Leslie Vermillion, United Prairie Bank

Leadership: its meaning, its importance, its role in our lives, has been front and center in the past year. There are differing styles of leadership, but the meaning of the word doesn’t waiver. It is defined as guiding or showing the way; commanding, controlling; a leader is someone in authority.

We recognize there is more than one way to lead. We also recognize that being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean you have the top spot in a company. Leaders shine no matter what their role. We have some awesome leaders in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. We’ll use this section to introduce you to some of them and perhaps you can learn from their leadership style.

Leslie Vermillion is one woman leading the way in her field. Coming up on 13 years with United Prairie Bank, Vermillion has led the bank’s marketing efforts as it expands geographically and into new markets. Let’s get to know the UP’s marketing director a little better.

As a busy mom of two boys, what is one key to help you balance everything?
The biggest key for me, to balance my work and home life while raising two elementary-aged boys, is routine. If you followed me around for a week, you would see I am doing the same thing at the same time almost to the minute the following week. I can definitely embrace flexibility and spontaneity, but falling back into routine is a comfort. We’ve got a busy household, and it helps me keep on top of all of the most important things. If it doesn’t get done, it probably wasn’t that important in the grand scheme of things, so I let it go. My husband is an amazing partner, as well. We team up on the household responsibilities. I’m a lucky lady.

What do you do in your “free” time to destress?
I love to cook, which is incredibly convenient. I can spend some time every weekend doing some meal prep for the work week ahead, listen to a podcast and be a little creative all at the same time. I am looking forward to getting back to traveling again (hopefully soon).

What is your number one organizational tool?
I live and breathe by my Outlook Calendar at work, so much so, that I schedule my own “work time” within my days to keep on track. At home, meal planning is the biggest helper. My pantry door is a chalkboard, and I write out our meals for the week ahead. My mom was a full-time working professional, and she always made delicious homemade meals every night. I strive to do the same. It’s our time to sit down together, have that time to talk about our day and enjoy some good food.

What is your leadership style?
I’d put myself into the “cheerleader” category as a leader. I really enjoy opportunities to help my team members stretch their skillsets. It’s fun to see them succeed, and even fail, too. Failures aren’t a big deal, since they provide a moment to learn that almost anything “broken” can be fixed or done right the next time.

What do you love about southern Minnesota?
I love the small towns and the bigger communities, as well. One thing I think is so unique is the variety of landscape. Even in Mankato alone, you have bluffs, valleys, water, plains. It’s beautiful in all seasons. And, I appreciate how our area is so committed to continuous improvement of our communities and how giving people are.


United Prairie Bank
10 Firestone Drive, Suite 300
Mankato, MN 56001
Phone: (507) 344-1450
Web: unitedprairiebank.com

Submitted photo

Lisa Cownie

Editor of Connect Business Magazine