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IBA Member Spotlight: Tara Brown

Brown’s Love of Technology Fuels Banking Career

1 6 Tara BrownTara Brown graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in marketing. She later moved to Oklahoma to work at a community college, teaching adult software classes. When her husband accepted a new job in Algona, she soon found herself working in the banking industry at Iowa State Bank’s in-house data center.

Today, Brown is assistant vice president, network administrator and information systems security officer at Iowa State Bank in Algona. “I love to help our employees find the best technology so they can help our customers and do their jobs the best that they can,” she said.

How did you get into banking as a career?

We moved to Algona from Oklahoma when my husband took a new job in Algona. I started at the bank in 1995 and began working in our in-house data center at that time.

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?

When we lived in Oklahoma, I worked at a community college and taught adult software classes. I love helping people discover new technology.

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

Though I don’t feel that I am really a banker, as I can’t help people with their accounts, I love to help our employees find the best technology so they can help our customers and do their jobs the best that they can.

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

As a member of the technology peer group, I am able to connect with people who have similar responsibilities at their community banks. Some of the banks are larger, and some are smaller. Having a network of peers to call upon for advice and best practices is helpful as banks navigate the large role that information security has at banks.

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

I like to spend time with my adult children and niece and since we are all ISU graduates, we are avid followers. During the pandemic, I expanded my creative skills by becoming an amateur cocktail creator with a new creation featured each Friday night on my personal Facebook page, including photographs!

What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?

Trust but verify. This simple phrase guides me at work and in all my endeavors.