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Huntsville Committee of 100: Women in Leadership Series

As we continue to introduce you to our volunteer leaders, we are thrilled to feature Huntsville Committee of 100 BizPac Chair, Beth Richardson. Beth is the Market President for Progress Bank in Madison. Her faith and her strength are two of the pillars of her success in banking and in our community.

When chatting with Beth one of the first things that stands out about her is her incredible faith. A faith that she says has been the greatest influence in her life. Beth says, “my mother and my grandmother held me to such high expectations. They got me out of my comfort zone. I was incredibly shy and they pulled me out of that.” She said over time her spiritual mentors like Rebecca Pratcher, Bobby Bradley, Earla Lockhart and Carolyn Landry have been “what helps me  embrace who God created me to be.”

When asked about her career path she said, banking has always been her focus but over the last four years she experienced an incredible transformation. Through her time with clients she saw people that had a desire to manage their finances the way God intended, to be intentional. She now sees banking as her vocation where she can give people the tools and resources to do that. Being a female in a male dominated field has not always been easy for Beth. She said, “of course there are times I have felt left out, but I am more interested in being respected than liked.”

She serves because she sees it as a calling. She is incredibly passionate about healthcare, finance and education. As BizPac board chair, Beth has the opportunity to help impact elections that directly influence the policies that impact the community. When asked her advice, to those coming up behind her, she says, “explore and engage in as many things as possible to find out what is important to you. Embrace relationships and ask for what you want.” Beth’s service is one of strength and grace and we are grateful to have her as our BizPac Board Chair.

More About Beth:

Beth is a native of Tuskegee, Alabama.  She relocated to Huntsville more than 19 years ago and has had a successful career in banking.  She began her banking career as a Branch Assistant.  After six months in this role, she was promoted to Branch Manager. Beth was given one of the least performing banks within her company with the expectation of making it one of the best offices.  And of course, she did.  She surrounded herself with a team who cared about the clients’ experience and strived for excellence in all that they would do. She was able to build a cohesive team where every voice and position was valued.  Her philosophy of life is to treat others the way she desires to be treated and to always speak the truth in love. Beth has made several upward career moves in banking which ultimately prepared her for the position she holds today.

Beth is currently the Madison Market President for Progress Bank. She ensures that all aspects of the Bank’s activities obtain maximum profits commensurate with the best interest of the shareholders, customers, employees, and the community.  Beth provides the highest level of customer relations and service; monitors customer’s changing needs and recommends strategies that utilize her company’s products and services. Beth serves on the Progress Bank’s Product, Technology, and Assets/Liability Management committees.

Her academic achievements include studies at Tuskegee University, Webster University, Huntsville Bible College, and Alabama School of Banking in Mobile. Through these institutions, Beth holds several degrees to include a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing; Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology; a Master of Business Administration degree and a Master of Ministry degree. She is currently pursuing a Doctor in Ministry in Biblical Leadership.

Beth demonstrates her leadership skills by being active in the Huntsville, Madison, and Madison County community through her civic involvement which includes serving on boards for:

  • Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau (President of Board 2017-2019)
  • Huntsville Hospital Foundation
  • Madison Hospital Advisory Board and Madison Hospital Women’s Council
  • Health Care Authority Board of the City of Huntsville (First African American Female to serve on this Board)
  • Madison Police Foundation
  • Huntsville Botanical Gardens (Chaired the 7th Fresh from the Garden, 2019)
  • J.F. Drake Foundation Board (Treasurer)
  • Madison Visionary Partners (Treasurer)

She is an active member of:

  • Committee of 100
  • BizPac Board; the political action arm of Committee of 100 (Chair)
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated 
  • First Missionary Baptist Church (Sunday School Teacher)

Beth is also a graduate of several leadership programs: Leadership Connect, Leadership Alabama Initiative, Impact Leadership, Leadership Huntsville/Madison County and Leadership Alabama. Her civic involvement has enabled Beth to positively impact education, politics, healthcare services, and economic development.

Beth was recognized by the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce as a 2010 finalist for Young Professional of the Year.  In 2014, she was awarded the Excellence in Leadership and Service award through the Madison Chamber and through Alabama A & M University. The HH Foundation awarded her Trustee of the Year in 2015.  She will be receiving the 2019 AAMU Huntsville Progressive Alumni Chapter’s Corporate Leadership Award.

Beth married her high school sweetheart at the tender age of 22. After 15 years of marriage, she found herself, a single mom, rearing her beloved daughter Jaylin. Having been the first in her family to experience divorce, she over came guilt and shame and became a source of inspiration for the women in her family.  She was not quitting her job and moving back to her parents’ home.  Instead, she leaned on close friends to help her get through this challenging period of her life.  Beth later purchased a new home with all new furnishings as well as a new car.  Less than a year after these purchases, Beth lost her job through a merger and acquisition. As a single mom, she wondered how she was going to make it through.  One thing she didn’t do was worry or panic. Afterall, this happened at the beginning of summer, so she decided to go to the beach.  She and her family had such an amazing time that they extended their beach vacation. The women in her family thought she was losing her mind since she vacationed that summer as if she was gainfully employed.  She was the happiest unemployed person that they had ever seen.  It was doing this dark period of her life that she learned to put her faith in the one who can handle all her circumstances.    

Beth is a role model and mentors young professional women.  She truly leads by example and never ask anyone to do something that she isn’t willing to do. She believes in establishing healthy boundaries and prioritizing what’s important. She shares with young women that family is always priority.  When you are at work, be at work and when you are home, be home. Her goal is to help others achieve success through guiding and sharing.

Beth believes that her greatest achievement is knowing Jesus Christ, who makes all things possible.  She thanks God daily for His faithfulness throughout her life.  He has provided a strong and supportive family.  She founded a community of believers who gave her a taste of authentic Christian community reflecting Christ’s love in their daily walk to meet the needs of others.  Beth has been able to serve people in Havana, Cuba, on her job, and in her community through teaching biblical principles on breaking financial bondage and building wealth which is her mission.  Each time she has made herself available to lead, God has surrounded her with ample support, love, wisdom and guidance. As she understands more fully, God’s love for her, she becomes more aware of his great love for all people.  It is this love that now compels her to live and serve others.

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