Pub. 13 2023-2024 Issue 4

John Berkhausen

President of Commercial Banking, Adams Bank & Trust

How did you get started in the banking industry?
I was a law student at Creighton University and realized I did not want to practice law as a career. At that time, I decided to pursue an MBA concurrent with my law degree and focused my studies on business, specifically banking. After graduation, I joined a regional bank’s Executive Development Program to learn about all aspects of banking and chose to join the commercial lending department. I have remained in commercial lending thus far in my career. The study of law has provided me with a strong foundation for banking and lending.

What makes your bank unique?
Adams Bank & Trust was chartered in 1916 and is in its fourth generation of family ownership, with the fifth generation currently assuming leadership roles. Our bank will remain under family ownership and continue to grow organically. In 2000, the bank expanded its branch footprint from Nebraska to Colorado and subsequently into Kansas. The bank’s commitment to its community is very strong. Our team believes the community has helped us to become what we are, and we owe it to the community to give our time in service. One additional unique aspect is that our bank’s first branch was located in a town that is currently submerged under Lake McConaughy near Ogallala, Nebraska.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The most rewarding aspect of my job is assisting others in accomplishing their goals. Whether that is a business owner seeking to expand their business or an employee aspiring to gain skills to advance their career, I gain fulfillment from being a trusted advisor and resource.  

Tell us something about yourself most people don’t know.
I have four daughters — ages 16, 12, 9 and 6. They are all wonderful and different; I am hoping one of them will someday decide to enter the family business of banking. So far no takers!

Donald Tomoi

Market President, Bank of Colorado

How did you get started in the banking industry?
After graduating from the University of Wyoming in 1983, I accepted a position as a management trainee with the Fort Lupton State Bank, now known as Bank of Colorado. Forty years later, I’m still here serving as market president, a position I have held since 1990.

What makes your bank unique?
Bank of Colorado is one of the few remaining family-owned banks that still embraces the community banking model. Although the bank has grown to approximately $7 billion in assets with over 50 locations, ownership empowers local decision-making.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
At this stage in my life and career, I enjoy educating and mentoring the next generation of bankers. I’m excited for the young talent rising in our organization.

What is your favorite movie or book, and why?
My favorite movie is “The Green Book.” It’s a wonderful story of how two totally opposite men embark on a musical tour in the early 1960s through the American South and the lifetime friendship and camaraderie that develops while they both encounter racism and prejudice.

Who is one of the most influential figures in your life?
The late Roy Dinsdale was the patriarch of our organization; I was fortunate to have had the honor to work for and with him. He led by example and taught me valuable traits such as honesty, integrity, modesty, hard work, generosity and common sense.

Sharvelle Washington

AVP Compliance & Risk, Bankers’ Bank of the West

How did you get started in the banking industry?
I worked in collections with Nordstrom in 2008 and took a leap of faith by agreeing to a four-month contract position with Western Union to mitigate their 2012 FinCEN and FTC violations.

What do you like to do to give back to the community?
I volunteer to coach young women in basketball for the City of Aurora. It’s a great experience to teach youth about sports, commitment and discipline.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from a career in banking?
Making connections with others in your specific role and industry goes further than some education/webinars. Peers may have more experience, or they may have experienced the exact same scenario or situation you’re going through. You can use their knowledge and experience to help guide you down the right path to success.

What topic could you give a 20-minute presentation on without any preparation?
Vendor management.

What do you geek out about?
Jeeps, specifically Jeep Grand Cherokees!

Who is one of the most influential figures in your life?
My mother — she is a very strong and positive woman.

What do you listen to on your morning commute?
Nothing. A quiet drive into the office allows me to clear my head and focus on the items I need to work on when I get into the office. The silence, along with the beautiful view, brings peace before chaos.

Lori Zarkovacki

Controller/Vice President, Integrity Bank and Trust

What makes your bank unique?
Integrity Bank & Trust is an employee-owned community bank. We put an emphasis on the success of both our staff and our customers. We’re motivated and inspired to serve our community, including donating hundreds of volunteer hours to local non-profits every year. Our vision is to have an enduring impact on our community. Another unique aspect is our open-door policy. This means anyone can pick up the phone and call an executive officer with suggestions, questions, concerns or comments. It’s important to us that all voices are heard.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from a career in banking?
The most important thing I’ve learned in my 15-year career in banking is to be innovative, with a focus on efficiency. Change is constant; it is important to embrace change and navigate through the lens of innovation and efficiency for the best outcomes. Innovation + Efficiency = Success.

What do you like to do to give back to the community?
Where do I start? Giving back is a passion of mine. Helping others is a part of who I am. Integrity Bank & Trust sponsors multiple charitable events throughout the year — in 2011, we launched our annual Golf Tournament to raise money for local non-profits. Over the past three years alone, we raised $125,000 for organizations such as Children’s Literacy Center, Shield 616 and Arc of the Pikes Peak Region. I also enjoy volunteering at my church and a soup kitchen in downtown Colorado Springs.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a lawyer. I could debate anyone on any topic at any time and loved digging into problems and finding solutions. I figured if Tom Cruise could do it in “A Few Good Men,” so could I! My road took a different path when I started working at a financial institution as a part-time teller — I instantly fell in love with banking, and as they say … the rest is history!

Do you know a deserving Colorado bank employee who should be featured in a future CBA Centerpoint? Contact Patricia Wells at