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IBA Member Spotlight: Derek Fox

Fox: Banking Career One of His ‘Best Decisions’

Derek Fox 1Derek Fox says he “sort of fell into banking.” While pursuing a degree in business administration at St. Ambrose University, he started looking for a part-time job — “something to grow my resume,” he said. He saw an opening for a bank teller position and went for it. It wasn’t long before he discovered the value of a banking career. “I really started to enjoy working for a family-owned company that has a really great culture,” Fox said.

Nine years later, Fox is still in the banking industry as assistant vice president, commercial loan officer at First Central State Bank in DeWitt. “It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made,” he said.

How did you get into banking as a career?

I sort of fell into banking. At the time, I was fresh into college and was looking for more permanent work to earn money after my seasonal summer job had ended — something to grow my resume. I thought, why not apply for a teller position with a local bank in my hometown? So, I applied for a part-time teller position and was fortunate enough to get it. After working as a teller and then later a summer intern for the bank’s holding company, I really started to enjoy working for a family-owned company that has a really great culture. I was approached by some peers about making a career out of banking when a lending position opened at the branch I was working at. I gave it some thought and decided to pursue the opportunity. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am happy to say that nine years later, I am still working for the same great family-owned bank that plays a prominent role in the banking industry across Eastern Iowa.

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?

I got into banking at the age of 19, so there wasn’t a ton of jobs I worked prior to banking. However, I did work at the local pool in the summers in the concession stand area. This job taught me how to interact with customers and a little bit on how to sell. Sometimes you may come up only wanting a drink, but you may end up leaving with a drink and a candy bar.

What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?

Community bankers are community leaders. If you enjoy being an advocate for the community you live in and want to help those around you meet their goals both financially and personally, then find a career in banking!

How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?

The IBA provides many resources through trainings, schools and webinars for us to expand our knowledge in the banking industry. They also provide a foundation to keep Iowa bankers connected and networking so that the Iowa banking industry can remain strong.

When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?

When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, golfing and volunteering my time.

What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?

“When you decide to show up consistently as the best version of who you are, it gives you your best opportunity to meet people where they are. And you never know when someone needs you to be your best.”

— Ryan Estis