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On Topic: What 2020 Taught Me

Top executives from Bell Nunnally, Mary Kay, and UMB Bank share lessons they learned this year
By |
Jake Meyers

What a difference a year makes. At this time in 2019, we were riding high from one of the strongest, longest periods of economic growth in our region’s history. And we had every reason to expect it would continue. We had no inkling that we would soon begin to encounter the greatest public health crisis of our lifetimes—a pandemic that would dramatically change the way we worked and the way we lived.

D CEO recently asked three North Texas executives to share the biggest lessons they’ve learned during this unprecedented time. Participating were Christopher Trowbridge, managing partner of Bell Nunnally; Sheryl Adkins-Green, chief marketing officer at Mary Kay; and Zach Fee, president of regional banking for UMB Bank.

Christopher Trowbridge

Managing Partner, Bell Nunnally

Chris Trowbridge“2020 taught me, or reminded me, that behind every business, there is a human factor that greatly influences the success or failure of the company. When people fear for their health, are feeling ignored or disenfranchised, or are facing discrimination and systemic racism, a leader, cannot ignore the experiences or feelings of team members. Encouraging healthy dialogue, communication, and action makes a business stronger.”

Sheryl Adkins-Green

Chief Marketing Officer, Mary Kay

Sheryl Adkins Green“2020 has deepened my gratitude and appreciation of the most important things in life—the things that money can’t buy, such as being with family and friends to celebrate special occasions or high-fiving a colleague in the office. I have learned that one’s sense of purpose and determination can overcome almost any obstacle and that roadblocks and detours can lead up to bigger, better opportunities.”

Zach Fee

President of Regional Banking, UMB Bank

Zach Fee“This year has taught me that now more than ever, relationships matter. I have to make a more conscious effort to create and continue relationships with my colleagues and clients, all without the benefit of meeting in person. It’s not easy, but it’s paramount. Our business is built entirely on relationships and, not to sound too corny, but those relationships are what will get us through to the other side of this.”

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