Get to Know Matt Harre and UMB’s Co-Brand Credit Card Approach
Matt Harre is vice president, co-brand card sales at UMB Bank. Since joining UMB in late 2017, he has been instrumental in growing UMB’s co-branded card partnerships. In the following Q&A, Matt shares background about his career and vision for the future of UMB’s co-branded efforts, and what some of his favorite activities are outside of the office.
In the following Q&A, Matt shares background about his career and vision for the future of UMB’s co-branded efforts, and what some of his favorite activities are outside of the office.
Q: How did you choose your career path, and what led you to UMB?
My first job out of college was with my family’s small business, a bakery supply distribution company. My dad has always been my most significant mentor and he would bring me into the business during summer breaks as a kid.
Being able to grow up in that small business environment and learn the intricacies of running a successful company has helped me in countless ways. As anyone who’s worked for a small business knows, my job duties varied every day. I had to be willing to roll up my sleeves and manage warehousing, shipping and receiving, customer service, retail, sales and accounting.
While working for my family’s business was rewarding, in time I wanted to explore a career dedicated to sales and marketing, and I joined a marketing agency. While there, I was exposed to an entirely new business field. Eventually that led me into the co-brand and affinity card space, which offered an even greater variety of industries to collaborate with, from professional sports to hospitality, and it immediately appealed to me.
There is no one-size-fits-all model for a small business or marketing firm servicing a broad range of clients. And having launched more than 60 co-brand and affinity card partnerships throughout my career, I’ve learned there is also no one-size-fits-all solution in this industry. My past experiences helped me understand how to manage risk, build relationships, and think through every stage of business operations and management.
While it may not seem like it when you think about financial services, this industry really rewards that entrepreneurial outlook and spirit.
Q: What are some of your goals for UMB’s co-brand team?
The co-brand card industry is growing, and my main goal is to continue accelerating that growth here. UMB has always offered custom solutions throughout its lines of business, and that approach lends itself perfectly to the co-brand space.
We strategically select opportunities where our hands-on expertise will generate growth for our partners’ business. By choosing to work with companies that are a natural fit and focusing on providing best-in-class customer service, we are building lasting relationships with our clients. Meanwhile, our clients are able to offer a valuable perk that rewards their loyal customers.
Q: What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I have a bit of a green thumb! I love gardening and have a robust vegetable garden. I also enjoy oil painting and like to share some of my work with friends and family. My mother was a high school art teacher, so I grew up close to the arts and developed a great appreciation for them.
Q: What else can we find you doing outside of the office?
Most of my hobbies involve the outdoors and spending time with my wife and three children. We’re a busy bunch and are always moving from one activity to the next, whether attending our kids’ sporting events, taking the family fishing, or going camping for the weekend. I grew up in Boy Scouts and eventually became an Eagle Scout; now I work closely with my son’s pack.
A lot of the soft skills I use professionally today were acquired from my time with the Boy Scouts. Knowing the importance of time management, leadership, teamwork and responsibility helped me when I joined the family business at a young age and continue to support my professional growth to this day.
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