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Thursday, April 17, 2014

5 questions with Brent Beckman


Brent Beckman is reacquainting himself with the traditional banker role as Wichita market president for Arkansas City-based Union State Bank.

Beckman, 52, was hired by the $242 million bank to open a Wichita office last October. Previously, Beckman was vice president of regional lending and correspondent services for Banker’s Bank of Kansas, a Wichita-based bank that provides services to community banks.

But Beckman has a lot of experience as a traditional banker. His 23 years in banking include stops at the former Bank IV as well as at Emprise Bank and Union National Bank, which was acquired by Kansas City, Mo.-based Commerce Bank.

He grew up in Oakley and attended Kansas State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Beckman also knows what it’s like to be the customer of a commercial lender. For eight years he was owner and operator of Midwest Water Resources, a water treatment business.

Q. How is business going for Union State Bank’s commercial loan office here in Wichita?

A. It’s gone quite well. Really our focus has been to meet with companies and individuals regarding their future banking needs. We’re pleased with the progress we’re making, and we recently hired Max Whittle as an additional commercial lender for the office.

Q. What was the reason for the bank opening a commercial loan office here?

A. Through ownership and management the bank has many Wichita-area business relationships. The bank has had solid growth and an exceptionally strong balance sheet so opening a Wichita office is a logical expansion for us.

Q. What kind of commercial loan opportunities is the bank focusing on here in the Wichita area?

A. We are not focused on company size or industry type. The bank has the size, capacity and expertise to accommodate most loan opportunities regardless of whether it’s real estate, equipment or working-capital.

Q. How does your background as a small-business owner help you now as a commercial lender?

A. Experience and background count as a lender. It’s helpful to know what it’s like to be on the other side of the desk. I have an appreciation for the daily issues and challenges, and I also understand the level of commitment it takes from the business leader.

Q. Is the long-term plan for the Wichita office to remain solely focused on commercial lending or could it add other types of services?

A. Our plan would be to continue expanding our commercial loan team and build our presence in Wichita. We also are analyzing how best to serve our customers going forward. The bank has a robust home loan program, so adding a mortgage lender to the staff could be a natural progression for us.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com.

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