Throughout my life, I have always had a strong love of music, and this love has only grown over time. With every concert attended, album listened to and memory made through lyrics, I have seen the way music has and continues to be a vital part of who I am.
I often connect life milestones to music, and believe that life can be like a mixtape, a new track for each job you embark on, a few skips here and there as you determine what you want out of life, and in the end, you have compiled a collection of every triumph and failure.
My experience as a husband, father of two incredible girls, and an avid concertgoer—all while being the director of UMB’s healthcare services—has given me quite the soundtrack.
Track 1: A passion for finance is born
My first introduction and ultimate love of business and finance began at a very young age and came from simply spending quality time with both of my grandfathers. They each had a passion for business and the financial world, with most visits being filled with discussions about business, investing and banking. My dad’s father enjoyed coin and currency collecting, so this became an activity for us whenever we were together. I really cherish the time I was able to spend with them and the gift they gave me – the ability to realize and harness my passion so early in life. I still remember the day when I told my grandfather I wanted to be a banker – he was so excited and proud of me!
My love for finance grew as I entered college and began hands-on experience in the finance world. Starting in 1995, weekends were spent commuting back home from the University of Central Missouri to Lee’s Summit to work as a drive-through teller at Central Bank.
You could almost always find me listening to hard rock in my booth on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, waiting for a customer to drive up. Then on the weekends, when the bank was closed, I was given an early opportunity as a credit analyst working through commercial loan audit and commercial/residential real estate construction inspections, which sparked my interest in further pursuing commercial banking.
Track 2: A crash course in navigating the banking world
After I graduated with my degree in business administration management, I accepted a full-time position at Central Bank. I started as a loan administration officer and in short time, added an array of roles to my list of responsibilities, including commercial banker, consumer loan manager, security officer handling our facility’s fraud and forgery, regional performance oversight and facility manager, among others. During this time, I gained so much valuable experience through wearing multiple hats and having a variety of responsibilities.
While I was there, I had the flexibility to learn and gain exposure to all facets of the bank, which gave me a strong desire to understand more than one line of business. I was able to see how each business aspect played a vital role in the bank’s overall success, and I wanted to learn more.
It was also around this time that I began to understand the importance of work-life balance, which can be hard to navigate during the beginning of your career. My family was starting to grow, and I knew I wanted to play a larger part in my wife and daughter’s lives, so a change was necessary.
Track 3: Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone
Even though I knew it was time for me to transition jobs, it was still scary stepping away from something I had grown so accustomed to with growing responsibilities. After my first job, I spent some time at Commerce Bank before joining UMB in April 2007.
This transition was a huge leap for me, as it called me to expand my attention to my family closer to Kansas City as a whole. Fortunately, it has proven to be one of the most rewarding decisions I have ever made. I started as UMB’s community bank president for the Eastern Jackson County, Kansas City market. I then worked in the community market for about six years before stepping out of my comfort zone once again, this time within the company.
The leadership and culture at UMB taught me the value of welcoming portability and being adaptable to a very diversified business model and always ready to learn something new. My responsibilities pivoted to match my new expanded roles within our corporate banking, treasury management and commercial card divisions. My toolkit was growing and even though I wasn’t an expert in any of these areas originally through earlier training, I rolled up my sleeves and put in the work to learn and do my best to become one.
All these shifts led me to my biggest one opportunity yet: a role in our Healthcare Services division. It has now been three and a half years, and I am the current director of UMB Healthcare Services. In my role, I lead our teams’ strategic efforts related to sales, administration, operations, implementation and strategy. I also continue to work to expand UMB’s position as a preferred provider of choice and work with my team to be as nimble and creative as possible to anticipate and find solutions to meet the diversity of our many clients’ needs.
Track 4: Lead with humor and curiosity
As a leader, I stay motivated by not wanting to let those that have put their trust in me at UMB down. I understand the responsibility I have and find the best way to lead is through rolling up my sleeves, joining my team in their day-to-day work and enjoying our time together.
I understand that what we do outside of these four walls is a major reason for our why at work, so we might as well have a laugh and some fun while we are together each day.
I also encourage my team to be curious and creative in their problem solving and implement forward thinking. The healthcare space is constantly changing, as are consumer demands, so we must remain flexible and innovative.
My advice to any banker, whether you are new to the business or seasoned, is to always stay curious, step out of your comfort zone and seek mentorship. I have found so much value in being both a mentor and a mentee throughout every stage of my career and life. It is never too early to ask; it is never too late to seek guidance from somebody with more experience that will actually challenge you, share different opinions and hold you accountable each time you meet. It is so important to continue seeking mentorship throughout all stages of your career and life.
Track 5: Nourish a life outside of work
It is very important for me to find balance between my personal life and professional life, and luckily, UMB makes this super easy. My wife, Megan, and I are coming up on our 25th wedding anniversary, and throughout our marriage, she has been supportive of my career and allowed me to chase my dreams. Today, my wife and I are just beginning to embrace big changes as future empty nesters by traveling, attending live music shows (though my mosh pit days are over) and playing in national tennis competitions. I love to stay busy and be out into the community as much as possible.
My nearly 30-year career in banking has been filled with moments of harmony and differing melodies, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love that my unique career path at UMB has allowed me to not only learn, but also contribute to a variety of divisions within our company.
I have my family, our amazing leadership team and my wonderful teammates at UMB to thank for allowing me to continue to chase my dreams as a banker in Kansas City. My soundtrack is pretty great, and I can’t wait to keep adding to it.
Learn more about UMB Healthcare Services, which ranks fifth in total accounts and seventh in total deposit assets among all HSA providers (Source: 2021 Devenir Mid-year HSA Market Statistics & Trends Report‡).
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