Sometimes life’s path is very unexpected.
“I dreamed of being an air hostess as a young girl,” recalled Vidya lyengar. “Honestly, I didn’t think I would even be working in the USA as it was all new to me.”
lyengar grew up in Bangalore, India, which, she observed, “is now the Silicon Valley of India.”
“All my schooling was in Bangalore,” Iyengar said, “including high school and college. I received my Bachelor of Science in commerce with accounting auditing as my major. I graduated from college (Bangalore University) at a young age.”
“I did not think I would be the president/CEO of a very progressive credit union,” she added.
Today, lyengar leads Pillar Credit Union.
“I used to accompany my father to his bank in Bangalore,” she said. “The busy work the tellers did by making entries in the big ledgers seemed like an important job. This triggered the interest in finance and banking.”
“After graduating from college, I held public relations positions at a few large organizations — totally unrelated to finance,” lyengar explained. “I enjoy meeting people and finding solutions for problems.”
lyengar came to America in 1977 “at a young age and newly married.”
“We moved to Marion in the midst of the famous blizzard,” she recalled.
“My personal life was my focus and not as much about where I am today in my career,” she noted. “As I saw opportunities around for a career and realized I had the tools needed in my toolbox, I started at Pillar (PKA Erie Lackawanna credit union) in 1985.”
Pillar board member Richard Mault has known lyengar more than 30 years.
“During that time,” Mault said, “she grew and developed her leadership skills with the credit union, moving us from an office in a remodeled gas station to three new buildings.”
“Vidya is dedicated to the Pillar Credit Union members and the Marion community,” Mault continued. “She consistently advocates supporting local organizations including the Palace Theatre, the Marion County Historical Society and the YMCA. Vidya also lends her talents serving on boards of the hospital, YMCA and Marion Technical College. She’s an excellent leader and mentor to the Pillar staff.”
“I do what I do at Pillar from all my heart,” lyengar responded. “I’m very fortunate to be at Pillar for the last 37 years — it doesn’t seem like work. I come to work every day and find opportunities to help people, be involved in the community and encourage the staff to reach their potential.”
“I feel very blessed to have come to the USA and settled in Marion, Ohio, where people are friendly and welcoming,” she added. “I never felt like an outsider. I did not have a master plan but sure made some great decisions and worked hard to get to where I am.”
Pillar Credit Union is located at 300 Barks Road E. in Marion. For more information, log on pillarcu.com.
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs — whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.