Former Sunflower Bank exec joins Emprise

04/08/2013 3:16 PM

04/09/2013 6:06 AM

Jim Faith’s move to Emprise Bank reunites the banking executive with some of the people he worked for and with in his first job in Wichita nearly 30 years ago.

On Monday, Emprise announced that Faith, former Sunflower Bank Wichita president, had joined it as senior vice president and Wichita commercial manager.

“I’m excited,” Faith, 55, said Monday. “It’s a great opportunity with a great company.”

In his new role — he started at Emprise on April 1 — Faith will lead the bank’s nine-person commercial banking team in Wichita and Augusta. He also will develop his own commercial lending portfolio.

“We have locations throughout the state and clearly our largest growth spot is right within 50 miles of where we sit,” said Galen Nelson, Emprise executive vice president and Faith’s new boss. When the bank began discussing how to position itself for growing its local commercial banking business, “Jim’s name just kept coming up again, and again and again,” Nelson said. “It’s clearly a win-win from where we sit.”

Faith started his career in 1981 at a small Missouri bank and in 1984 joined the former Fourth National Bank.

At one time, Faith worked for Emprise CEO Tom Page at Fourth National, in the correspondent banking division. Nelson said he thinks that he and Faith probably crossed paths a few times, too, when Nelson was working for a Great Bend bank that was a customer of Fourth’s correspondent services.

“Ironically, Tom Page hired me and I moved to Wichita to work in the correspondent department (at the Fourth). It’s 29 years later and he has not learned his lesson,” Faith said, laughing.

Faith has also worked as a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch as well as for Koch Industries. He joined Salina-based Sunflower as its top Wichita executive in 2003.

“I had a good thing going at Sunflower Bank … and I was proud of the team and the success we had,” he said. “However, Emprise is one of the premier banks in the market. I know the Michaelis family (Emprise’s owner) and a lot of people here … and have a lot of comfort and trust built up with them.

“When this opportunity came along it was something I just had to pay attention to.”

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