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Most Admired CEOs profile: Amy Downs.

Byline: Jennifer Sharpe

Amy Downs, CEO and president of Allegiance Credit Union, is a testament to resiliency and tenacity in both her personal and professional lives.

With the credit union for more than 30 years, Downs took on her current position in January 2018. She leads a staff of 72.

When Downs assumed her role, she immediately focused on improving the credit union's income growth, which had been negative, and raising the previously flat share growth. Under her guidance, ACU met its annual income goal four months early and exceeded that goal by the end of the year. Share growth, which had been stagnant for years, improved by almost 4 percent. Downs' aggressive strategy was increasing product offerings to make ACU more competitive in the industry, while researching and implementing best practices to improve every aspect of ACU.

Downs has taken particular care in cultivating her employees.

"Amy has the innate ability to motivate a person for the better; she espouses a vision and moves people to support it," said Lance Haffner, ACU board member. "She focuses her energy on creating a culture capable of achieving the goals, and she inspires leaders and front-line employees alike. She can envision greatness in people, pushing them to be their best, and she can see opportunity where others see doubt and disparity."

While her determination and clear goals keep ACU on track, Downs maintains a lighthearted, joyful demeanor that directly affects all of ACU.

"Amy's fun nature permeates our culture; it only takes a visit to one of our branches or a quick perusal of our social media and you'll see the embodiment of fun and happy," Haffner said.

While she has been bold in her role, Downs has always been focused on long-term success for her employees and her company.

ACU Chief Operating Officer JC Reavis said one of Downs' greatest strengths is her unwavering energy and ability to motivate those around her.

"Amy is not only invested in the success of the credit union, but the success of its employees as well. She has taken an active role in developing many of the credit union employees and not only making sure ACU is successful in the present, but having the foresight to make sure it will continue to be successful in the future."

Downs and her husband, Terry Head, have two sons, Aaron and Austin.

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Publication:Journal Record (Oklahoma City, OK)
Date:Apr 30, 2019
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