Pub. 12 2022-2023 Issue 4

Going Beyond the Desk to Hear the Stories of Colorado Bankers

Ashley Comstock

Chief Financial Officer, Vectra Bank

You became the CFO at Vectra Bank at just 33 years old. What sets you apart in this role?

I don’t mind being super uncomfortable in my career – in fact; I invite it. Every time I have felt uncomfortable in a position, it has given me a fantastic opportunity to learn and grow. I strive to set an example of strength and passion for my three young children.

How do you like to give back to the community?

I enjoy giving back through organizations that made an impact during my own young adult life. I vividly remember “Young Americans Day” from my own fifth-grade classroom experience and spent some time volunteering through Young Americans Center for Financial Education to educate children on the fundamentals of money management. I also recount “JA (Junior Achievement) Day” and the impact it had on me and my fellow classmates. I enjoy being able to inspire young people for success.

What makes your job unique?

I think part of what makes my job unique is the local affiliate model. It allows me to work closely with our bankers and work on things like pricing decisions. It’s one of the most exciting parts of my job.

What is the sixth picture on your phone’s camera roll, and is there a story behind it?

Of course, it is of my girls. I have a 5-year-old and 18-month-old twins. In this photo, they are getting ready for a visit with Santa. They keep me busy, and they keep me humble.

Matthew Propst

First Vice President, Commercial Lending, ANB Bank

How did you get started in the banking industry?

I grew up around banking. I was drawn to community banking because the job goes beyond the transaction. Community banks are an integral part of the community in which we live and work. To be able to grow with, and be a part of, something special in the lives of community members is why I decided to begin a career in banking.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is the ability to be a part of very meaningful moments – from helping a business to grow or a family buy their first home. Having the opportunity to see the impact at the personal as well as the community level is extremely rewarding.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from a career in banking?

People matter. We live in a world that is dominated by technology. Technology and automation are useful tools, but community banks will always have a person on the other end of the phone or screen to help you and guide you. It can make all the difference in the world.

What is your favorite book, and what book are you reading now?

My favorite book is The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance by Ron Chernow, and I am currently reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.

Jess Klotsche

Vice President, Treasury Management, MidWestOne Bank

How did you get started in banking?

I was in high school, and I loved going to the bank because everyone was dressed nicely and got to play with money all day. So, I decided I wanted to be a banker – I wanted to be a part of the professional world and help people with their money. I have been in banking since I was 18 years old, starting off as a teller, then new accounts, teller manager, and my career grew from there.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Building relationships with coworkers as well as clients and customers. I have met so many great people and have built meaningful relationships and friendships with people in many different industries.

What makes your bank unique?

We are a full-service bank, but the Denver office works mostly with businesses focusing on high-touch customer service. The bank does not advertise; instead, we receive all business through word of mouth. We build our business one relationship at a time. MidWestOne really separates itself by getting back to relationships and customizing solutions based on customer needs.

Tell us something about yourself most people don’t know.

I am a certified yoga instructor. I initially began my certification process in order to improve my own personal yoga poses and practices. I have been certified for six years but have not had a chance to teach. One of my goals for 2023 is to start teaching yoga, and my long-term goal is to one day be a traveling yoga instructor.

What is your favorite yoga pose?

Currently, one of my favorite yoga poses is crow because it challenges me the most, both physically and mentally.

Adam Ingersoll

Vice President, FirstBank

You do a lot of volunteer work; what gives you the most satisfaction?

Benefiting the community where I work and the impact the nonprofit sector has on those in need and being able to be a part of that. As part of the Five Star Education Foundation, we help kids in grade school that don’t have the resources and access to fundamental things such as food and clothing to achieve academic readiness. The foundation makes sure these children are equipped with these basic needs so they can focus their energy on academics and worry less about where their next meal will come from. I also spend time helping to prepare the future workforce by creating career paths and success for all students, especially those that may not choose to attend a four-year university, and showing them other avenues to career success.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

My career endeavors evolve around building and sustaining personal relationships. My ability to connect with others on an individual level creates the groundwork for driving change and impacting entire communities. As a father to two young girls, I take pride in helping to build a strong community for them and for future generations to shine.

What is the sixth picture on your phone’s camera roll and is there a story behind it?

The sixth most recent picture on my phone is the view out of a goose blind as the sun is rising. I’m a pretty big hunting and fishing enthusiast, so my camera roll is a solid mix of hunting and fishing pictures intermingled with pictures of my daughters.