In this Q&A, we talk with executive vice president, commercial relationship manager, Ann Marie Baker, about her role as a trusted advisor to her clients and her long-time dedication to the Springfield community.
Tell us about your role at UMB.
My expertise is primarily focused in providing comprehensive solutions to business, institutional, and non-profit organizations. These services include lending, depository, treasury management, technology and related services.
How do you approach client relationships?
Focusing on the client by truly listening and learning from them is the foundation for building healthy and sustainable relationships. I believe that cultivating and nurturing ongoing dialogue with the client leads to mutual respect, trust and success.
This approach has led to countless opportunities to help my clients achieve their goals. Gaining an intimate understanding of their operations, objectives, challenges and dreams has brought forth many creative and collaborative opportunities. These have ranged from providing traditional lending or account services to helping clients develop strategies to mitigate future risk or capitalize on new opportunities for expansion or acquisition.
Professional integrity, accessibility and candor are also key to my approach. My clients, colleagues and advisors know they can reach out to me at any time for assistance, guidance, or feedback. I am always available to listen and discuss ideas or concerns. Surprises are what keep life interesting and dealing with unforeseen events can best be done with your professional team at your side.
What are some of the unique ways you bring value to your clients?
One of the greatest joys in my career has been assisting clients in building a team of professional advisors to support their enterprise. In addition to the need for a professional banking advisor, it is critical that every business has an established relationship with legal, accounting, insurance and technology professionals who are skilled in dealing with the type and complexity of their business.
Building this team with care as to compatibility, expertise and experience can have a tremendously positive impact on the business and its future. Furthermore, serving as a catalyst to regularly bring these professionals together in communication with the client at the center can set the business up for even greater success as they navigate challenges and pursue new ventures. By making informed referrals from my network of professional connections, I have added value to many client relationships over the years.
What part of your job is the most rewarding for you?
It’s an absolute privilege to know clients who have literally changed the local skyline, manufactured products that have improved our world, brought jobs and families to our region, and impacted the face of our communities. When I know that I played a role in making that happen through my counsel, my service or my advocacy, I share in the pride of their success.
Finally, we know you are also extremely involved in the Springfield, Missouri community. Can you share how this has shaped you personally and professionally?
Community service with civic and charitable causes is a vital part of my professional and personal life. I cherish the experiences, relationships and opportunities that have come from my volunteer work. In fact, the overlap of professional, volunteer, and personal connections benefits these relationships through all endeavors.
Volunteer service is challenging and gratifying because it brings people together who share a passion for a common cause, but from all different backgrounds and professions. My years of service and leadership have had a tremendous impact on my life and have shaped how I see the world. I have learned and grown through serving organizations like the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Public Utilities, Leadership Springfield and the Junior League of Springfield. These helped build my confidence and skills to a point where I eventually chaired their respective boards.
These opportunities have created lasting memories of people I worked alongside in pursuit of the respective missions. I have also stayed active in many of the organizations after serving as president, mentoring and supporting leaders coming along on their journeys.
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