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reStart, Inc. supports veterans

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Veterans Day – Only in America

We live in the greatest country on the planet. Why? Because we were founded by strong-willed dreamers who were tired of persecution and being told by decree that they had to stay in the class they were born into for the rest of their days.

The U.S. was founded on the principals of freedom, opportunity and the rights of individuals. And over the years, these values and principals have been hard fought, more so than most of us can truly understand or comprehend. Many of us don’t know or don’t reflect enough on just how lucky we are and how sacred these values are to our core. Over the years, much blood, sweat and tears have been shed to protect this great land of ours.

And for those reasons and so many more, we salute the very people — our veterans — who risk the most and understand at the deepest level just how great the country really is and what it takes to keep it this way for the rest of us dreamers.

So tomorrow, Veterans Day 2015, is for you — our veterans and military families — dream keepers and flag bearers of this great nation.

We salute you.

Mariner Kemper

 

reStart Kansas City

UMB strives to honor veterans every day, but November 11 is the day that our country sets aside to recognize the men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom. We’re particularly excited about the work that an organization in Kansas City is doing right now. reStart was one of the 2015 UMB Big Bash beneficiaries, using the funds for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. UMB’s Veterans Engagement Taskforce (VET) is also involved with reStart’s veteran mentorship program.

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“One of the biggest helps they were able to give me has been a mentor, and it’s been through their help that I’ve been able to have a better life today and a brighter future for tomorrow.”

Below, read more from one of the mentors, James Carlile, who is a financial analyst at UMB and also a veteran. He shares what compelled him to become a mentor and the results he’s seen from the program.

At one of our VET meetings, Robin Johnson, head of reStart’s SSVF, mentioned that she had several veteran clients in her program that were really wanting to turn the corner and make a sustainable transition away from the homelessness cycle and into self stability. What they needed, and what reStart’s limited staffing and resources could not always provide, was personal encouragement. Our VET group jumped all over this and began to work on a plan in which our additional contribution would be the love, guidance and support of UMB veteran associates.

Robert Durham - veteran and reStart clientI really had little idea what to expect when I initially met with Robert Durham. All I knew was that he wanted and needed someone who would take the time to listen, help him think through his issues and concerns, and offer encouragement and motivation in the face of very real and very persistent adversity. I could tell he genuinely wanted to improve himself, and he didn’t have anyone else to help him with a strategy on doing so. I was fortunate in my transition from the military to have a loving and supportive family that was there for me unconditionally through some very choppy times. Robert did not have that family support, and although I knew I could not solve his issues for him, I could provide him a level of consistency, positivity and encouragement.

Robert and I meet every six weeks at his subsidized one room efficiency apartment. We eat sandwiches, and talk intensely about how he is feeling, what he is working on, the status of his distant relationships with his family, and keeping him focused on his goals. I’ve learned just how difficult it is for those caught in the crisis cycle to make that change, even when the will is present and pure. Even though we do spend ample time discussing basic professional and life skills, our primary goal together is deliberate emotional support. Robert is currently working on his insurance licensing through the financial support of reStart. His ultimate goal through the vehicle of self sustainability is to mend his fractured relationship with his children and to be the father and example he knows he should be. My role in this is nothing compared to what Robert will have to overcome to get there, but whatever bit of guidance or encouragement I can impart on him I consider a humbling privilege when it impacts the outcome of his quality of life.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Meet the Veterans: Bert Oster

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UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team, and we’re proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series highlights some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB. Be sure to check out the other profiles in our series.
Bert Oster_kitchen

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Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a very small town in North Dakota. My first real job was at 13 picking rock for a local farmer. The job is exactly what it sounds like, pick up large rocks laying on the ground, put them in the front end loader and dump them on the edge of the field. It makes for a long day. When I got a bit older, the farmer I worked for gave me more responsibilities such as operating the machinery to plant and harvest the various crops, which was still very hard work. During my high school summers, I would actually live on the farm.

I’m married to Heidi, a transplanted Minneapolis girl. We currently live in Phoenix with our senior German Shepherd dog and one cat—both rescues.

What about your past shaped who you are today?
I think growing up in a small rural community helped me develop an appreciation for hard work. Most farmers develop a very strong work ethic. The hours are long, and most of the time, their success or failure is determined by outside forces that can’t be controlled, mainly weather. North Dakota is dryland farming; there are very few fields that are irrigated, which means the crops grow only if it rains and rains at the right times.

Tell us about your family.
I have one older sister and two younger sisters. I was the only one of the four children to venture out of North Dakota. The three sisters all live within 20 miles of each other and have no desire to move. The main reason for me moving was career advancement, but weather was a factor too!  North Dakota is known for long winters. Most years, winter arrives in late October and stays until early May.

Why did you choose to join the military?
Bert Oster_United States Marine Corps
I’d like to say I joined the military to serve my country, which is partly true. The rest of the story is that in 1969, I was in my second year of college and like a lot of young men, I was lacking in discipline and direction. In my sophomore year, I became friends with a former Marine who was attending college on the GI Bill. I admired the way he handled himself. He was mature, confident and knew what he wanted to do with his life. When the school year ended, I went back to North Dakota to work for the summer with plans to continue my education in the fall. In June, I received disappointing grades. I remember thinking “this is not good.” Not good, because our country at that time had implemented the draft system to fill ranks of the military. All young men were considered eligible for the draft, although deferments were issued for those attending school like me.

The first national lottery was televised in December of 1969. I still remember sitting in front of the television as the lottery was held. My birthday was the 22nd number drawn which guaranteed I would be drafted once my school deferment ended. With this in mind, my poor grades and a total lack of direction, I decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. I went to the recruiter’s office the middle of June, signed up for a two-year enlistment and left for boot camp on July 7, 1970.

Give us some highlights about your military career.
As I look back on my time in the military, I believe the two years I spent in the Marine Corps was, without a doubt, the single most important decision I ever made. It truly shaped my life. The military has a way of instilling a strong sense of discipline and purpose in your life. When I was discharged in July 1972, I had matured and was much better prepared for the next stage in my life. Upon discharge, I moved back to North Dakota and went back to college on the GI Bill. College for me this time was a different experience. I applied myself, achieved much better grades and even made the Dean’s list once. I graduated with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Criminal Justice.

What are the greatest challenges that someone leaving the military and entering a new career faces?
I believe the challenges someone leaving the military in 1972 are much different than today. My experience was, for the most part, positive. I adjusted well to civilian life; attending college was an experience I enjoyed and more importantly, helped me decide on a career path. Attending college after being discharged from the military was much different. I worked part time which resulted in establishing valuable business contacts within the community. These contacts ultimately led me to securing my first banking job when I graduated college.

How did you come to be at Meridian Bank, recently acquired by UMB? What made you want to work there?
One of my friends worked for Meridian Bank and asked if I would be interested in an opportunity with the bank. At first I was reluctant, but ultimately made the decision to come on board in January 2009.  Not a good time in Phoenix as we were in the middle of a serious real estate recession with no relief in sight. The first two and half years was devoted to dealing with challenging real estate loans. While the work was stressful and demanding, it was rewarding. The ownership was very supportive of our efforts, and in 2011 we achieved our goal of resolving our problem loans.

What are your favorite hobbies?
My favorite hobby is riding and restoring motorcycles. I’ve been an avid motorcyclist since I was 14. The past several years my riding time has diminished as I sold my newer road bike. To fill this void, I began restoring older vintage motorcycles in 2009. I find old BMWs (generally 1974 to 1978 model years) that have been out of service for an extended period of time or the previous owner took them apart and then lost interest in completing the restoration. At any given time, I will have one or two old BMWs sitting in the garage either in the process of dismantling or rebuilding. I consider the time I spend in the garage as therapeutic.

Over the past 20 years, I have taken numerous motorcycle trips in all of the western states. The summers in Phoenix are brutal, so the best way to beat the heat is get out of town. My favorite places to travel are in the mountains of Colorado, the coastline of California and Oregon and the high deserts of New Mexico.
Bert & Heidi OsterMy wife and I are dedicated pet owners. Our passion is German Shepherd Dogs. We’ve had four now; the last two have been senior rescues. Currently, we have a very large, old German Shepherd Dog named Czar and a younger, rescued cat named Toby. Czar has brought such a good feeling to our house. We rescued him from a shelter in San Diego in March 2014. He was originally abandoned in Mexico and then transported to the shelter in San Diego. He had a skin infection, an ear infection, an eye infection and had lost most of his hair on his legs and belly. My wife said, “He is a mess.” I agreed, but we decided he would be perfect for us! Rescuing a senior dog is not about the rescuers, it’s about the dogs and being able to give them a quality of life, for however long they are with us. The next weekend, we drove back to San Diego to get Czar, and he has been a member of our family since. His eye, ear and skin infections are under control, and he is a very active, healthy old dog. My wife and I still joke about her comment that “he is a mess.” We also are unsure if we rescued him or he rescued us. He is such a good dog.
motorcycles and German Shepherd - Bert Oster


Mr. Bert Oster is a Senior Vice President for UMB Arizona. He is responsible for Commericial Real Estate Loan Production. He joined UMB on May 29th, 2015 as part of the Meridian Bank acquisition. Bert has 30 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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UMB associate inspires, gives back through Abilities group

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UMB recently created Business Resource Groups (BRG) for our associates to encourage engagement and add value to UMB businesses and talent practices. BRGs serve as a catalyst for innovative ideas focused on recruitment, retention, talent development, community and client connections.

Through BRGs, our associates are making significant impacts on UMB’s culture, promoting a work environment that values diversity and inclusion. The eight resource groups include Abilities, Asian American, Black/African American, Hispanic Latino, LGBTQIA, Millennials, VET and Women. Hopefully you saw our VET group showing off their push-up skills recently with the ACP Give Them 20 challenge in support of veterans. One of our associates, Jennifer Hertha, shares what the Abilities BRG has been up to this summer and why it has personal meaning for her.
Jennifer Hertha_Abilities UMB

Jennifer’s story

Have you ever encountered someone with a disability and instantly thought they would be unable to do something? I think we all have at some point or another. Even though I have a disability, I’ve caught myself thinking those kinds of things.

I would like to share a little bit about my story:

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I was born with a rare bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). Only 30,000–50,000 people in the United States have this disease. Some types are so mild that those individuals are still able to walk and live fairly “normal” lives. Then, there is a type that is so severe that it can cause a child to die shortly after birth. My type is in the middle of the severity—I’m 33 years old, and I’ve had more than 100 broken bones. Because of the numerous breaks I’ve had, I have used a wheelchair to get around since I was 10. Using a wheelchair can make things challenging, and sometimes make things feel almost impossible to accomplish. However, I was always taught if you really want something in life, you’ll find a way to make it happen. The same goes for my career.

More than eight years ago, I applied for a teller position at UMB Bank. I didn’t know if it was truly something I could do because every bank I’ve ever been in had high counters at their teller line. But, I thought I would at least apply and see what happened. To my surprise, I was brought in for interviews and eventually offered the position contingent on whether accommodations would be able to be made for me to do the job. The tricky part was identifying possible accommodations. The people who hired me met several times to review options. They discussed lowering a counter, which they decided wasn’t a good idea due to security reasons.  Another option they looked at was building a ramp behind the teller line; however, in order to get the ramp high enough and still meet ADA standards, there wasn’t enough room. Finally, the team discovered an electric wheelchair that would raise the seat up by 12 inches and purchased it for me. This purchase opened up the doors to start my career with UMB.  Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to advance in my career four times. Because UMB invested in me from day one, not knowing if I would still be with the company six months down the road, it has made me even more passionate and invested in working here. In my current role as a recruiter, I’ve had the opportunity to be a co-chair of our Abilities Business Resource Group.

As part of the Abilities BRG mission, we want to increase awareness of various disabilities and to challenge people to create an environment of acceptance. Recently, the group sponsored a Share-A-Bear campaign. We asked for donations of small stuffed animals (like Beanie Babies) and stickers to send to the Alle Shea Project; a project that has dedicated its time to raise awareness about OI and send care packages to children who have this bone disease.

This campaign was obviously near and dear to my heart. Most of my breaks occurred when I was under the age of 18. There were several times I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and a few times I had to undergo surgery for treatment of a broken bone. During a few of my experiences, I received stuffed animals which not only helped me to take some of the focus off of the pain, but also let me know that there were others out there that cared about what I was going through. I’ve kept some of those animals to this day because they were a significant piece in my recovery as a child.
Abilities UMB Beanie Babies driveThrough the generosity of UMB associates, the Abilities BRG collected more than 1,100 stuffed animals and 100 sheets of stickers! Many days felt like a celebration because I would come into my office and there would be another package of animals waiting to be opened. My office became so full that I had to strategically place boxes filled with stuffed animals so that I could maneuver my wheelchair around—a very welcomed challenge! The Abilities BRG and I are extremely grateful for their support in this campaign.

I hope that by sharing my story, it will encourage others to share experiences and to remind others that whether someone has a visible or invisible disability, we all bring something to the table. Those with a disability just might have to take a different path to get to the same end result.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.




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Meet the Veterans: Stacey Huddleston

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UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team, and we’re proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series highlights some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB. Be sure to check out the other profiles in our series.

Q&A with Stacey Huddleston, United States Army 1994-1997 E4 SpecialistStacy Huddleston - UMB Bank

Tell us about yourself
I was born in East Moline, Ill. on a very small farm that my family rented near the Mississippi River along the Illinois/Iowa border of the Quad Cities. I learned the benefits of hard work, pride of ownership and dedication to service as soon as I was able to carry a bucket. My first car was a 1951 John Deere A-Style Row tractor.

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It took two years after high school to realize that I needed to make a change in my life, so I joined the U.S. Army in 1994 as a Forward Observer 13F. I exited the Army in 1997 and began my college career at Illinois State University where I earned degrees in Marketing and Economics in 2000.

My first job after college was a credit manager for a large financial institution. I was quickly promoted to branch sales manager and managed four offices and several associates until I left in 2009 to pursue an opportunity with a smaller community bank.  After a few years, I realized that I needed something in the middle and was blessed to have the opportunity to come to UMB in 2011. I love it here!

What about your past shaped who you are today?
Who I am today could be easily summed up with one word. Pride. I take great pride in everything I do.  From the day I was born, I was blessed with a name to be proud of.  My father, Tom Huddleston a retired forklift operator at John Deere Harvester, named me after his supervisor Stacey King. For several reasons, Stacey was the most respected man my father ever knew at the time, and took great pride in knowing that his son would carry the same name as his mentor.

As I grew up I watched my father go on strike every four years or get laid off during slow times, where he would take whatever job he needed to make ends meet.  My father wasn’t necessarily proud of where he worked, but he was extremely proud of the work he accomplished.  I watched my mother, Pam Huddleston, give unconditional positive support to my father during these hardships. She was always proud of my father no matter what the circumstances.

As early as I could remember I would spend entire weekends with my father walking several miles of country roads as we picked up aluminum cans to recycle for extra money for the family. (He’s 75 now and still collects aluminum cans for extra money). It was these times that I learned why we actually had a small farm where we raised hogs, chickens and rabbits. Our animals always seemed to provide for us when we needed it most.

My mother was our CEO/CFO/COO and warden!  She taught me to respect everyone around me, common courtesy and to take pride in myself.  She pushed me to always do better, and expected me to always be as happy as I can be.  My father expected me to simply make good choices and never tarnish the Huddleston name.  He told me that no matter what I ever did, be the very best at it. Take pride in everything you do, everything!

From these lessons I accomplished a few things that have brought me here to this point in my life.  I am the first on either side of my family to graduate high school, to step foot on a university campus, and to earn a college degree. I am the first banker in my family.

Tell us about your family.
Huddleston family at the Alamo
My parents Tom and Pam Huddleston live in Colona, Ill., only 2 miles from where I grew up. My father is retired from John Deere Harvester, doing the same job he was first hired to do.  Shortly after my father retired to spend more quality time with my mother at their home, my mother retired as the homemaker of the “Huddleston House” and has been making sandwiches at a  local restaurant ever since.

I am a proud father of two amazing young men, Brant, 15 and Mason, 14. Brant is finishing up his freshman year and will soon be driving. Mason is very much involved in drama where he’s taken several roles in school. We spend quite a bit of time together doing home projects where I teach them how to use power tools, read a tape measure and use their hands. We spend quite a bit of time outdoors hunting, hiking and taking pictures of the wildlife. I am grateful for the challenges and opportunities that have placed me where I am today.
Huddleston Boys
Why did you choose to join the military?
Two years after high school, I realized that I was on a path of self destruction and going nowhere. I met an Army veteran who mentored me, giving me the confidence to do something great. He also mentioned a free college education program that Illinois offered residents who came back to Illinois after their military service. I quickly found a recruiter and made a long-term plan for success. Within two weeks of meeting a recruiter, I took the entry test and joined the U.S. Army as a Forward Observer 13F with a plan to get back to Illinois as quickly as possible to start college. I never knew what a forward observer was when I joined, but I loved calling in artillery once I figured it out.

Give us some highlights about your military career.
I started off my basic and advanced training at Ft. Sill, Okla., where I heard the word “terrorism” for the first time on April 19, 1995, after the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed while I was sitting outside our barracks that sunny day.

I spent the next year in the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Hovey, South Korea, where we were reorganized as the 2nd battalion of the 9th Infantry Regiment “Manchus.” Our commander ordered us to march the traditional 50 mile Manchu road march along the mountainous hills near the DMZ of North Korea to show our force. The entire 2/9th Army nearly caused a conflict that day!

I was then stationed at Ft. Lewis, Wash., where my remaining time in the Army was spent conducting nonstop training in the 25th Infantry Division. My training took me to Ft. Polk, La., Yakima, Wash., and two stops at the National Training Center in California, all in a span of less than a year.  I exited the Army as a Specialist promotable in just less than three years of service to start my college career.

What are the greatest challenges that someone leaving the military and entering a new career faces?
Purpose!  One of the most difficult challenges for anyone leaving the military and adjusting to civilian life is trying to find their purpose.  I find myself talking to other veterans who have had a difficult time adjusting because they feel as if they should be back on the battlefield, or they have survivor’s guilt or they can’t seem to get that adrenaline rush back that had been forced on them for so long.  I believe it’s important that organizations like Warriors for Freedom help organize events and activities for our veterans so that they may feel connected with our community, network with other civilians and help them find their purpose.

I am excited to see UMB organize a Veterans Engagement Taskforce (VET) to give our veterans additional purpose. I believe our focus on veterans will help give them the purpose they need to transition into a new career and adjust from the military lifestyle.

I’m also thrilled to be a new mentor through the ACP program‡ and look forward to working with fellow veterans to help with their transition into civilian life.

What are your favorite ways to give back in the community?
I was raised with the old saying, “give anyone that needs help the clothes off your back without asking for anything in return.”  To this day I try to help everyone I can as much as possible.  I don’t wait for a special event, holiday or gathering to give.  When I see someone in need, I simply do whatever it takes to help them out. Sometimes it’s giving up my lunch or clothes to someone, fixing their home and even pulling trees from their yard.

I think many people believe they have to write a check, or put on a volunteer shirt to make a difference. It’s because of my upbringing and lack of money, where I can truly understand the needs of others and help them when I can.  I work very hard to instill these same values in my two boys, who two years ago helped me hand out Christmas presents to children and feed those who didn’t have a hot meal that day.

What are your favorite ways to spend a weekend?
I rarely sit still long enough to relax, so many of my weekends are spent with my boys hunting, hiking, fishing golfing or working on home projects. I recently purchased a fixer-upper house, and the boys love working with their hands and learning how to operate power tools.

How did you come to be at UMB? What made you want to work here?
I was contacted by a UMB recruiter to apply for the position of commercial business development officer. I had never heard of this position before and had very little information about it at the time. After doing quite a bit of research on UMB, its products and people; I found that there is a long lasting retention rate within the commercial team, and there are so many products and services to offer clients compared to what I was used to. I was sold on UMB once I realized that I was to simply call on the Oklahoma market by offering UMB products and sharing our story.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 




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Meet the Veterans: Lynda McWhirter

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UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team, and we’re proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series highlights some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB. Be sure to check out the other profiles in our series.

Q&A with Lynda McWhirter, United States Army Sergeant

Tell us about yourself!
I was born and raised in New Castle, Del., where I spent my first 17 years. I left for the military two weeks after my high school graduation.

What about your past shaped who you are today?
My parents started the foundation of shaping me (although I didn’t recognize it back then). I give a lot of credit to them for my morals and compassion. The military shaped me in my formative years to learn respect, drive, ambition, perseverance, work ethic and discipline. My children helped shape me emotionally, as those of us who have children know, there isn’t any other love like it.
Lynda McWhirter family

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Tell us about your family.
I have four children; three girls and a boy, the youngest being 19 this year. I met my husband Brian, in Kitzingen, Germany, where we were both stationed. All of my children currently live in the Kansas City area.
Lynda McWhirter_children

Why did you choose to join the military?
I listened to a career counselor in my senior year in high school who talked about the military. I initially wanted to join the Navy. However, there was a long waiting list at the time, and I couldn’t leave until the next year. While I was talking to the Navy, an Army recruiter stopped me and told me I could accomplish the same thing in the Army that I could in the Navy – and there wasn’t any waiting! So I joined on the Delayed Entry Program in March of my senior year and left in June. I wanted to travel and to go somewhere other than the boundaries of the tri-state area (Delaware/New Jersey/Pennsylvania).

What do you remember most about your military career?
I took Basic Training in Ft. McClellan, Ala., during the hottest time of the year! My first highlight was an incredible feeling of pride that I’d never felt before. It came when I was standing in dress uniform in military formation at graduation, and they passed by with the American flag, playing the National Anthem.
Lynda McWhirter - Army graduationI went on to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Maryland, for my Advanced Individual Training, then to Ft. Lewis, Wash., near Seattle, then on to Kitzingen, Germany.

What I remember best from my career is surviving basic training, firing the M16, throwing grenades, driving a tank, touring Germany and the endless number of friends I met along the way. I spent four years in the regular Army and two years in the Reserves at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, and was promoted to Sergeant along the way. My Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), or my job, was initially a small equipment repairman. I still find that job interesting. My secondary MOS was an administrative specialist. I did my first MOS for about six months and then spent the rest of my military career as an administrative specialist – like what Radar did on M.A.S.H.

What impact did the military have on you?
When I was in the military, we were the last women’s group to go through basic as WACs (Woman’s Army Corp) and we were still highly segregated from the men in infantry.  After my experience as a female in the military I remember wondering just what it was going to be like before I left for basic training, so I decided to write a book about it. I gathered some instances of what I remember some of my fellow female soldiers had gone through and some experiences of my own, intertwined them, and created the character Leslie. I took her on a journey from high school through military life in The Changing Winds of Destiny (pen name Anna Douglas).
The Changing Winds of Destiny by Anna Douglas
What are the greatest challenges that someone leaving the military and entering a new career faces?
One of the greatest challenges of the transition from military to civilian life is the emotional one. The feeling of security and belonging you feel in the military can seem to fade as you venture into the work world and corporate America. Because everyone is away from their families in the military and you don’t always go home to them every night, the people you are stationed with become your family. You depend on them for almost everything, including having your back in the direst of circumstances. When you enter the work world, the strong camaraderie might be there with other co-workers but not as strong as it was in the military. Sometimes that can be a hard transition to make. 

What are your favorite ways to spend a weekend?
I enjoy reading, writing and being outdoors, especially camping, boating, swimming, fishing, playing with my dogs or just working in the yard. In the winter, I like to snowmobile.

How did you come to be at UMB? What made you want to work here?
I was transitioning from another job and applied online. My daughter, who is in the banking world, talked to me about UMB and told me I should apply because she always heard that it was a great place to work.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mrs. Lynda McWhirter is a Payroll Supervisor for UMB Financial. She, along with a great manager and team, are responsible for making sure you get paid every two weeks! She joined UMB in January 2015 and has 20 years of experience in the payroll/financial services industry.



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Our biggest UMB Big Bash® yet!

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Rob Thomas & Plain White T's, June 22, Kansas City, The Great Unknown tour

Plain White T’s kicked off the entertainment for the evening, followed by Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty fame.

Our 5th and biggest UMB Big Bash took place last week at Sprint Center. Thanks to our incredible sponsors and supporters like you, the UMB Big Bash Foundation donated $50,000 each to Literacy Kansas City and reStart, Inc.. Read more about how this year’s beneficiaries plan to use their grants.

Let’s revisit some highlights from the BIG event:

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Beneficiaries

Literacy Kansas City will launch a Career Online High School to help its higher-level readers earn a high school diploma. reStart, Inc., is working to permanently house and provide short-term financial assistance and supportive services to low-income veteran families in Wyandotte and Jackson counties.UMB Big Bash presents checks to reStart, Inc. and Literacy Kansas City

Top photo, pictured left to right giving and receiving the BIG checks are: Mike Hagedorn (President and CEO of UMB Bank), Mariner Kemper (chairman and CEO of UMB Financial Corporation and UMB Bank), Evelyn Craig (President and CEO, reStart, Inc.), Kevin Jamison (Outreach Specialist for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program) and Peter deSilva (President and COO of UMBFC)

Bottom photo, pictured left to right: Peter deSilva, Mike Hagedorn, Carrie Coogan (Executive Director and CEO, Literacy Kansas City), Mariner Kemper and Peggy Shannon (Literacy Kansas City program participant)

Silent Auction
2015 UMB Big Bash silent auction

VIP meet and greet with Rob Thomas
Rob Thomas 2015 "The Great Unknown" tour - Sprint Center

Be sure to post your own UMB Big Bash photos to the  Facebook page and tag yourself in our photos of YOU!

Sprint Center - UMB Big Bash 2015

Thanks for another great year!

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Kemper is the chairman and chief executive officer of UMB Financial Corporation and UMB Bank, n.a. He joined UMB in 1997. Mr. Kemper is active in both civic and philanthropic endeavors. One of the causes he is most passionate about is the arts. He currently serves as a trustee and executive committee member for the Denver Art Museum and is a past board member for The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City.



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UMB Big Bash®beneficiaries are changing people’s lives

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Literacy Kansas City helped Peggy land her dream job
TSA employee learned to read with Literacy Kansas City

“I read my first book when I was 51.”

Peggy Shannon dreamed of being a TSA agent but when she applied for the job, she failed the first test because she couldn’t read and didn’t know how to use a computer. Before connecting with Literacy Kansas City, she read at a third-grade level. Her limited reading abilities severely limited her career options.

“I’ve been married twice and I never told either one of them I couldn’t read. I’ve hid it well. Because I couldn’t read, I just did my job that much better … always giving it 110 percent, always.”

She worked 12-hour shifts, six days a week in a hot factory. But she wanted to work with people and hoped to one day work at Kansas City International Airport.

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Literacy Kansas City helped Peggy land her dream jobShannon still gives 110 percent, but now at a job she loves. After months of lessons and computer classes at Literacy Kansas City, Shannon decided she was ready to try again. This time, she passed and after being on the job with Akal Security, Inc., a TSA contractor, for just six months, she was promoted to a lead.

“I wanted it really bad. I love the job because I like interacting with people. I have to make sure that when the passengers are coming through and when we’re really busy that everything moves smoothly and I have enough people on the line.”

Reading has impacted more than Shannon’s career; it’s improved her health and wellbeing. Shannon lost 40 pounds after reading a diet book.

“I’ve never read the backs of packages. It’s helped me so much. I’m a lot healthier than I’ve ever been.”

Shannon says her outlook on life has changed since she learned to read.

“Life is amazing. I wake up every day just thrilled to be alive and thank the Lord everyday that I can read and that I can go out and do the job that I love.”

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Donald has a stable home thanks to reStart, Inc.

Donald has a stable home thanks to reStart, Inc.“I’m hoping I can be a part of changing things. If there is anything at all I can do, I’m more than happy to do it the way this program has helped me.”

Donald McCombs, an Army veteran, was homeless for two years. He and his significant other had to move three times because their landlords were not in compliance, one was even under foreclosure. They were forced to put their belongings in storage, and then lost everything. The couple was living in motels, and struggling to make ends meet.

“Towards the end of the month we had to get out and hustle … cutting yards to make money to pay for the rest of the month. There were times I was sleeping behind a gas station, or in the woods.”

One day, while she was at a food pantry, McComb’s girlfriend saw a brochure for reStart, Inc.’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. Within two weeks, they were in stable housing.

“It is remarkable the way it [reStart, Inc.] helps people and the way it’s helped me. Being homeless for two years and losing everything I had. And now, [I have] 100 percent less worries.”Donald's life was changed thanks to reStart, Inc.The couple now lives in an apartment, a large house that’s been converted into a four-plex. All of the tenants are veterans.

“I want to thank everyone that gives to this program. You all have helped make this happen. If it wasn’t for supporters like you … we wouldn’t have nothing. I’d probably still be homeless.”

 

Help Literacy Kansas City and reStart, Inc., continue to make meaningful impacts on the lives of people living in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Join us on Monday, June 22 for UMB Big Bash, when both of these local nonprofits will be awarded a $50,000 grant before Grammy® Award Winner Rob Thomas with special guest, Plain White T’s take the stage at Sprint Center.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 


Mr. Hagedorn is president and chief executive officer of UMB Bank and vice chairman of UMB Financial Corporation. Prior to this role, Hagedorn served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of UMB Financial Corporation. He joined UMB in March 2005.



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UMB Big Bash® Beneficiaries

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This year’s UMB Big Bash beneficiaries, Literacy Kansas City and reStart, Inc., will each use their $50,000 grants to fund programs that will make a difference to people living right here in the Kansas City metro. Literacy Kansas City will launch a Career Online High School to help its higher-level readers earn a high school diploma. reStart, Inc., is working to permanently house and provide short-term financial assistance and supportive services to low-income veteran families in Wyandotte and Jackson counties.

Hear from leaders and clients from each organization to learn more about how the 2015 UMB Big Bash beneficiaries are strengthening our community.

Want to make an impact in the Kansas City community? Get your tickets here to see Rob Thomas and Plain White T’s at Sprint Center June 22.

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Hagedorn is president and chief executive officer of UMB Bank and vice chairman of UMB Financial Corporation. Prior to this role, Hagedorn served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of UMB Financial Corporation. He joined UMB in March 2005.



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Meet the Veterans: Ryan Gardner

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UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team, and we’re proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series highlights some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB. Be sure to check out the other profiles in our series.

Q&A with Ryan Gardner, Staff Sergeant, MN Air National Guard
Ryan Gardner - Staff Sergeant, MN Air National Guard

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What can you tell us about your background?
I was born and raised in Minnesota, just south of Minneapolis. When I was 17, I joined the MN Air National Guard and served for six years in the security forces unit. During that time I also attended Winona State University and majored in Finance with minors in Accounting and Business Administration.  Beginning in my last year of undergrad, I began interning at IBM as a financial analyst and then later was hired on full-time in the same role. In 2011, after separating from the Air Force, I decided to pursue another dream of mine–living abroad. In December 2011 I moved to Nicaragua and taught English at an orphanage through most of 2012. Upon returning to the States, I began working for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Veterans Service Representative and obtained my M.S. in Leadership at Walden University.

What about your past shaped who you are today?
When I was a kid I had pretty bad asthma, and I remember our “run day” in kindergarten. The goal was to make it three miles, and my teacher had warned all of the volunteers to keep a close eye on me that day. In the first few laps, I remember hearing the volunteers telling me that I could stop whenever I wanted. As I kept going and broke the halfway mark, those heeds of caution turned to encouragement as they cheered me on until I finished the run. I ended up being one of two people to complete the run that day. The concept of perseverance and the idea that limitations are never finite has always stuck with me and has driven me throughout life. 

Tell us about your family.
I’m extremely close with my mom and my two brothers.  I’m the oldest of the three brothers, and I’m sure my brothers would say I take on more of a paternal role than I should.  Adam and I, being only two and a half years apart, grew up doing everything together.  Since Cole is eight years younger, I got to be the “cool” older brother growing up. Both relationships have remained exceptionally strong over the years.
Ryan Gardner weddingI met my wife on a tour in 2011. My mom and I were on a trip in Costa Rica and took an overnight tour to Nicaragua. The tour guide didn’t speak any English, so to overcome the language barrier, she called her daughter (who is now my wife) to translate. We exchanged contact information and stayed in touch. I came back down to see her for a week in October. Less than two months later I moved to Nicaragua to work at the orphanage, and we began dating. Before I left, I proposed and we then went through the arduous process of getting her permanent residency. She came to the United States, and we were married in June 2013. Since then we have adopted our two “fur babies,” Jackson and Shea.
Ryan Gardner and wife Why did you choose to join the military?
It was a bit of a tradition for me. I’m the fourth generation in my family to serve. From a young age, I had it in my mind that I wanted to carry on that tradition. There’s something to be said about doing push-ups in the same spot as your grandfather was 60 years ago. It was also about adventure. I knew that I was going to have an opportunity see and do some fascinating things. I definitely was not disappointed.

Give us some highlights about your military career.
Two of my favorite memories are from my times overseas. In 2008 I was deployed to Saudi Arabia for six months. The two things I remember the most are the sandstorms and the heat. It was typically around 120 degrees every day, but we saw as hot as 136 degrees. My job as a member of the quick reaction force involved riding around in an up-armored Humvee—an oven on wheels! It hit 150 degrees inside the truck one day.

My other favorite experience is when I went to winter survival training in Norway. The Norwegian Army sends more than 100 of their troops to the Minnesota National Guard, and we send more than 100 to them for two weeks every other year. During this time we were embedded into their military and went into the mountains to learn survival skills. I don’t think I’ll ever forget taking snow baths (exactly what it sounds like), sleeping in a snow cave, or eating a raw grouse heart. Like I said before, I love adventures!

What are the greatest challenges that someone leaving the military and entering a new career faces?
I think one of the hardest challenges is creating the idea of how your military experience can be leveraged in corporate America. For me, that came in the form of risk assessments. When I was in the Air Force I routinely performed counterterrorism and explosive ordinance risk assessments. Contextually, this is a far cry from what we do here at the bank. However, on a conceptual basis, the overall process is the same. I have been lucky enough here at UMB to have found managers like Jenny Payne, Sara Flores and David Kling who recognized that potential and helped me make that connection.

What are your favorite hobbies?
I’ll always be a Minnesotan and my hobbies reflect that. I love to go camping, hiking, kayaking and snowboarding. How can you not enjoy being outdoors when you come from the land of 10,000 lakes? I also enjoy competing in mud runs. I’ve ranked in the top 5 percent of all Tough Mudders both times I competed in the event.

Where is your favorite place to travel?
I honestly don’t know if I can pick a favorite anymore. I swam with sharks in Belize, hiked the Inca Trail in Peru, tracked rhinos in Botswana and explored castles in Europe. So picking one place is difficult. The top item on my bucket list has always been to make it to 30 countries before I’m 30, and I’ve currently been to 25. There’s just something to be said about experiencing new cultures and places. I turned 27 this year, and my wife and I have a trip planned to go to five countries in Eastern Europe in September. So it looks like I’m going to reach my goal!
Ryan Gardner - ZimbabweWhat are your favorite ways to spend a weekend?
My favorite way to spend a weekend is with my dogs. We rescued a Jack Russell Terrier mix and a German Shepherd mix in the last two years. My wife and I spend most of our free time with them. They make great running/hiking partners (though the little guy usually wants to be carried home after a while).
Ryan Gardner with dogsHow did you come to be at UMB?
The story of how I came to UMB is quite serendipitous. My wife was offered a job here in Kansas City while we were still living in Minnesota, so we had a choice to make. Ultimately I decided that it was only fair that, since she moved to another country for me, I could move to another state for her. So I left my work at the VA and we headed to Kansas City. After a month or so of being here we came into the Walnut branch to open a local checking account. I was telling the personal banker about my story, and she ended up recommending me for the Emerging Leaders Program. I will forever be indebted to the unparalleled customer experience of UMB!


Mr. Gardner is a Vice President/Third-Party Monitoring Manager for UMB. He is responsible for support of UMB Financial Corporation’s Information Security Program through ongoing development, implementation and administration of the Company’s formal Fraud Risk Management Program. He joined UMB in 2014 and has six years of experience in risk management.



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Meet the Veterans: Steve Marin

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UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team, and we’re proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series will highlight some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB.

Q&A with Steve Marin, Lieutenant Colonel, Retired, U.S. Air Force
Steve Marin_retired USAF

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What about your past shaped who you are today?

I always love to say that I was born in East Los Angeles. Before I started school, however, my parents decided to move our family to the San Gabriel Valley, just outside LA, for a better chance at a quality education. I believe one of the most important aspects of my childhood in LA was the early exposure to diversity. My schools were melting pots with students from all ethnic backgrounds. As a college student in LA, I witnessed the devastation of the LA Riots in the wake of the racial tensions between the police and the ethnic minority populations.  Growing up in this environment, I believe, gave me a unique outlook on life as I launched into the world after college.

Lacking a specific vision for my future, I stumbled through my first year of college at California State University, Los Angeles. I was overwhelmed by the transition from secondary school to college. After two years of struggling through school, I decided to take a leave of absence and enlist in the Navy. My three years in the Navy helped me mature as a young man as I gained a better idea of what I wanted to do in life. I resumed my undergraduate education at a small liberal arts college called the University of La Verne where I graduated with honors with a degree in mathematics.

I met my lovely bride, Lisa, while in college at Cal State LA. We instantly hit it off.  I wasn’t expecting to meet my future bride so soon in life, but there was no denying she was the one for me.  Lisa became my closest friend, advisor and inspiration. Looking back now, I believe meeting Lisa was the turning point in my life.
Steve and Lisa Marin

Tell us about your family.

My parents are Lupe and Josie Marin.  My dad is a Vietnam veteran and the hardest working guy I know.  He retired from a lifetime career as a construction worker. His body is banged up, but his spirit is that of a young man. My mom was the CEO of our home and the person you had to answer to when you caused trouble. Let’s just say, I spent a lot of time explaining myself to her.

I’m number three out of six kids. My oldest brother is a retired Naval officer. My other siblings have successful careers in design, education, finance and medical support.

My own children are Julian, 15, and Evan, 9.  Julian spent a total of seven years living overseas in Japan and Germany as we packed up the house every few years in my career in the military. He is now a freshman and intends on having an uninterrupted high school career free of moves. Evan spent three years in Germany and went to an actual German kindergarten. He’s now in third grade.
Steve and Lisa Marin family

Why did you choose to join the military?

I was inspired to join the military to do something amazing. I enlisted in the Navy shortly after the 1991 Gulf War. I was inspired by the service of the men and women who accomplished the historic task of ejecting Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait. After three years as an enlisted sailor and after earning my bachelor’s degree, I decided the military was the place to establish my career. In 1995 I entered the U.S. Air Force’s Officer Training School and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1996. I spent the next two years in flight school where I earned my navigator wings.

Give us some highlights about your military career.

As an aviator, we lived by the mantra that a “bad day in the air was better than a good day on the ground.” That was true for the majority of my military career until I was given the opportunity to take my experience to the next level.  After a decade of flying, I was selected to begin training as a military air power strategist, spending a year honing my skills. My first assignment as a strategist proved to be the challenge of my life and the highlight of my career. I was assigned to the newest Air Force command that was responsible for operations in Africa. I spent the next three years immersed in all things Africa. The most significant event was preparing options for the President of the United States in response to Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on the citizens of Libya. My initial team of 17 planners worked nonstop for a month drafting plans for as many contingencies as we could envision.  As the crisis progressed, that small team grew into an international partnership. Our work on those plans, that would become Operation Odyssey Dawn, was carried out by an allied air force with success—sparing the lives of Libyan citizens. I have an immense respect for those planners who had a hand in designing one of the most complex and successful air campaigns in U.S. history.
Operation Odyssey Dawn

What are the greatest challenges that someone leaving the military and entering a new career faces?

The biggest challenge for me was going from being an expert in the art of war to being the least experienced person in a new industry. My challenge is accepting my new position and allowing myself the time to learn the banking industry. It is particularly challenging for me after having been responsible for so much in the past. Working with people like Kelly Eschweiler, Andre Trudell and Charles Littrell helped me realize the value I can bring to a team and the education process that lies ahead.

How do you give back?

My passion remains for those who served in the military. One of my commanders in the Air Force always told us that the life of someone’s 17-year-old son or daughter depended on the work we did. I carry that sobering thought with me today as I participate in initiatives that help those that served launch into their next career. I am a previous member of Team Red White and Blue, a group dedicated to connecting military members to the communities they are stationed near. I look for every opportunity to get involved in career development of transitioning veterans. This is a two-way dialogue and challenge. Veterans need to understand that they must compete against seasoned professionals in every industry. They need to understand how their experience compares to those they compete with.  Hiring managers need to understand the uniqueness of military veterans and the benefits they could have on a team. These are the dialogues to which I can provide clarity. After seeing Mariner Kemper’s Veterans Day video message and receiving the invitation from Jim Cornelius to get involved in UMB’s Veterans Engagement Taskforce, I knew I could make a difference here at UMB.

Where is your favorite place to travel?

My favorite place to travel is Europe. I lived in Germany for three years and we crisscrossed the continent at every opportunity. By far, my favorite city is Barcelona. It felt like home to me. In general, I felt a connection to Spain with my Mexican ancestry.

What are your favorite ways to spend a weekend?

A good weekend for me is getting in at least one long workout, an activity with the kids and a night out with my wife. Kansas City provides the perfect environment to fulfill a weekend of activity almost every weekend.
Steve Marin and son at Kansas City Chiefs game

How did you come to be at UMB? What made you want to work here?

I met Tom Carignan at a Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce networking event. He asked me what my story was and what I was doing. When I shared with him my desire to work for a place that is known for its culture, regardless of the industry, he immediately gave me his card and asked for my résumé. I sent it to him the next day and that afternoon I had an interview for the Emerging Leaders Program.

Tell us about the Emerging Leaders Program and what benefits you see from it.

This program is a gem. It can be tailored to fit the needs of anybody looking to start, change or re-emerge into a career at UMB. While most of my classmates in the program are much younger than me, we have a connection. We have a desire to do great things at UMB, and we are starting a new career in the banking and finance industry. As a military veteran, this is an ideal environment to test relevant skills and gain a better understanding of where I fit.

What is the VET program and what do you do as the Chair of Engagement?

The mission of Veterans Engagement Taskforce (VET) is to recognize the contributions of veterans to our way of life, educate the community about the value of veterans in business, and to support the veteran community as a whole. We’ve already made some huge advances, and we aren’t done yet. With Jim Cornelius at the helm, and a group of fired up veterans and intrinsically motivated citizens, we are postured to take on some challenging initiatives and improve the quality of life of our veterans and their families.

As co-chair of engagement, I’m working with Ryan Gardner (who will be featured next in this series) to rally UMB’s veterans desire to continue to serve. We’d like to be the muscle behind every effort when a call for volunteers is made whether it relates to supporting veterans or not.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Marin is an Emerging Leaders Program associate for UMB. He is responsible for learning about the banking industry, building a network of support, and contributing to projects and services in the rotation areas assigned. He joined UMB in June, 2014 and has less than a year of experience in the financial services industry. He is a 2014 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis’ Executive MBA program.



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