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Meet the Veterans: Mark Murphy

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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.

Q&A with Mark Murphy, Captain, Field Artillery, United States Army

Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Lancaster, Ohio, a town of approximately 40,000 people located just south of Columbus, Ohio. As much as I enjoyed Lancaster while growing up, I always knew I wanted to leave and experience more dynamic settings. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from the University of Southern California (USC) where I studied film.

My time at USC was entertaining, but by the end of my senior year, I had lost interest in working in Hollywood. With the assistance of one of my history professors, I secured a position teaching English for the Japanese government. I not only worked alongside Japanese, but other Americans, Canadians, Australians and Britons. When my teaching contract ended, I headed back to the United States, and immediately attempted to join the Navy, but ultimately ended up in the Army.

Why did you choose to join the military?
Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by history and international relations, so joining the military seemed like a natural extension of both these interests. Also, most of my relatives are veterans, so the military culture was never alien to me.

Give us some highlights about your military career.
After completing approximately 18 months of initial training in Georgia and Oklahoma, I was assigned to the Second Infantry Division in Camp Hovey, South Korea. I was there less than eight months when our entire brigade (approximately 4,000 personnel) was deployed to the Al-Anbar Province in western Iraq. We landed in Kuwait in August 2004, spent a few weeks training and acclimating to the oven-like temperatures, and then convoyed to neighboring Iraq.

Mark Murphy Iraq

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Our brigade operated out of the provincial capital Ramadi, which in the weeks after our arrival deteriorated into one of the most violent cities in the world. The artillery battery I belonged to was responsible for providing 24/7 security to a sector on the outskirts of the city. We spent several hours a day patrolling the streets and markets, frequently stopping to establish a temporary traffic checkpoint or interview locals about the situation. Some nights we would conduct raids on suspected insurgent hideouts.

The first month was relatively calm, but in October the insurgent activity spiked dramatically, and we started taking a number of casualties. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), snipers and suicide bombers were the main culprits. The latter were the scariest because there is very little you can do to deter someone who is already trying to kill themselves.

By the end of the tour our brigade had suffered 68 killed and several hundred wounded. Our artillery battery lost six soldiers to combat and another to suicide—plus five more that were so seriously wounded they had to be evacuated to a military hospital in Germany. It was eerie to return to our barracks after one of our people had been killed and find all of their possessions arranged exactly how they had left them only a few hours before.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hardships endured by the residents of Ramadi. To this day, I am not sure how they managed to go about their daily lives while thousands of strangers —American troops, Iraqi insurgents, and foreign jihadists—roamed the city streets trying to kill one another in increasingly creative and destructive ways.

After the tour, the Army didn’t return us to South Korea, but instead sent us to Fort Carson, located in Colorado Springs, Colo. This proved to be a much more agreeable setting than Ramadi. The following year I left the Army, and headed to Cusco, Peru to attend an intensive, Spanish language immersion school.

How did you come to be at UMB? What made you want to work here?
I was enrolled in the Executive MBA program at Washington University in St. Louis. One of my classmates, Steve Marin, had recently retired from the Air Force and secured a position at UMB. UMB had an excellent reputation in the community and the financial industry seemed to offer good opportunities. With Steve’s assistance I applied, and was lucky enough to be hired.

What about your past shaped who you are today?
My personality, behavior, beliefs and interests are largely a product of the following influences: the Midwest, East Asia, Catholic school, National Geographic, nature, libraries, Hollywood and the military. Put them all in a blender, hit “mix,” and the resulting concoction will resemble me.


Mark Murphy is the UDAAP Compliance Analyst for UMB. He is responsible for reviewing marketing materials, performing product reviews, and creating and maintaining UDAAP focused risk assessments. Mark joined UMB in 2015. He is a 2014 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis’ Executive MBA program, and also holds degrees from the University of Kansas and the University of Southern California.



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Community Partnerships: The key to your diversity and inclusion plan

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So your company has created and implemented a comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan. Now what? A key component of your company’s plan is choosing community partners. These partners provide an expertise and insight on how your company can succeed from a diversity and inclusion perspective.

Diversity Partners

At UMB, we choose organizations and groups that have been identified through our diversity council as major contributors to our strategy. Our goal is to have these organizations enhance our diversity and inclusion strategy in four ways:

  1. Talent acquisition and development – We build a stronger company by hiring and retaining talented, high-performing associates with diverse backgrounds.
  1. Associate engagement – We demonstrate inclusiveness by ensuring each of our associates has a voice and opportunities to share ideas.
  1. Corporate community involvement and volunteerism – Our associates regularly volunteer at the organizations who are our collaborative partners.
  1. Regional cohesiveness – We try to find organizations that have outreach in multiple cities across our footprint (Black MBA Association in Kansas City and St. Louis, Urban Financial Services Coalition in Kansas City, St. Louis and Omaha). But we also will work with independent organizations (The Regional Business Council of St. Louis).

So how do both the company and the community organization benefit from these partnerships?

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Within the company, community partnerships help make associates aware of diversity. Additionally, they help associates stay educated about their community. Some organizations even offer training programs for associates, like a Lunch and Learn, so they can get a better understanding about the community organization and the work they do. For example, UMB works with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Greater Kansas City and they provide our associates with training about how to work with Hispanic businesses.

The company benefits externally from these partnerships by helping us connect with our community. They help us connect with people, resources and other businesses. They help share our vision, mission and values in the diverse communities that we serve.

Community organizations benefit from these partnerships depending on the company. At UMB, we provide them with financial education programs. We also have company officers who serve on boards for the organizations. And we encourage our associates to volunteer for their various programs.

Ultimately it’s important for both the company and the organization to feel like the partnership is bringing some value to them. Both parties should be involved, creating mutually agreed upon activities and goals. Representatives from both organizations should meet regularly to discuss whether or not the partnership is on track. In fact, at UMB we require our collaborative partners to submit an annual report, as well as a scorecard that gives information about their website traffic, how many scholarships they gave out and the amount (if applicable), how many programs they organized during the year, etc.

With the help of these community partners, your company’s comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan will be complete. With your unique combined perspectives, you can be more competitive and create stronger connections within your markets.

 

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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What is diversity and inclusion?

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The words “diversity” and “inclusion” are used a lot in the business world. But how many of us understand the scope of what those two words mean? There is still a widely-accepted assumption that the diversity discussion is limited to minorities and women. But it’s so much more than that. Diversity covers race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, geographical location and even generational differences.

The word inclusion is equally important because it takes the idea of diversity from awareness to action. Once you are aware of the vast diversity in the workforce, the next step is to include as many of those diverse perspectives as possible into your organization.

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So where do you start? Diversity and inclusion has to be more than paying lip service to the idea. Your company needs a plan.

Four areas to focus on:

  1. Executive Leadership Support

    Of course your executive leadership should approve of and enable your diversity and inclusion ideas and efforts. And while it’s great to have that endorsement, it’s only the first step. Implementing a successful diversity and inclusion program in your organization starts from the top down. Diversity should be on the agenda of every leadership meeting, just like the status update on the company financials.

  2. Measurement

    Use measurement tools – like a scorecard – to benchmark and then measure how your company is doing in specific areas. The only way to understand if and how you’re improving is to keep track of simple metrics. That way you can understand where the company began and what to do to improve. UMB is currently implementing these scorecards across our company.

  3. Required Training

    Required diversity and inclusion training for every associate in the company is also important. Do not assume that associates at a certain level of leadership don’t need this training.

  4. Collaborative Partners

    Consider working with local collaborative partners in your area. At UMB we work with organizations across our footprint to help us advance our diversity efforts in the areas of talent acquisition, associate engagement and business opportunities. For example, in Kansas City, we work with many organizations, including Urban League of Greater Kansas City, Hispanic Chamber of Greater Kansas City and a new organization called Concord Cultural Center.

Fully integrating diversity and inclusion in your company involves applying these ideas to every part of the organization and including everyone in the conversation. The diverse perspectives will likely make your company stronger. When you have multiple points of view, you can provide your customers with a well-rounded approach to the business.

 

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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