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Kimberly Ellwanger

Kimberly is a 2011 Alumna of the Board Institute. Her bio is available here


Heritage Financial Corporation 


Heritage Bank


Compensation Committee Chair, Nominating and Governance Committee Chair

How did you learn about your current board opportunities? Did active networking play a role?

I was approached by the CEO and Chair of the Board, with whom I served in leadership positions on a non profit board.

How has DirectWomen helped you achieve your board service-related objectives?

I was already on a board when I became involved with DirectWomen.  DirectWomen provided excellent advice on how to prepare a board ready resume and steps to take to network for additional board seats. It has also provided director education opportunities.

What have been/were the most challenging aspects of establishing yourself as a director?  

Learning the business of the company and earning the respect of my fellow directors.

Which of your skills/attributes do you believe have been most instrumental in your board role(s)?

Analytical abilities; communication skills and interpersonal skills.

What specific events, people or tactics (if any) have helped your transition from career woman to board director?

Deciding to retire from my career.

What ongoing activities continue to develop/enhance your effectiveness as a director?

Continued respected service on the board and director education opportunities.

What are your further short/medium/long-term board service objectives?

Joining one additional board.

What advice would you give to aspiring women directors?

Find opportunities to prove your skills with existing board members - serving on non-profit boards with other for profit directors is a good way to do this.

Success Stories

Ann Harlan

Ann joined the board of the Gorman-Rupp Company in 2009. Learn more

Deborah Golden

Deborah Golden joined the board of Midland States Bancorp, Inc. in 2015. Learn more

Kimberly Ellwanger

Kimberly joined the board of Heritage Financial Corporation and Heritage Bank in 2006. Learn more