Stein: Banking a Chance to Help Your Neighbor
After Kevin Stein graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, he accepted a job in collections and repossessions. He said that job taught him the importance of listening, especially when working with people who are going through difficult times. Stein was later recruited to work at a large national bank as a mortgage underwriter but soon found himself wanting to work where he could make a bigger impact. “I really wanted to be a part of a community where I could help my neighbor,” he said.
Today, Stein is vice president of First State Bank in Belmond. “We are a single branch so I have the opportunity to wear many hats — compliance officer, BSA officer, mortgage loan officer — and also help with ag, commercial and personal loans for our community members.”
How did you get into banking as a career?
When I graduated college, I took a job in collections/repossessions. From there, I moved on to a large national bank that recruited me to come and work there as a mortgage underwriter. It was a great job, but I really wanted to be a part of a community where I could help my neighbor.
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?
Prior to coming to work at First State Bank, my most interesting job was when I was doing collections/repossessions. In that role you met a lot of interesting people. I learned a lot from that job. One of the main things that I learned was that I am absolutely willing to work with anybody, but you have to be willing to work with me. We all go through hard times, and sometimes we just need somebody to listen and work with us.
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
Community banking allows you to really help your community and your neighbors. I really feel that I am making an impact in the community and able to help people reach their goals and achieve their dreams by getting to know them.
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
The IBA helps us by keeping us up-to-date on the latest changes in the banking industry. It has also helped with getting to meet new people and learn from them. It also allows more growth for myself and for my bank.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
I love spending time with my wife and two children. We love having movie nights, traveling together and just spending time together. My son and I love fishing, and we travel to different places to go fishing. I also love giving back to the community of Belmond. I am a volunteer firefighter, president of the Belmond Growth Alliance (economic development group) and volunteer coach all of my children’s sports.
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
Golden Rule — Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.