Profiles

Former lawmaker leads IBA, embraces industry’s ‘virtual’ reality

On Feb. 19, the Illinois Bankers Association announced that Randy Hultgren would be its next president and CEO. Hultgren, who served as a U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 14th congressional district from 2011 to 2019, plunged into the depths of IBA’s coronavirus response, working alongside retiring IBA President and CEO Linda Koch. Hultgren speaks to his unexpectedly eventful first months on the job. [Continue]

Master of circumstances

Kristina K. Williams became president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines on January 20 of this year, and was soon thereafter reminded that life has a relentless ability to deliver the unexpected. In the earliest days of the pandemic, Williams took charge, organizing a crisis plan, sending roughly 90 percent of her workforce to home offices while keeping 5 percent at the bank’s disaster recovery site and another 5 percent at headquarters. [Continue]

Former Olympic hopeful reflects on how to move past disappointment

Chuck Yagla of Iowa bank architectural firm Kirk Gross Company was a two-time NCAA wrestling champion while attending the University of Iowa in 1975 and 1976. He was set to compete in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow — until the United States boycotted them. Yagla shares his story of missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience and offers insight for all who face disappointment over canceled events today. [Continue]

Departing wisdom from IBA’s Linda Koch

As part of Linda Koch’s job as president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Bankers Association, she’s driven the wrong way down a couple too many one-way streets. While traversing rural southern Illinois on her way to visit member banks, she has screamed in fear of crashing into rogue cows as IBA’s members relations manager sat laughing behind the wheel. [Continue]

Ag banker cultivates savvy borrowers

“I’m always amazed — a lot of kids come out of college, and they don’t understand balance sheets, income statements, cash flows, sensitivity analyses like they should, and it’s like, you’re going to run a business that depends on that stuff.” That’s Nate Franzén, president, agri-business division, at First Dakota National Bank in Yankton, S.D. [Continue]