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IBA Member Spotlight: Jeff Jacobi

Archived Industry News:IBA Member Spotlight: Jeff Jacobi

Last Updated: 12/17/2020 4:21 PM

Golfing Leads to Banking Opportunity for Jacobi

Jeff Jacobi believes banking is all about relationships. That is certainly true in how he first got into banking. Nearly 40 years ago, Jacobi was working for UPS. While on vacation one summer, he found himself playing golf in a foursome that included the president of a local bank. While golfing, the two chatted about his interests and the business administration and economics degree he earned from Wartburg University. Two months later, he started his banking career as a loan officer trainee.

Today, Jacobi is president of First Trust & Savings Bank, based in Wheatland. “Whether it be with co-workers, shareholders, board members, business owners, farmers, community leaders, friends or neighbors; in community banking — and in life — banking is all about building, cultivating and nurturing relationships, and that is a great way to spend your days on this earth.

How did you get into banking as a career?
On vacation from UPS in the summer of 1981, I happened to be playing golf in a foursome with the president of the bank at the time, and he asked me about my interests and schooling and I asked, “Why, do you need help at the bank?” About two months later, I started as a loan officer trainee.

Prior to your current role, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had, and what lesson did it teach you that you still use today?
As a supervisor for a detasseling crew for a seed corn company, I found that the best way to motivate the workers to do the hard work, was to walk through the rows of corn with them.

What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
It is all about relationships. Whether it be with co-workers, shareholders, board members, business owners, farmers, community leaders, friends or neighbors, in community banking (and in life), banking is all about building, cultivating and nurturing relationships, and that is a great way to spend your days on this earth.

How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
The contacts we have to help us with compliance, insurance and education, etc. are great.

When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
My favorite would probably be going out to eat with my high school sweetheart (my wife Dodie). I also really like to help my son Josh with his cow/calf and cattle feeding operation. Josh has two daughters (Alexa and Avery) and Dodie and I have a daughter Courtney who lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota with her husband Adam Osier , their son Jacobi, daughter Kaia , while expecting their 3rd child ( a boy) in January. I enjoy very much, any time I can spend with my family.

What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
I certainly don’t always live by it, but I strive to live by Proverbs 3 verses 5 & 6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

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