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Meet CNB’s New President & CEO, Joe Williams

On October 10 2022, the board of County National Bank instated a new President and CEO, Joe Williams. Joe has 40 years of banking experience under his belt, starting when he was in high school. In fact, about a week before signing the paperwork to join the marines, the bank Joe had been working at offered a position for him to stay while getting a finance degree. From there, Joe proceeded to stay in banking, working within organizations such as United Banking Trust of Lenawee, and eventually joining the CNB Board of Directors in August 2020.

When CNB was in search of a new President earlier this year, Joe was not the one who initially thought to have his name be considered. It was members of the board and the Chairman who asked Joe to put his name into consideration. As someone who has been a very active community member and in many leadership roles, Joe was the perfect fit to lead an organization like CNB.

When asked what being President & CEO of CNB meant to Joe, he referred to a card with a statement that he has carried with him every day for 25 years. A reminder to choose your attitude every day, and tell yourself, “It’s not about me.”

When I don’t make it about me, it’s about whoever I’m in front of that day. An associate, a client, or someone in the community. – I come in every day and serve every associate. They are not here to serve me; I’m here to serve them.

Joe strives for those within CNB and outside of CNB to understand their “why.” He shared that CNB does not exist to grow revenue, he truly believes that their “why” is to improve the lives of associates, clients, and the community, and ultimately have a positive impact.

There are three things Joe finds most important when it comes to leading the future of CNB:

  • People matter (Creating a career path or positive work environment for CNB associates)
  • Clients matter (Giving clients the best experience)
  • Community matters (Being active and giving back)

Joe is extremely value-driven and wants his values to align with his company and community values. Hoping that, if they all align, they can come alive, and make CNB an attractive place for people to work and bank. He sees his position as one to come in each day and inspire those around him to do their job and do it well, thinking that if he creates a great work environment, his employees are going to be inspired to come back to work tomorrow. No matter what position, Joe wants them to feel as if they can lead from wherever they are.

On Joe’s first day, he gave action cards to each of the approximately 200 employees. On the front, it had an acronym:

C – Choose a positive attitude every day
N – Never settle. Always do the right thing.
B – Believe in one another. Be an encourager.

On the back, there was a quote that Joe sees as his “life quote.” He passed it on to his employees in order to be a mantra for every associate, especially those who are client-facing:

People won’t remember what you said. People won’t remember what you did. People will always, always remember how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Joe explained that his family and his faith serve as his moral compass. “It’s not about me,” he repeated, “but what I’m doing for others. – I’ve discovered what my purpose is, and it’s the be the best encourager on planet earth.”