Richter Goes ‘Where the Action Is’ in Banking
Victoria (Tori) Richter went to Loras College to study music and musical education. On advice from her father, however, she also studied finance and accounting in case she didn’t like teaching. Finance piqued her interest, and a professor suggested banking as a potential career. He suggested commercial lending would be a good places to start, saying that’s “where the action is.” And that’s where she landed.
Today, Richter is first vice president and senior commercial banker at MidWestOne Bank in Dubuque. She hasn’t given up on music, however, and is involved in several musical groups as a vocalist and flutist in her spare time.
How did you get into banking as a career?
When in college, I was focusing primarily on music and musical education. My father strongly encouraged me to pick up a second major that might be more beneficial in the event I did not like teaching. I started as a business major but really liked my finance classes — much more than accounting. My favorite finance professor encouraged me to seek a position in banking and told me I should either start in auditing to get a great background of the banking industry, or I should focus on commercial lending, as that is where the action is. I landed a position in the latter, and the rest is history.
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?
My professional career has been in commercial banking since 1986. Each position (documentation clerk, credit department manager, and lender) has taught me invaluable skills I still use in my banking career.
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
Being a commercial banker has provided me many opportunities to help people achieve their goals. It gives me great satisfaction to see my clients succeed, and I am very proud when I have been a part of their success. The relationships developed are paramount to an effective outcome. I have been able to partner with many strong businesses and have learned much from these relationships.
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
The IBA is an advocate for the banking industry and helps to educate us with ever-changing regulations. The IBA offers many learning opportunities and is a tremendous resource for bankers.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
I still love to tinker with my music and am involved with several music groups including the Mistletones (Snowbiz Christmas show), Hunter Fuerste and the American Vintage Orchestra, and the Julien Chamber Winds. I am both a vocalist and a flutist. But family is always first, and I truly enjoy spending as much time with my family as I can.
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.