Berry L. Popp graduated from Midway University in 2005 with a degree in Organizational Management (OM). Originally from Frankfort, Berry currently resides in Versailles, Kentucky and is Vice President, Commercial Lender for Cumberland Valley National Bank. When asked what Midway means to him, Berry stated, “As a first generation college graduate, Midway means a lot to me. They were understanding of my situation. I worked full-time and had two small children when I began the OM program. While I was not a traditional college student, I felt like my experience could not have been better. I had access to great professors and learned a lot from my time at Midway. I am thankful for the vision and pathways laid by the past leadership, faculty and staff. I am encouraged by the energy and excitement of the current leadership and faculty to strengthen the University moving through the 21st century and beyond.”
Dr. William Brown was a faculty member that had a special impact on Berry. He feels Dr. Brown was passionate about education and Midway and he kept a healthy balance between what was best for the student and what was best for the University. Dr. Brown always found time to meet with Berry to discuss classes, his schedule and the OM program. Dr. Brown personally reached out to and encouraged Berry to finish the OM program and assisted him in making it to the finish line. Berry said, “I will always hold Dr. Brown in a high regard.”
Midway has helped Berry professionally in many ways. He feels that by attending and graduating from Midway, he gained confidence that he did not have prior to his college experience. Berry said that Midway helped him to understand that he is a leader. While attending the OM program’s Cohort classes, he found himself taking a leadership role with the class whether it was a class project or a debate among the students. This leadership has carried over into his career as a department manager and as a branch manager. Berry feels that he is a much better communicator and better writer because of his time at Midway. Berry shared, “If I am writing memos, presentations or simply mentoring an employee, I feel that I can communicate what is needed in a professional manner. As a non-traditional student, I think a valuable lesson I learned indirectly was balance. I had to balance family, career and school. This has helped me to be more organized both at home and on the job. The better organized you are, the more you can accomplish.”
His advice to future Midway grads is to find a career path that you have a passion for and to get out of your comfort zone. If you do not have passion for what you are doing, you will not give it the attention it deserves. A job worth doing is worth doing 100%. If you don’t get out of your comfort zone, it is likely that you will miss opportunities. Those opportunities are what opens doors for your future. Having passion and taking calculated risks will lead to a better and brighter future for you and your career.
Berry is married to Susan (Pennington) Popp and has two children, Lauren (22) and Peyton (20). He enjoys spending time with his family, college athletics, golf and hiking.