Position: President and chief operations officer, Millennium Bank N.A., a subsidiary of Millennium Bankshares Corp. in Reston that provides loans to small businesses.
Career Highlights: Executive vice president and chief operating officer, Millennium Bank; executive vice president, chief financial officer and operations officer, Marshall National Bank & Trust Co.; loan review and compliance officer, Marshall National Bank & Trust Co.; and audit manager, Yount, Hyde & Barbour PC.
Education: BS, business administration, West Virginia University; certificate in executive bank management, Graduate School of Banking, University of Colorado. Shull is a certified public accountant.
Personal: Lives in Winchester with husband, Mark.
How did you get to where you are today?
Coming out of college, I came to Yount, Hyde & Barbour, where my business philosophy started. Being in public accounting was a good start for me. Public accountants are typically very concerned with accuracy and high standards. So it was a good training ground. Through that process, I always expected a lot of myself. I like perfection and I didn't particularly care for mistakes. So it raised my level of expectation for myself and helped push me throughout my career . . .
My parents are hard-working people. I always worked and I would do anything when I was young. I worked as a janitor, got promoted to clerk in a pharmacy, went to college and worked through college. I've always known what I wanted and that if I wanted something I had to work hard to get it. As I got into business I never truly had a mentor that I was attached to for a long period of time. But I always looked outside where I was to see who was successful. Particularly I looked to successful women.
My strongest quality is that I always tell the truth. Everyone always knows that my opinion is reliable even if they don't like what I have to say. I've always been a good sounding board . . .
I can take a project, address the problem, identify a plan to get through it and find a solution. I've built my career on that and going into difficult situations and not being afraid. When I was in public accounting and two of the managers above me left the firm, I very quickly found myself to be the highest-ranking person for that job. And it gave me an opportunity to show if I could do the job or not. I met with the partner on the job and told him what I had reviewed and what we should do. He was impressed, so I got to lead an audit job ahead of time. It exposed me to the management level quickly.
I expect a lot of myself. Over time, I've really realized that the most important thing to me is to have a team of people I can rely on. I've been able to develop people and be a mentor to other people. And I feel that's my biggest accomplishment. It's all about who you work with and it's about what you give them and what they give back to you in creating that loyalty. That's the key to my success.
-- Judith Mbuya