Latoya Sneed: From Tele-Banker to Branch Manager

When we last profiled Latoya Sneed in 2021, she was an assistant branch manager at ESL. Today, she is the Branch Manager of our new Goodman Branch! Latoya began her career at ESL in March 2017, as an Advanced Hire Tele-Banker 1.

We invite you to learn more about Latoya’s career journey, and what she hopes to share with others, in this Q&A.

Tell us about your career path, before and at ESL?

Before coming to ESL, I worked at Verizon Wireless for almost 11 years in their contact center as a customer service representative which transitioned into a senior customer service representative role. During that time, I also completed projects as an acting supervisor where I oversaw teams of 12 to 15 people.

At ESL, I started as a Tele-Banker then advanced to Tele-Banker II after six months. Eventually, I applied for and took on the role as one of the team leads at the Contact Center. From there, I became an Assistant Branch Manager, and this year was promoted to Branch Manager of the new Goodman Branch.

How did your path from contact center to branch manager happen?

One day I was having a conversation with one of the managers at that time and we started the conversation asking if I ever thought about working in a Branch. I’m the type of person where I always think about others before I think about myself, so I never thought about applying for anything else at that time. After the conversation, I thoroughly went through the Assistant Branch Manager posting and decided to apply. I knew I had a lot of the skills needed for that position but never thought twice to go further at that time. So, I would definitely say, if you know you can do more than what you’re doing at the moment — CHALLENGE YOURSELF!

What does your current role entail?

My current role as Branch Manager entails many levels of leadership. I am constantly developing my staff, which includes my assistant branch manager, bankers, member associates, and tellers to help everyone reach their goals for the Branch, and themselves. I am working closely with small businesses to help them grow their businesses and build their relationship with ESL. At the same time, I assist with building relationships with our members. Being at the Goodman Branch is an opportunity for me, and all of us at ESL, to help support and highlight the richness and potential of this neighborhood.

As you reflect on your career, what are some thoughts that come to mind?

I have so many thoughts that come to mind as I reflect on my career here at ESL. I would have to say that I have encountered myself with so many positive people here at ESL that in some way, shape or form has helped me in my career. The impact of the trainings and skills that I have learned has helped improve my knowledge which I can pass on to others.

What is it like to work at ESL?

I think working at ESL is a life altering experience. I mean that from the heart. I say that because you gain so much knowledge. You learn how to manage your life in the present and how to manage your life for the future. Everything that I have learned here, I will be experiencing at some point in my life.

Throughout my years here at ESL, there have been so many opportunities from VolunCare (ESL volunteer program where employees can use up to eight work hours per year to volunteer for a nonprofit of their choice), to trainings, team building, and networking. The list goes on and on. All this positivity stems from the top and literally you can see how it translates to everyone else here at ESL. These are some of the things that make me feel a sense of loyalty to the company.

What advice would you share with people at any point in their career, whether beginning or midway?

Some advice that I would provide to others is to be patient and challenge yourself. Things may not always come when you want them, but it will happen if you put your mind to it. Don’t take “No” as a negative all the time. Take those “Nos” and change them to a “Yes.” What I mean by that is to understand why someone is telling you “No.” What can you change to improve in what they verified to you? Now that you understand, did you take the time to work on that improvement?

Just be open to making changes.