OBL Taps Financial Services Veteran to Lead Professional Development Initiatives

Financial services veteran Stephanie Watson has joined the OBL as vice president of professional development. Watson, who has more than 20 years of experience in banking and insurance, will lead the OBL’s banker professional development initiatives focusing on refining the Association’s robust banker education offerings. My goal is to ensure the OBL remains the primary resource for professional development among Ohio banks and thrifts,” commented Watson. “I will prioritize a strong appreciation and understanding of not just the challenges of today, but the challenges of tomorrow facing OBL members of all sizes.”


“We are excited to welcome Stephanie on board,” said OBL President & CEO Mike Adelman. “She brings 20 years of financial experience and relationships that will strengthen the OBL team. As an HR and training leader, Stephanie will play an instrumental role in developing future generations of Ohio bankers."


"I’m fortunate to be working with such a forward thinking team with a clear vision of where the banking industry is headed," added Watson. "Susan Poling Jones, Julie Kiplinger and Debbie Pecinovsky have created an incredible foundation to deliver development resources to support OBL members. Future enhancements will strengthen that foundation, ensuring we have the agility and scalability needed to support the ongoing sustainability of Ohio’s banking industry."


Watson, originally from Findlay, Ohio, is a strategic human resources executive who focuses on maximizing employee effectiveness, while minimizing corporate expenses, through effective human capital management. Having spent 13 years in banking and 10 years in insurance, she has dedicated her career to industries that help people build and protect what is most important to them. She has been an instructor for the Property Liability Resources Bureau’s Claims Conference and for the OBL’s Bank Management School. She is the creator and facilitator of numerous training programs for emotional intelligence, management/leadership skills, banking fundamentals, emerging leadership, engaging remote workers and enhancing workplace inclusion.


Stephanie holds a BA in Communications from the Ohio State University, is a graduate of the Blythe School of Banking, the OBL’s Bank Leadership Institute (where she earned the Albright scholarship), the Graduate School of Banking and the Graduate School of Banking’s Human Resource Management School.


Watson spent over thirteen years performing fundraising for the Special Olympics, Ohio’s 4-H Foundation, and the Grove City Kids Association and supports multiple veterans’ organizations throughout the state, including the DAV and USO.


Stephanie has two children, Makoyi, who is an engineer working for Intel in Arizona and Keiler who is a sophomore at Arizona State University studying business.