Blog   Tagged ‘veterans’

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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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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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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Veterans Day

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As we use Veterans Day to honor the many people who have sacrificed for us, we’ve been reflecting on what else we can do to better serve our veterans.

Our new job portal is geared specifically for those with a military background. It’s one way we’re trying to connect with veterans, but like many of you, we’re always looking for ways to thank these service men and women.

What ways have you seen organizations succeed in serving individuals and families connected to the military?

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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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American Royal Parade & Military Pancake Breakfast

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parade(1)
Who doesn’t love a parade? The American Royal Parade will be marching down the streets of downtown Kansas City next Saturday, and if you’re in the area, I hope you join the 10,000 attendees and 4,000 participants in this great tradition. We’ll be honoring U.S. military—past and present. Here are just a few things to look for:

  • 2,000 Boy Scouts
  • 150 horses whose riders include leaders like Neal Patterson (Cerner), Cindy Circo (Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem) and even me!
  • The 50th reunion of the Marine Echo 7 Company

The first half of my year as Chairman of the Board of the American Royal has been wonderful, but this fall is sure to be filled with my favorite moments. UMB is aligned with the American Royal in wanting to honor our veterans. To do that, we’re hosting a pancake breakfast before the parade for current and former service members and their families. Be sure to RSVP soon at American.Royal@umb.com!
pancakes

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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. 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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Thank you to our veterans

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I was recently at an event hosted by Facing History‡, an organization that creates history curriculum that teaches kids to be more tolerant. One of the speakers at the event was a girl who received an award for an art project. Her guest that evening was her grandmother, a holocaust survivor. They told an amazing story and I walked away from that event with a renewed commitment to never forget our men and women in uniform.

Staff Sergeant James D. Shearer, United States Air Force, and Mariner KemperUMB Bank Colorado honored veterans,
including Staff Sergeant James D.
Shearer, United States Air Force.

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As the last of the World War II survivors pass on, I am reminded that my children, and frankly anyone younger than 60, don’t really know what it is to sacrifice in a time of war. We are currently in at least two wars right now. But do you notice on a daily basis? The answer is probably no. There are no food rations. Or fuel taxes to support the war. It is a shameful reality of our society.

As our men and women return from combat duty, they are not greeted with a hero’s welcome. We expect them to reintegrate into a society that has not acknowledged their sacrifices. Or the sacrifices of their families. These people have volunteered to put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. To protect our children. They ensure we can continue to live our lives uninterrupted.

My father served in the Navy and he still maintains the sense of pride they instilled in him so many years ago. It is incredible to see how these veterans have somehow managed to maintain the lost art of social graces and respect. They stand when someone enters the room and say sir and ma’am, while the rest of us seem to have forgotten how to treat each other.

So, what can we do to support these fine men and women? First and foremost, we can say thank you. We can give up our prime seat on an airplane or offer to pick up their sandwich at the local deli. A thank you can go a long way. But it’s not enough. There are numerous organizations in your communities that are specifically designated to assist veterans and their families, especially those in need. Below you will find a list of websites and resources in your community.

This has always been a passion of mine, and of UMB’s. We celebrate veterans with an annual event across our footprint and help the Marines with their Toys for Tots program. We hire as many veterans as possible. But we could, and should be doing more. Send us your ideas on how we can support veterans in our communities. This is a group effort. We should find as many ways to show our gratitude as possible.

And to veterans past, present and future: Thank you. Thank you for volunteering to protect millions of people you have never met. Thank you for ensuring we have the freedom to express our thoughts and for protecting our rights and liberties. There is no other place in the world where you have the ability to build something; to create a business in our unique free market system. And it is because of these brave men and women. Thank you, from all of us.

Resources:

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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