Van Otegham Proud of His Work on PPP
When Corey Van Otegham looks back at his banking career, the Paycheck Protection Program is one of his most memorable accomplishments. “The program served as a lifeline to many businesses and farm operations at a crucial time for our economy,” he said. “County Bank and other Iowa community banks were early adopters of the program, and we really pulled through for our customers when they needed their community bank the most.”
Van Otegham, a graduate of Iowa State University, Kansas State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, currently holds the role of vice president at County Bank’s Hartwick location where he serves as a loan officer and branch manager. His responsibilities are to grow and manage a mixed loan portfolio of consumer, commercial and agriculture customers.
When looking back on your banking career, what achievement are you most proud of and why?
My most memorable achievements all have the common result of my customers achieving their financial goals. It could be helping a customer purchase their first vehicle, new home, family farm or opening a new commercial business in the community.
The first and second rounds of the Paycheck Protection Program were very memorable experiences that I will never forget. The program served as a lifeline to many businesses and farm operations at a crucial time for our economy. County Bank and other Iowa community banks were early adopters of the program, and we really pulled through for our customers when they needed their community bank the most.
What piece of advice would you give to your past self or to anyone considering a career in banking?
Early in your career, find a mentor in the bank who can coach and push you to meet your full potential at the various levels of your career. I’ve been fortunate to have multiple mentors at County Bank who’ve done just that for me. Challenge yourself daily and push outside of your comfort zone to build new relationships and take on new responsibilities. Set goals annually, take action daily, monitor frequently and share your goals with others in your bank who can help you achieve those goals.
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
Working in community banking gives you the satisfaction of helping members of your local community achieve their financial goals, improve the community you serve and have the influence to grow the local economy. All the tools available to climb the ladder in the community banking system and take your career as far as you are willing to work for it.
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
I’m fortunate to work under a management team and board of directors that values educating its employees through the various schools and seminars offered by the IBA. My career has greatly benefited by attending the IBA’s Agricultural Credit School, Commercial Lending School and, in 2023, I attended my first year at the Iowa School of Banking. These are excellent opportunities to learn from top instructors and seasoned bankers, as well as make connections with other community bankers across Iowa.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
If I’m not at the bank, I’m farming with my family on our dairy, beef and grain operation outside of Victor. I enjoy spending time with my fiancé Dr. Katelyn Gregory who is the local veterinarian, and our 7-month-old Brittany puppy named Rusty. I enjoy watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones and the Green Bay Packers.
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
— Wayne Gretzky
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
— Milton Berle