage
- Expanded from two to six locations in 2015 through acquisition
- Successfully transitioned newly acquired employees
- Greatly improved overall employee productivity and satisfaction
“In Vistage, if you’re going and you want to be in there, then you know everyone there wants to help. It’s a little quicker to build that trust, to open up and ask for help and give help in a positive spirit.”– Pamela Sharar-Stoppel, President and CEO, Wheaton Bank and Trust Co.
Pamela came to Wintrust Banking Group in 2007 with two decades of banking experience. In 2013, she became CEO.
The newfound responsibility was unexpected and brought with it numerous challenges. Foremost, she found that she would need to make changes to the company’s culture in order to suit her collaborative leadership style. She joined Vistage the next year, seeking personal development and advice.
Pamela found that Vistage encouraged her leadership style of hearing diverse perspectives before setting course. With her Vistage peer advisory board, she shared ideas and perspectives with people from outside her own industry, having frank discussions and receiving practical advice.
Engaging in issue-processing with her advisory board helped her fine-tune the timetable for rolling out a new program. She found that she could also apply the issue-processing methods she learned with her leadership team at Wintrust. From Vistage speakers, she gained ideas for management strategies, like administering behavioral assessments to assist individuals in finding their strengths.
Vistage guided Pamela in establishing strong, open communication as a cornerstone for Wintrust’s culture, even as the business continued to grow and change.
In 2015, Wintrust acquired Community Bank of Wheaton/Glen Ellyn, leading to an expansion of over 50 percent. Pamela led a cultural initiative to ensure new employees from the expansion are on the same page with the rest of the organization. She emphasizes the importance of mutual trust and the courage to confront each problem head-on.
While it’s common for organizations to struggle integrating employees onboarded through an acquisition, Pamela’s emphasis on open communication resulted in the collaboration between new and existing employees in completing a successful merger.