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Top Story:  Comptroller’s Rotation Program: Valuable Leadership Development Opportunity

10/28/2013

By Chrisalyn Santos
Public Affairs Operations

Ask anyone who has served as a rotator in the Comptroller’s Office about their experience, and they will tell you that the program is an exceptional leadership development opportunity that provides a unique insight into OCC's front office operations, including the offices of the Comptroller and the Chief of Staff.

Ask Chief of Staff Paul Nash and he will tell you that the “program gives the front office invaluable insights directly from the field and exposure to future leaders of the OCC.”

The Comptroller’s Rotation Program is open to OCC field employees who are Band VI and above. The 2014 program will run from January 6 through December 19, and it is accepting expressions of interest until November 4, 2013. See this announcement on the Opportunities Board for more details.

Each rotation assignment lasts for six weeks, and the OCC front office covers all travel expenses associated with the assignment. Those expressing interest may indicate what weeks they are available to participate, and efforts will be made to match those requests with program needs.

Rotators in in the Comptroller’s Office take part in a number of career-enriching, leadership development activities, such as

  • visits to Capitol Hill with Congressional Office staff,
  • sitting in on legislative testimony preparation,
  • reviewing significant OCC rules and policies prior to issuance,
  • participating in banker outreach efforts, and
  • taking part in meetings with high-level OCC executives and sharing perspectives from the field.

For Senior Deputy Comptroller for Enterprise Governance and Ombudsman Larry Hattix, participating in the Comptroller’s Rotation Program was akin to being in an accelerated graduate degree program in terms of what he learned about the OCC, organizational development, leadership, and communication.

“You’re exposed for six weeks to the executives of the organization. So you don’t see just one style of leadership. You see multiple styles. And you see how the Comptroller manages the different leadership styles and, in the end, is able to make effective decisions,” says Hattix.

When Hattix participated in the program in 2006, he was an Assistant Deputy Comptroller in Columbus field office. He said the rotation helped him with his career by providing key takeaways that were relevant for his career at the time. Two and half years following his rotation, Hattix applied and was selected to serve as the OCC’s Ombudsman. Part of the reason why he applied to that position was because he knew what to expect due to his experience in the rotation “working with the Comptroller and being a part of that team.” Hattix assumed his current role as Senior Deputy Comptroller for Enterprise Governance and Ombudsman in February 2013.

Laura Hearick, Examiner-in-Charge at Charles Schwab, participated in the program in October 2012.
As a former OTS employee, Hearick felt that the Comptroller’s Rotation Program would be an effective way for her to learn more about the OCC and its culture. In addition, she wanted to see how Comptroller Curry, who was new to the agency at the time, would shape the OCC’s goals in the future. Hearick says that her experience gave her the in-depth knowledge of the OCC that she was looking for. “I really enjoyed my time [as a rotator]. I came back with a deeper appreciation of the agency,” she says. “It broadens your understanding of how your business unit fits into the agency as a whole.”

Marge Salazar, an Associate Deputy Comptroller in Midsize Bank Supervision, says that her only regret about participating in the Comptroller’s Rotation Program was not doing it sooner in her career. “It’s a great opportunity to see how the agency works and how it interacts with external stakeholders,” Salazar says. “You hear about it, but it’s different to go to the Hill, see the Comptroller’s day-to-day schedule, witness how congressional testimony is written, and interface with executive committee members about key areas within the agency. “

Understandably, some prospective program candidates may be concerned about temporarily leaving work projects behind to participate in the program. Aaron Liechenstein, a Midsize Bank Examiner-in- Charge, also considered the impact on his normal responsibilities, but says that his Midsize ADCs and teammates were extremely supportive of his participation in the rotation. They helped him reorganize his workload so he could make the most of this opportunity, and as an added benefit, this gave others an opportunity to step into Liechenstein’s EIC role while he was away. He also says the front office was “very understanding and flexible when issues arose that required his attention.”

For more information on this great opportunity, contact any former Comptroller’s Rotation Program participant.

Other recent former rotators:

  • Mike Buting
  • Dale Grayson
  • Brian James
  • Paul Kelly
  • Bernard Kitten
  • Lisa Lee
  • Ben Lemanski
  • Patricia Lindsey
  • Brandon Marriott
  • Julie Pleimling
  • Mark Richardson
  • Marcia Stiefield

What other past rotators are saying

“I think employees who have that opportunity should participate in the program. You gain more appreciation for what this agency does for our country, and you walk away with a little more pride in what we do.”– Shirley Alfred, Assistant Deputy Comptroller in Dallas

“My experience helped me with my responsibilities and to deal with some issues tied to the financial crisis that impacted Midsize Banks.”Blake Paulson, Assistant Deputy Comptroller for the Central District. Paulson started his rotation the Monday following the collapse of Bear Stearns during the early days of the financial crisis in 2008.

“The perspective the rotation gave me at that point in my career was invaluable. I was invited to participate in meetings concerning the industry’s hottest topics and was able to make a valuable contribution.”Javier Maymir, Assistant District Counsel in the Southern District

In addition, read about ADC Julie Blake’s experience in the Comptroller’s Rotation Program in the August 2013 TWN Reflections.

Last Updated: 08/09/2014