Business

KRISTEN GONZALES

Treasury management department sales officer, Emprise Bank

Gonzales was a 17-year-old selling clothes in the mall when a bank executive handed her a business card.

"She was buying clothes for her daughter," Gonzales said. "She said, 'Your customer service was great. I think you would do an excellent job in banking.' "

When the clothing store closed a week later, Gonzales followed the executive's advice and landed a job as a bank teller. Thirteen years later, she has become sales officer in Emprise Bank's treasury management department, which provides a variety of services to business clients.

"I basically put their money to use in ways that can help them avoid service charge fees," she said.

Recently, for instance, she realized that a small startup was doing much more business than anticipated and incurring significant transaction fees as a result. She advised it to switch to an account that earns credit to offset charges. The treasury management department also offers payroll services, pay cards, lockboxes and other services.

Gonzales, 30, grew up in Wichita and graduated from Bishop Carroll High School. She has worked as a personal banker, teller supervisor, branch manager and business development officer, spending seven years in Seattle before returning home.

Customer service comes naturally to Gonzales, who often picks up her phone before the first ring is over.

"I think it's just the fact of being able to help somebody," she said. "And it's neat to have a conversation with them and learn something about their business."

Outside of work, Gonzales is a serious runner, having completed the Pikes Peak half-marathon several times. She's looking forward to the much flatter Wichita version.

"It's what I do when I'm bored," she said. "I'll just go out and run."

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