Family Connection Leads Winterhof to Banking
While he was growing up, Tanner Winterhof developed a deep admiration for his parents’ banker and the respect people had for him. During his senior year of high school, he accepted an internship at the bank. It was an experience that ultimately determined his future career direction. “That experience combined with my love for math and working with people sent me off to obtain a degree in financial services to begin the path for a stable and impactful career,” he said.
Now a vice president and loan officer at Availa Bank in Ames, Winterhof has worked in many different areas of banking, including retail, credit, commercial and agricultural lending. “Once you are in [banking], you can explore numerous pathways for your career and still be a part of the strong banking family,” he said.
What drove you to choose a career in banking?
As a kid and still today, I have always looked up to my parents’ banker in my hometown. I had always admired the respect he had and the many ways the bank was able to give back to the school and that small town. I then took an internship during my senior year of high school with him where I was shown the basics of how the bank operated. That experience combined with my love for math and working with people sent me off to obtain a degree in financial services to begin the path for a stable and impactful career.
What is one lesson working in the banking industry has taught you that you can apply to your everyday life?
I have become a much better listener. Being in the banking industry you must listen well to be successful. You must take the time to understand what the customer needs to provide them with the best customer service experience. This then translates for me outside of my job in many forms — at home with family, with friends in the community and with guests as we conduct podcast interviews. I am still not what I would consider great at it but being in banking has made me much better now than what I used to be!
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
I feel banking as a career is a great option because of the variety of jobs you can perform. I have had the pleasure to travel up various roles on the retail side of the bank and in the credit department, gaining experience before jumping over to commercial and agricultural lending. This has placed me in quite a few different roles, and I haven’t even experienced the day-to-day workings of marketing, accounting, compliance, HR and more! Once you are in, you can explore numerous pathways for your career and still be a part of the strong banking family!
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
I know it’s going to be repetitive, but the people I have met and connections I have made help the bank out daily — not to mention the benefits of friendship outside of the professional realm that can be invaluable. Having attended the Ag Lender Conference each year helped inspire me to move forward with starting the Farm4Profit Podcast over four years ago. The inspiration to create and provide more value to my customers and community was emphasized at IBA events including most recently during the Iowa Banking School. The two years of banking school and the relationships made there will continue to provide value for years to come.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
I like to stay busy! I can be found coaching or cheering on my young daughters in their various sports or trying to improve my own golf game. I also enjoy spending time helping on the family’s farming operation. Lastly, I fill in the spare hours working on the Farm4Profit Podcast. Depending on the day, I will be preparing outlines, lining up guests, conducting awesome interviews or promoting the entertaining episodes that have already been published. It seems like each day brings a new challenge both inside and outside of the bank to take on!
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
You must believe in yourself before others will believe in you. I’ve been blessed to have conversations with many successful and happy people; many of them have stories and conversations where someone else took a chance on them and it paid off. However, they all admit that never would have happened if they didn’t first think they could do it themselves. It’s fun to see this applied to business, careers, marriage and more!