A Passion for Community Development
Renee Riedel has challenged herself through many chapters in her life. She’s been a small business owner, a city council member and a mayor. “My interest and experience in community development helped build my career in banking,” she said. “Relationships are the key to successful banking.”
Now, Riedel uses those relationship skills as the executive vice president of Cornerstone Bank. In this role, she has been able to assist small businesses as they navigate finances during the pandemic. “Banking is an opportunity to support customers in achieving their goals, building their future and assisting when times are tough,” she said.
When looking back on your banking career, what are you most proud of?
As a former small business owner, I was thankful and proud of the opportunity to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was inspiring to witness the resilience of existing business owners and the bravery of new business owners entering the marketplace. We are also seeing an increase in home construction loans. I am proud of Cornerstone Bank’s focus on housing initiatives. Our streamlined lending process enables home owners to relocate to rural Iowa and aide in the housing shortage many rural communities are facing.
What piece of advice would you give to your past self or to anyone considering a career in banking?
I served on the City Council of Maryville, Missouri, for six years, two of those years as mayor. My husband and I moved to Clarinda in 2018 when I was asked to lead the Economic Development Corporation. My interest and experience in community development helped build my career in banking. Relationships are the key to successful banking. Engage in your community. Board memberships and other volunteer activities increase visibility and approachability. Customers remember your kindness and thoughtfulness when they are considering their financial needs.
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
Banking is an opportunity to support customers in achieving their goals, building their future and assisting when times are tough.
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
Iowa Bankers is a powerful resource for education and networking. Meeting your peers across the state provides opportunities for best practices and benchmarking.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
My husband and I enjoy traveling, live music and attending sporting events. We owned a restaurant in a small college town. The connection to college athletics and food inspires our trips to various locations and events.
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”
— Babe Ruth