Title: Senior Credit Officer, and Senior Vice President at THSB
Family: Daniel Conley, husband, two children, Erica, 10, and Andrew, 9
Education: The University of Southern Indiana, receiving a degree with a major in finance and a minor in economics.
Residence: Terre Haute
Terri Conley holds a degree from the University of Southern Indiana with a major in finance and a minor in economics. Conley is from the Wabash Valley and has lived and/or worked in Terre Haute for the past 20 years. She manages the loan department and is the Senior Credit Officer at The Hometown Savings Bank.
Conley has actively served on the Board of Advisors for the Swope Art Museum since 2010. In addition to being involved in the arts, she is a member of the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board (CIB). Funds generated for the CIB are used to support the arts, as well as projects that will increase tourism for local businesses.
Education is another area she enjoys supporting. She currently serves as the St. Patrick School Commission Board President. Additionally, she has volunteered for several years at Junior Achievement teaching entrepreneurship to fourth graders. Conley firmly believes financial literacy is a key to a child’s success as an adult.
Conley and her family are members at St. Ben’s Catholic Church. Her husband Daniel is from Terre Haute, and a graduate of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. They have been married for 12 years and have two children, Erica, 10, and Andrew, 9.
Tell us about your career journey. How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?
I started working at age 15 at a local produce stand that also served milkshakes and sandwiches during my summer break in high school. It was here that I learned to be kind to customers, work hard, and how to count back change correctly. Our family did not have much money since my dad was a truck driver with addiction issues, and my stepmother was not employed, so the money I earned contributed to our family’s income. I continued to work through high school as a waitress and later at the local Dairy Queen. My aunt, the only person in our family who graduated from college, helped pay the $200 application fee for me to apply to the University of Southern Indiana. My first experience in banking came when she co-signed on a $1,000 loan so that my sister and I could purchase the required school textbooks. Living on my own and putting myself through college really gave me the life skills to become the person I am today.
In college, I remember being one of just a handful of females at that time working on a finance degree. I had my first opportunity to work in finance and banking during my senior year when I was hired as a part-time teller. Shortly before graduation, I interviewed for a commercial credit analyst job. The interview process was intense, and I did not know at the time that it would be the start of my 20-year career path in commercial lending. I held different positions throughout my banking career, including teller, branch manager, commercial credit analyst, commercial loan officer and now I serve as the senior credit officer and manager of the loan department at The Hometown Savings Band (formerly Terre Haute Savings Bank).
What’s an accomplishment of which you are most proud?
I enjoy my career at the bank because of the relationships I have developed with local business owners. I felt that I was able to really help the community when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down our Terre Haute community. Several of us at THSB worked all hours of the night helping local businesses with government grant applications (PPP), modifying loan payments, and writing new procedures. Because of these efforts, businesses were able to continue to financially support the numerous individuals and families that work for them. I truly feel that local businesses are the foundation of our Terre Haute community.
My biggest accomplishment outside of my career is convincing Daniel Conley to marry me. I am beyond fortunate that I found a husband who shares the same work ethic, is strong in faith, supportive of my career and makes me laugh every single day.
What’s the source of your motivation?
My biggest motivation is being a role model for my kids.
What community causes interest you and why?
The community causes that I enjoy contributing to the most include the arts, education and supporting local business. I have served on the Board of Advisors for the Swope Art Museum since 2010. I have always felt that a community that offers art and music enriches our daily lives. Art inspires people regardless of age, religion and background. In addition to being involved with the arts, I enjoy supporting our schools and young people. I volunteered for several years through Junior Achievement teaching entrepreneurship to fourth graders. I believe JA helps kids develop an appreciation for local businesses and recognize that they, too, can make a difference in the community. Financial literacy is a key to a child’s success as an adult. Once my own children started elementary school, I couldn’t help but want to contribute to their learning and education as well. I currently serve as the President on the St. Patrick School Commission Board.
My involvement these past two years on the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board (CIB) allows me to support two of my passions, the arts, and our local businesses. Funds generated for the CIB are used to support the arts as well as new projects that will increase tourism in Vigo County, which directly benefits our local businesses.
What other women inspire you and why?
Women who have encountered major physical or mental challenges in their lives yet continue to give everything they can to make changes in their community and raise a family. In addition, I am always inspired by the numerous women that own very successful businesses in Terre Haute.
Describe a major business — or other challenge — you’ve experienced and how you resolved it.
Businesses come to me daily with different financial challenges and needs. I enjoy finding solutions and working with each of them. They put a lot of trust in you. A major challenge I had early in my career was taking over another commercial loan officer’s accounts. I knew that a good loan officer develops loyalty in the relationships they have with their customers. I took the time to meet with each business so I understood how their company operated, what their needs were and how I could help them.
Describe a failure, what lessons you learned and how it made you stronger.
The first job I applied for at the end of college was with an investment company. I had never been turned down for a job until then. I realized that if I wanted the next job that I would have to work a lot harder on demonstrating my strengths and abilities.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Sadly, I think jealousy among women (and men) creates the biggest leadership barriers. A strong female leader should be able to recognize their own jealousy and move past that resentment to make positive changes and decisions.
What advice would you give to young professional women?
Dress professionally and respectfully every day. Step outside of your comfort zone. Surround yourself with good role models.
What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
The ability for women to simply believe in themselves and to follow their own path. I feel that social media tends to make women judge themselves too harshly. My hope is that my daughter is self-confident and can avoid some of the negativity that can be displayed through social media.
What advice would you give to your younger self, in one sentence?
You have no idea what you are capable of, just give it your absolute best effort, be kind to everyone, including yourself, be prayerful, and don’t forget your sense of humor along the way.
What was your dream job as a child and why?
I loved animals, so I thought I would be a vet or a marine biologist. The marine biologist was because I wanted to swim with dolphins and had a crush on teen heartthrob Jonathon Brandis.
Where is your favorite place to be?
My absolute favorite place is being at home or traveling together with my family. I really enjoy our quiet time when we are at home, as well as the adventures we take when traveling. I wish I had more opportunities to enjoy time with them.
If you were to write a book, what would the subject be?
Well, I could tell so many stories about my childhood, but I’m not sure anyone would believe them!
What’s your favorite song right now?
Anything from the 1980s and ’90s that will embarrass my kids when I drop them off at school.