Missouri banker leverages hard work for industry-leading results

Keith Willcut’s star rose quickly in banking. At 22, he became vice president of First National Bank in Clinton, Mo. At 25, he was named president and CEO of the Bank of Billings, Mo. Today, the 31-year-old leads Peoples Community Bank, Missouri’s top bank in terms of return on assets and among the top 5 … Read more

Positive outlook leads Indiana banker to president’s post

Lori Heath, president and CEO of The Farmer’s State Bank in Brookston, Ind., has harnessed the power of positive thinking to build a successful career in banking. Not even a recent Monday-morning power outage at the bank can bring down the 2011 NorthWestern Financial Review Rising Star. She simply rolls up her sleeves and helps … Read more

North Dakota banker goes extra mile to rise through the ranks

In his 2003 interview for the job as an assistant vice president and controller at American State Bank and Trust Company in Williston, N.D., David Hanson told the bank president his ultimate goal was to be president. In January 2012, the 40-year-old accountant-turned-banker will meet that goal and assume leadership of the $400 million bank … Read more

Iowa banker reaches heights while keeping feet on ground

Hiking in the mountains is a lot like banking for Susan Whitson, executive vice president of First National Bank in Waverly, Iowa. She sees the big picture while keeping her feet on the ground. Whitson, one of NorthWestern Financial Review’s 2010 Outstanding Women in Banking, has taken a sensible, practical approach to banking throughout her … Read more

Transition from retail sales role suits Twin Cities banker

Cindy Haas switched careers from retail to banking 25 years ago because she wanted to get out of sales. “Little did I know that banking is sales,” she says with chagrin. The vice president of private banking at Gateway Bank in Mendota Heights, Minn., relies on her sales skills every day to build strong personal … Read more

Bremer’s Berndt says banking is ‘in her blood’

Jana Berndt, the first female president in Bremer Bank’s 100-year history, has a green thumb and blue blood. The president of Bremer Bank in Breckenridge, Minn., began her career in banking as a groundskeeper at age 14 when her father, president of Bremer Bank in Crookston, Minn., hired her to mow the bank’s lawn and … Read more

Opposites attract and work well together in Illinois bank

Women in banking today often bring work home, but when your husband is your boss, the line between work and home can get a bit blurry. Lesa Black, vice president of Princeville State Bank in Illinois, whose husband, Andrew, is president of the $67 million bank, struggled to separate her professional and personal lives until … Read more