River City Six – Ralph Kellogg
Meet Ralph Kellogg, vice president, Human Resources at Centris Federal Credit Union (www.centrisfcu.org).
How did you get started in the business?
Purely by chance. A very good friend of mine worked at Commercial Federal Bank and she encouraged me to apply, which is where I got my start in the banking and financial services industry. I then went on to work for an Omaha-area nonprofit and a mediation firm. In 2009 I began working for Centris and in 2012 I was promoted to my current role.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
I have a diverse career history. Some of the positions I have held have been a result of my choosing, while others from circumstance. Regardless of the situation, I have always tried to put my best foot forward and be a positive contributor and leader. At a few points in my career, I suffered from Imposter Syndrome. I felt like at any moment my coworkers or superiors would realize that I did not know what I was doing and that my career would go down in flames. What I have learned is that no one has all the answers, even the leader/manager. One has to be willing to put ego aside and recognize that everyone can serve as a teacher and that it is not important to have all the answers, but it is important to listen and apply what is learned.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Being selected to lead HR at Centris without any formal experience. I will always be grateful to my manager, Ann Helm, for giving me a chance to prove myself and I’ve worked diligently to make sure her faith in me was not misplaced ever since.
Tell us a little about your family.
I have been with my husband Steve for 25 years. We have a wonderful immediate and extended family and we are very active in dog rescue. We have two dogs right now, Sophie and Daisy.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
I almost died when I was 27 years old. That experience taught me not to take people or life for granted. I promised myself that if I regained my health, I would contribute as much as I could to others, and carve out a meaningful life.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Drink great coffee, read a good book, and sit out on the deck, ideally when it’s sunny and 70 degrees.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I am socially awkward. If there is a way to make something awkward I am your guy. I used to try and hide it, but that only made situations worse. So, I own it, but I also give people fair warning!
What are you the most proud of?
The longevity of my relationship with my spouse and that I was the first person in my family to graduate from high school and then college.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
I have been involved with Inclusive Communities for several years, and this year I will assume the role as chairperson of their volunteer board. The focus of the organization is diversity, social justice, and inclusion.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Mantra in Benson.
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