How do you cultivate creativity within your team?
In my opinion, the best thing about UMB is the people. I try to build relationships with everyone on my team, because I care just as much about each of them as people as I do about the great work they produce. I like to keep a high-energy atmosphere as well—this helps provide a positive environment while we work to find new, innovative solutions for our business opportunities.
I also believe it’s important to give everyone the space they need to be creative and do their best work—great ideas aren’t born out of micro-management. I always try to encourage my team to think outside of the box and push outside their comfort zones, because discomfort is where we will find new ideas worth exploring.
What’s been one of your favorite projects to work on at UMB?
Back in 2013, UMB celebrated its 100-year anniversary, and it was an exciting milestone for our company. I had the chance to work with the team to plan and implement the anniversary celebration, which was unforgettable. Associates from across the bank’s footprint and different departments created a theme of “More than 100.” The committee was charged with creating and executing a plan that celebrated 100 years of history, growth and successes by thanking associates and the communities we serve.
The projects involved in the celebration were original and engaging. We executed everything from filming associates sharing their UMB story to hosting a student video contest through Facebook and Twitter.
We also hosted a Nasdaq investor event, complete with ringing the opening bell. Additionally, our associates banded together to perform 1,454 random acts of kindness in honor of our anniversary.
We also had the opportunity to pull the history—the stories that provide an inside look of our people and company—and share them with our associates, customers and communities. When you look back over a century of time, it’s amazing to reflect on events that shape, influence and carry through to who we are today. Not many companies can say they’ve been here for more than one hundred years, and we’re very proud and thankful to be in that elite group.
How do you like to give back to the community?
My parents instilled in us a passion to always give back and find a way to use our gifts to better the community. For me, it wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t involved in the community.
Some of my favorite volunteer activities have involved the arts and education. I serve on the Coors National Western Art Show committee. The Coors Art Show is a part of the National Western Stock show, which has a rich heritage in Denver. This involvement has been an excellent opportunity for me to blend my love of art with my passion for agriculture, ranching and the western lifestyle.
I was also a trustee for Colorado Academy where my daughter went to school. That experience was so fun and meaningful to see firsthand—what her educational experience was like and then to support her classmates along the way. I also really enjoyed working with the school’s award-winning Horizons program that provides summertime support to kids from low-income families and underperforming schools.
We all have an opportunity to leave this world a little bit better than we found it. Being able to contribute in a way that helps further education, art appreciation, basic human needs and so on is something that I believe is not just our responsibility, but our privilege as well.
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