This week, I am highlighting the brilliant Jill Castilla. Named “Community Banker of the Year” by American Banker, “Most Innovative CEOs in Banking” by Bank Innovation, “Most Admired CEOs in Oklahoma” by Journal Record and “Business Leader of the Year” by Oklahoma Christian University, Jill Castilla leads Citizens Bank of Edmond as its President and CEO, and as Chairwoman of its bank holding company. She leads community bank innovation through development of ATM customer interaction products, retail banking technology, branch lobby design, and customer outreach methods.
How/why did you get into tech?
I was fortunate that my stepmother worked for IBM, first as a typewriter repairman then as one of the first to work on desktop computers when I was in elementary school. I learned languages and computer mechanics alongside her, making tech always accessible and unintimidating as well as integrated into all of my professional pursuits. My first technical job was managing distributed systems for the Federal Reserve System’s check processing and, ultimately, Check 21. When I joined community banking leadership, it was a natural fit to manage the technical evolution and find ways in which to further improve community banking using technology.
What role do you play in the tech ecosystem?
I’m a consumer, producer, user and advocate. I love combining the high touch, accessible human aspect of community banking with the efficiency of technology to find new ways to serve our customers and our community.
What do you believe is the most exciting tech trend for 2019?
Elevations of machine and artificial learning that are readily available to the smallest of companies to better serve of customers and, ultimately, improve our businesses.
Who is a person in tech that inspires you? Why?
Elon Musk. I love his courage and tenacity – to dream big and deliver.
What advice would you give for someone who wants to get into tech?
There is room for everyone. Always seek to learn and do more.