Women in Business: Martha Londagin

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 915 views 

Class of 2018 Women in Business Martha Londagin Vice President, Small Business Administration/Commercial Loan Officer Legacy National Bank, Springdale

Residence: Fayetteville and Grove, Okla.

Education: B.S., secondary education, English, University of Arkansas; J.D., law, University of Arkansas School of Law

Professional background: Londagin has worked at Legacy National Bank for almost two years. A former English teacher, Londagin also worked at Arvest Mortgage Co. as a foreclosure and bankruptcy supervisor. Before joining Legacy National Bank, she was training coordinator and business consultant at Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

What inspired you to pursue your current career? For years I represented two large banks in their foreclosure, bankruptcy and collections areas. While working at the Walton College ASBTDC, I became acquainted with the loan officers at Legacy due to presenting small-business seminars as Legacy is an ASBTDC sponsor. The team there was so smart and talented and had such a great heart for small-business owners, that when Legacy offered me a chance to combine all my experiences in banking, law, teaching and small-business consulting in one job description, it was a great opportunity.

What achievement are you most proud of so far in your career? Opening and succeeding at two small-businesses — a Chevrolet dealership and then a wholesale auto business — with my amazing husband, Doug. We’re going on our 15th year together as small-business owners. 31 years of marriage.

What goals do you have in the next three to five years of your career? To continue to help Legacy National Bank build its incredible SBA and general commercial/small-business loan department in any way I can.

What advice would you give your younger self? Life is long, so slow down. Mona Lambird was the first woman elected president of the Oklahoma Bar Association in 1996. When her daughters were young she took some “pause” years out of her full-time practice to spend more time with them, then she came back to her practice full time to great success.

She said, “You can have it all, just not all at once.” I dislike the term “mom guilt” and think it divisive. I accept “parent guilt” because men have children and work also. Dads matter, too. To me, unless you are independently wealthy and choosing to work 50-60 hours a week, then guilt has no place in the equation. If you are truly present with your children when with them, then there should be no guilt for going to work to pay your mortgage, car payments and save for the children’s college educations.

I wish I knew how to … what? Speak Spanish. I feel very uneducated -— even with a doctorate level degree — around my team members at Legacy who are bilingual. It is my No. 1 goal for 2019 to learn to speak Spanish again. I took Spanish 1, 2, and 3 in college and let that great skill slide away.

How do you spend your time away from work — if there is such a thing? I have a great love of outdoor distance running and long trip road cycling, mountain biking and hiking. Reading good books — historical-based fiction, mysteries and real-life biographies — follows close behind. Plus, I love motorcycle time riding on the back seat with my husband Doug.

What qualities do you feel are most important in a company leader? Possessing a true interest in team members as people capable of growth, and then having a sincere desire to empower them to build team strength.

Do you feel like we’re getting closer to gender equality in the workplace? When a woman can walk into a business meeting and not be seen or described first as a “woman lawyer” or “woman banker” or “woman manager,” then we’ll be getting closer. My personal experience is that this has not yet occurred. It has only been 44 short years since a married woman could be required to have her husband co-sign to open a checking account, or have a “male relative” co-sign if she was divorced or single. Our great country has come a long way to make the business arena more level, and the strides women have taken in business in recent decades are amazing.

What’s your biggest passion? Participating in causes that serve children in need, and hand-in-hand, also those that support public school education are my total passions. We all read repeated academic studies which evidence that 70-90% of all inmates on death row, women trapped in the prostitution trade, and drug and alcohol addicts were abused as children. Yet, little of our country’s vast resources are offered to support systems and personnel to assist children and families in need. I am so proud of the work my church in Fayetteville, Genesis Church, does reaching out to families in need and those experiencing homelessness. We can all do something.

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