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20 Questions - Posted May 26, 2017 noon
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Photo by Shannon Richardson

20 Questions with… Judy Whiteley, Senior Vice President, FirstBank Southwest

What is the best advice you received when you were beginning your career? Embrace failure; if you don’t fail or make mistakes you are not doing your job.

How do you use social media to grow your network? I like social media, but prefer the old-fashioned way of building my customer base: networking.

How do you maintain balance? I don’t think I do a very good job at maintaining balance. I try, but it just doesn’t seem to work.

What has been your wisest investment? Networking. I love to talk.

How has your past work experience shaped you into a leader? I don’t know if I am a leader. But I have been blessed to have so many people I respect that affected my life in a positive way.

What is the best part about your job? Meeting so many wonderful people.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and private life? Throughout my career I have had several great mentors. I give them all credit for being where I am today.

Which living person do you most admire and why? My favorite person is Gay Monroe. She taught me that ethics and hard work never killed anyone.

Which over-used word or phrase makes you cringe? Irregardless – makes me crazy!

What is your business philosophy? Treat people the way you want to be treated. And do what you promise.

Which quality do you most value in an employee? Honesty, caring, and follow through.

What personality trait has most helped you succeed? Making sure I do the best I can for my customers, friends and co-workers.

Who is your favorite author? I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but Dean Koontz. His work is full of suspense, horror and fantasy.

What did you learn from your best boss? Dress every day like you are going to have lunch with the CEO. Your worst? Several years ago when I was offered the opportunity of business development, I was told by a wonderful person to not take the job. They told me there had never been a woman business development person, and felt I was being set up for failure. I took the position, and 27-plus years later I still love my job. It opened so many doors for me to succeed.

How can Amarillo improve its business environment? Hopefully, with the new commissioners and mayor, things will start improving. We have to fix our problems or we will never get new business to move to Amarillo.

Most important tech tool: Of course, my iPhone.

Best time management tool: When I figure that out I will let you know!

I can’t live without my: God, family and friends.

My favorite thing about Amarillo is: the people of Amarillo and the Panhandle.

Most unusual job or task: My first job was a paper route. I wouldn’t shut up about wanting one until I got it. Then I hated everything about the job. But my father said I had to keep it for one year. The experience taught me a lesson.

-- the AM Team

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