Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to UMB.
I was raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and after high school moved to the “lower 48” where I completed a two-year service mission. During that two-year break from academics, I learned a lot about the value of service and the power it unleashes among people and communities. I still treasure the diverse cultures I served and the lessons they taught me. After that, I went to school at Brigham Young University – Idaho where I earned my bachelor’s degree in business management and finance and later an MBA from Colorado State University.
I have had an interesting banking career – one I could not have planned. My career started with Wells Fargo in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession. Some would consider 2009 not ideal for starting a banking career, although I found it to be the best time to learn the business. I spent the first decade of my career at Wells Fargo, where I held various roles across the business and commercial bank in three markets- Idaho, California and Colorado. With a solid background in commercial banking, it didn’t take long to recognize there was something unique and special about UMB Bank. I joined UMB in February 2020 as team lead in Colorado. I could not have started at a better time, with the COVID-19 epidemic hitting only a month after I joined, I was able to see the strength of the bank during uncertain times.
You moved to Utah last summer for a new role, can you tell us about that transition?
In August 2022, I was given the privilege to expand UMB’s banking brand and footprint by taking on the role as market president of UMB Bank in Utah. The transition has been wonderful, naturally challenging, and then a bit adventurous. Having a family allows me to think bigger than myself when making career decisions, particularly ones that prompt a move to another state. For my family the majority of anxiety to change was quickly wiped away when we experienced how accessible all the outdoor adventures were in Utah. We have five, world-class ski resorts within 30 minutes of our front door, and access to trail biking, running and accessible hiking at every turn. It also helps that the Utah business community met me and my family with open arms. Utah has always been a special state to me, as I was born here, and after almost four decades away, the opportunity to come back has been a full circle moment for me.
What is your vision for the market now that you’ve had some time in this new role?
We are building something special Utah. I see how being with UMB for several years before taking on my current role has been critical in bringing the full value of UMB Bank to the Utah market. The culture our customers describe about UMB is one of trust and confidence, both of which have always been at our core. It’s our culture that allows us to be fully committed to Utah.
My vision for Utah is simple and can be summed up in three principles: people, strength and consistency. We are building a strong culture that provides our customers with the best talent in the industry, the bank continues to show financial strength and we offer consistency through every cycle. All three of these components have been steadfast in UMB’s DNA for 110 years.
As we continue to grow across the state, UMB Fund Services now operates with 160 employees in Ogden and we maintain a strong focus on corporate trust services with 80 associates in our Cottonwood Heights offices. We are excited to serve our Utah customers across the Beehive State with our main operating office under construction at 222 Main St. in Salt Lake City.
What do you love about your job and the banking industry?
I have always believed our customers get the best service when we think more strategically and bring them new ideas that others are not. Over the years, I have developed a real passion for helping companies with their working capital needs and creating models that identify the appropriate mix of financial solutions to meet their working capital needs now and into the future. Our clients have several solutions for their working capital needs – a line of credit, operating cash flow, alternative equity, efficiencies in the cash conversion cycle – and I get excited helping them navigate what’s best for their unique business. I love the challenge of continuing to help a company that is in growth mode or figuring out how much liquidity they need as they continue to expand.
What drives you and what are you most passionate about?
There are a few big drivers in my life that I am passionate about – the ability to collaborate with clients, my family and academics.
On the client side, I am extremely passionate about proactively sharing ideas and working with clients toward success. I know it’s easy to say that, but it’s unique and almost abnormal to see our industry execute collectively with their clients. Remember, these are customers that have done extremely well with their business for decades, and they are now looking for partners who they can trust, collaborate with and proactively position themselves for the best future. We work with them strategically and give direction or advice on how we can best help them.
My family is another huge motivator for me. I enjoy the happiness that comes from my wife and kids. We are proud parents of two girls and three boys. If we are not at a basketball game, football game, ice skating practice, or snowboarding, we are enjoying time together playing board games or tackling the next school project. Outside of my family, I am very involved in my church and my community.
How do you stay involved in the Utah community?
I have always believed it is not what we give but how we give that makes an impact, and Utah has a unique culture that promotes community service on a local and nationally connected basis. With two brothers in the military, I welcomed the invitation to serve nationally with American Corporate Partners as a mentor to veterans and their families transitioning into the corporate and civilian workforce. I have also found it rewarding to support The Salt Lake Chamber as a member of the Board of Governors, the Mountain West Capital Network and ACG Utah. I also volunteer as a ride coach for a local youth mountain biking team and in other children and youth mentorship groups.
Tell us about one of your greatest professional successes.
I am passionate about proactively working side-by-side with our customers to help them win in today’s business environment. I believe who our customers choose to do business with matters, and as a banking leader, I take that responsibility personally.
When I think about professional successes, I first evaluate our customers’ experience. As we help them meet their financial goals, they are successful. It’s a symbiotic partnership. When our customers succeed, we succeed. When we provide a growing business a line of credit to support their working capital needs, that is success. The company uses our funds to keep liquidity on their balance sheet, which enables them to grow revenue, hire employees, invest in assets and support our economy.
Hear more from David in his interview with The Salt Lake Chamber here‡.
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