Leader Spotlight – Kenton Wolfe
Kenton Wolfe – Experience Specialist, Meridian Credit Union
Kenton Wolfe is a financial service professional, currently working as the Member Experience Specialist for Meridian Credit Union. He leads a network of almost 150 representatives across Ontario in a program that promotes differentiated experiences.
Since joining Meridian in 2013, Kenton has left his mark of ownership and innovation with every project, role and Member interaction. He is a driven professional with experience and interest in the areas of relationship building, new media, presentation and leadership.
While pursuing his Associate’s Degree in Converged Media from St. Clair College, Kenton was recognized with awards for Digital Design and Sports Journalism. Kenton frequently volunteers his time to local hockey organizations. He is a proud homeowner in Niagara Falls with his newlywed wife Michelle.
How do you define community leadership?
Community leadership is being visible and present within the community in a genuine and deliberative way. It is not only volunteering in local initiatives, but showing compassion and determination to make a difference in those causes.
“Community leadership is being visible and present within the community in a genuine and deliberative way.”
Why are you personally motivated to explore community leadership?
Having volunteered locally through Minor and Junior Hockey for several years, I am motivated and eager to take another step forward in the community. I believe that the community needs increased leadership. From an energetic and inspired individual who understands the issues that interest and affect the next generation.
In my current role at Meridian Credit Union, I provide indirect leadership and mentoring to nearly 150 representatives at 90 locations across Ontario through a program promoting service excellence. This motivates me to bring that same experience into my community.
I believe I have a unique and valuable perspective on local issues, but need the development and direction that Leadership Niagara can provide.
What, in your view, is the most significant issue/opportunity facing our community? Why?
While a lack of financial literacy is a nationwide issue, I believe it particularly relevant for the Niagara community as it relates to housing.
Despite their thoughts on the matter, the next generation can afford housing – but lack the context and financial understanding on how to achieve their dreams of home ownership. Many millennials are getting themselves in a position of having mountains of unsecured debt and struggling to pay it. I believe we need to educate on looking past the problem and instead to the solution. Millenials need help – finance doesn’t need to be intimidating but instead can be energizing when they have a goal.
How would you go about tackling this issue?
For our future young-adults, I would partner with local organizations or school-boards and run workshops for teens, teaching the basics of financial literacy: what is credit and how does it work? What is equity? How do I get a mortgage? What do I need to save for a down payment? By addressing finances earlier, young adults would be better prepared for home ownership and building credit.
I would like to lead activities in the community that provide platforms for myself and subject matter experts to help young adults achieve their financial goals.
In your view, what’s the most important attribute of a leader?
A good leader has the ability to identify a team-member’s strengths and put them in a position to succeed. Good leadership involves knowing your team and identifying how you can leverage their strengths. Recognizing a strength and allowing each individual to role model their strengths not only develops them, but creates young leaders and guides the entire team towards its goal.
Putting people in a position to succeed not only means understanding your team’s strengths and opportunities but understanding their goals. Whether their goals are long term development or a short term win, you’re aligning the objective of both the team-member and team collectively.
“Putting people in a position to succeed not only means understanding your team’s strengths and opportunities but understanding their goals. “
What individual attributes do you hope to develop or expand upon?
With this is mind, I know what kind of leader I would like to be. I’m currently faced with the task of providing indirect leadership to a network of representatives who already have direct management. I am hoping that LN can help me develop and hone my l skills so that I deliver a consistent leadership style, even when coaching indirectly.