Credit analyst manager finds family-owned bank offers fresh approach to serving customers, growing careers

Jan. 25, 2023

This paid piece is sponsored by Central Bank.

For a business leader who strives to serve customers, it’s hard to put a price on a workplace like this.

“I can literally make a phone call to the owners of our bank, and we either have a solution, or we’ve at least talked through the situation,” said Brock Hess, credit analyst manager at Central Bank.

“In the corporate world, if you had an issue, it might take six months – if it ever got solved at all. And that can be frustrating, especially if it could be a quick fix with a phone call.”

Hess would know. Shortly after graduating from Augustana University, he spent about 12 years of his banking career at one of the industry’s largest financial institutions.

“Ultimately, I was in middle management, and the way they were reducing staff worldwide meant I would have fewer growth opportunities,” he said. “Fortunately, Sioux Falls has a broad range of financial career opportunities, and a former colleague of mine suggested I consider Central Bank. She spoke very highly of working here, and it made me take a look. I was immediately impressed by how they’d grown and the opportunity to do even more.”

Hess now leads a team of five credit analysts, based at the bank’s Western Avenue location in Sioux Falls.

“Many of my team members are in their first job out of college or early in their career. I enjoy helping them grow their expertise and training them to be successful in their field,” he said. “I still underwrite complex loans and meet with our loan committee regularly.”

The family-owned environment at Central Bank is noticeably different from his previous experience, he said.

“I really enjoy the relationship with our owners and upper management,” he said. “They’ve done a great job placing very experienced leaders in all our communities, and our owners, Tim and John Brown, are very personable and down to earth. I can’t believe how available they make themselves. It is very much a family bank, and my immediate boss has been a great mentor and source of knowledge for me. I really like the team we’ve built.”

While his team is fully staffed, “new opportunities will come as we continue to grow,” Hess said. “I’ve enjoyed helping them understand you can have a fulfilling career as a credit analyst. Many people strive for business banking roles, but that’s not the right fit for every personality. As a credit officer, there is equally strong career progression.”

When he’s not at work, Hess – who grew up in Sioux Falls and graduated from Baltic High School – now is growing his own family here. He met his wife, Ashton, in banking, and they have a son and daughter, who are 7 and 5.

When he’s not coaching kids’ sports, you likely can find Hess behind the wheel of a race car or working on one in his shop. He’s an award-winning racer who picked up the sport while in college after years of following racing all over the Midwest with his dad, then saving up to buy his own car.

“It’s a way to clear my head. I like the camaraderie at the track and have built a lot of friendships over my life there,” he said.

Some of his co-workers also have cheered him on at the track.

“I like that it brings everyone together, no matter what your situation in life,” he said. “When racing, the only thing on your mind is driving the race car and doing the best you can at all times.”

It’s a mentality he brings to his work life too.

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