Interview By Madison Giles
Tell us about your journey since Jewell.
After graduating William Jewell in ’92, I started my career in banking, spending a number of years with Bank of America and its predecessors in the Kansas City area. After a few years with community banks in the area, I co-founded Freedom Bank in south Johnson County, Kansas where I was from 2005-2013. In an interest to get back to the Missouri side, I have ended back in Liberty working for BankLiberty as Executive Vice President / Chief Commercial Officer where I have responsibilities for commercial client relationships as well as the bank’s loan operations and credit administration departments. I live in Lee’s Summit with my wife, Kim Giles (WJC alumna) and three children.
What value do you place on your William Jewell College education?
My education from William Jewell has been invaluable in my career and my life. I majored in business and have definitely used the accounting and finance education that I received. Even more so though, I have found that the emphasis on writing skills and critical thinking throughout the curriculum at William Jewell has been even more important.
What is your fondest memory of your time at William Jewell?
My memories are definitely related to all of the relationships that were built during my time at Jewell. Friendships from my college years are still the strongest that I have and I keep in touch with numerous fraternity brothers and other friends from Jewell. Also, memories from classes with Professor Hoyt and the other business instructors. My fondest memory is meeting my wife of 23 years while at William Jewell.
What is your day-to-day like at work?
My typical day as Chief Commercial Officer at BankLiberty is split pretty evenly between working with commercial clients of the bank and with lending related departments for which I am responsible. I spend a lot of time structuring and underwriting commercial loans with the bank’s clients and in establishing depository services for them. Internally, I manage the bank’s loan operations and credit administration areas, which are vital to the safety and soundness of the institution.
What advice could you impart to current students hoping to succeed?
My career advice would be to find a line of work that you are passionate about since so much of your time will be spent in this endeavor. Once you have found the right career, be sure to set short-term and long-term goals and write them down. Revisit the written goals regularly and reset as needed. It is important to set specific goals and establish a plan to reach these.