Elon MBA alumna leads in business and community service

Sherri Thomas G’14, an executive with Truliant Federal Credit Union, today serves as chair of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and has been recognized in the "Power 100" list by Black Business Ink.

An Elon MBA graduate has received several national accolades in recent months as the chief administrative officer of Truliant Federal Credit Union.

From being named one of the “Top Five Women in Leadership” by Banking Bridge to being listed as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Credit Unions” by American Banker, Sherri Thomas G’14 has shown what an Elon MBA can accomplish.

“Getting my MBA was a game changer,” she says.

Since starting her MBA journey when she was a vice president of Truliant’s call center, Thomas consistently advanced her career and now serves as chief administrative officer for an institution with 332,000+ members and more than 35 branches in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Thomas provides senior leadership for employee relations, compensation, benefits, payroll, recruiting, and organizational development, which includes employee training and skill development. She has oversight of the Truliant Financial Advisors and the credit union’s contact center. Her role also encompasses responsibility for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, community affairs, community engagement and outreach, state and local government affairs, and the credit union’s B2B workplace benefits program.

In addition to her role with Truliant, Thomas is the 2024 chair of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She was recently named to Black Business Ink’s “Power 100” list of N.C.’s most influential leaders.

“I wanted to show that I was a contender in the corporate world,” Thomas said of her decision to pursue an MBA. “I needed to show that I was educated and had a strong business acumen.”

That’s when the mother of three then young children decided to attend Elon University.

Her leadership philosophy today centers on creating a nurturing environment for employees and members alike. “I’m motivated to pave a way for women and people of color,” Thomas said. “At Truliant, we are always working to create an environment for upward mobility and advancement.”

Thomas, who also holds certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources, recently launched a 12-month program for emerging leaders. The program was designed for employees who wanted to develop management experience. Participants had sessions to learn about leadership, attend conferences to expand their skills and complete an ending project.

“Several people were promoted from the program into leadership positions,” Thomas said. “We’ve been able to create leaders within the organization and be proactive on priming talent.”

Thomas greatly values mentorship in her work and for her community. “Mentorship is important. I like to be mentored as much as I like to share my experiences,” Thomas said. “When you get in leadership positions it’s important that you exchange knowledge with other thought leaders. But it is equally important to impart knowledge to help the next person along the way.”

About the Elon MBA

Designed for working professionals from Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh, Durham and beyond, the Elon MBA offers small class sizes, a curriculum focused on the transfer of course content to practical applications, professional development support for students and alumni, evening classes and an extraordinary faculty committed to teaching and engaged learning. Learn more at elon.edu/mba.