Jodi Miller of Leesburg is the branch manager of DOCO Regional Credit Union in Lee County.
“On the Job With...” this week features Jodi Miller of DOCO Regional Credit Union. She provided the answers for this weekly feature of Sunday Inc. to reporter Jim West.
Q. What was your first job?
A. It was a pet store in St. Petersburg, Florida. When I was fourteen I would come in and feed the animals and clean up after them. I love animals so it was a natural for me. Great job.
Q. What was the first thing you spent money on when you received your first ever paycheck?
A. I don’t remember. Knowing the way I am, though, and that I was 14, probably clothes or makeup.
Q. What’s the single most effective technique you found over the past two years for keeping employees motivated?
A. I’d have to say recognition is the main thing. Everyone wants to be appreciated for what they do, and cross training is in there too. It helps keep employees from getting too bored or burned out.
Q. What led you to your current position? Why did you want to be in a management position?
A. Hard work and determination is the short answer to that. I started out in 1988 with AGE as a teller and sort of came up through the ranks. It became my life. It’s not a party all the time, but I love it. I crosstrained on loans and other things. After a while I became assistant branch manager and finally to the job I have now.
Q. Do you have a role model or mentor in your career?
A. I could say that my dad is my role model. He always told me I could do anything and be anything I wanted to be. He was really proud when I became branch manager. He told me he was looking forward to when I got to be president. I said “Well, dad, I’ll do what I can.”
Q. What is the biggest lesson you as a business leader learned from the recent recession?
A. Just to try very hard not to live beyond your means. No one has to have the best of everything. I’ve always been that way whether there’s a recession or not. I’ve had the car I’m driving 11 years and the one before that for 14.
Q. If you could turn the clock back on one aspect of technology – examples e-mail, automated phone systems, cell phones, PDAs, etc. – what would you most like to see go away?
A. Nothing. I’m all about technology. I love all the gadgets, and I use them in my business and personal life. For people on the go, they help in getting through a day.
Q. What is your favorite work-related gadget?
A. A basic computer with Internet connection is main thing I use around here.
Q. What is your favorite tradition?
A. When I visit my sister in St. Petersburg we have bagels and creme cheese on Sundays. I’m Italian and born in Brooklyn. On Sundays, my dad would buy a brown bag with a dozen bagels and bring them home. He always had a newspaper, too, and one of those little eggs with silly putty so we could lift the comics off the pages.
Q. I’m up and going by? And what is your morning routine?
A. I’m up at 4:30 a.m. and on my way to Tony’s Gym for a good cardio workout, then I’m home for a shower and off to work by 8:30.
Q. What famous person would you like to meet, and Why?
A. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’s a real hunk. He’s so pretty. Well, let’s say he’s very nice looking.
Q. Favorite hobbies or activity outside work?
A. I’m a certified scuba diver. I dive in Panama City when I can. I’d love to dive in the Caribbean if I could. I love all kinds of water sports, too. The beach is great.
Q. If you could take back one business decision you made in your career, what would it be?
A. I wouldn’t take back anything. In my line of work, if everything is going well you’re not doing your job. Everything is a learning experience.
Q. Best thing about your job?
A. I love working with people. I’m a people person. In my line of work I have the opportunity to help a lot of people and it makes me feel good that I’m able to do that. If I had to sit in an office by myself I’d go crazy.
Q. Worst thing about your job?
A. Sometimes I’m not able to help everybody the way I wish we could. Sometimes we have to say no.
Q. What would be your dream job if you were able to pick a position outside your current career path?
A. Honestly, I’ve never thought about much like that. I worked very hard through the years to get where I am now and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Q. Finish this thought: “On the first anniversary of my retirement, I see myself…”
A. Sitting on a sunny beach with my toes in the sand — where the sun shines most of the time.
Q. What is the one trait a strong business leader cannot afford to be without?
A. Determination. That’s one, but you have to have more than that, of course. Experience is another; I have to be experienced in all the things we do so that I help our employees here.
Q. Crystal ball time: What’s your call on when the economic recovery for our area will be in full swing?
A. I wish I knew the answer, but I don’t have a clue. I don’t think the economists know, either.
Q. What kind of music might I find on your list of most played on your iPod?
A. I enjoy most kinds of pop music — and rock.
Q. What do you think is the biggest change Albany will see in the next 10 years?
A. There’s that crystal ball again. I can say that I hope the Albany area will have all the jobs we need long before that time.
Q. What was the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Why?
A. Las Vegas, Nev. I went there in March with a girl friend and loved it. Just great to get away from things for awhile.
Q. What are the biggest changes you have seen in your specific line of business over the past few years?
A. The most notable change I’ve seen is growth of the industry. DOCO has been growing like crazy, I know and I believe a lot of the other credit unions are, too.