Three decades of industry experience serve new Valley Bank VP well
According to Terry McConnell, the new vice president of business development and commercial lending at Henderson’s Valley Bank, there are two ways of looking at his extensive background in the banking industry. “You can look at it as 30 years’ experience, or my critics might tell you one year’s experience 30 times,” joked McConnell.
All kidding aside, McConnell’s warm personality has worked to his advantage in his banking industry odyssey. An Arizona native, McConnell began his career in Phoenix. During those humble beginnings, he produced check photostats in a bank’s operations center. Eventually, he climbed the ladder from credit card authorizations to collections to branch operations.
McConnell entered the Las Vegas banking environment 22 years ago, when he was hired at Nevada National Bank. The last 12 years have seen him at Nevada State Bank, where initially he carried out branch management responsibilities. He then progressed to commercial lending, culminating in his position as vice president and corporate sales manager, where he led a sales effort that aggressively sought out corporate loans and deposits.
McConnell enjoyed his responsibilities at Nevada State Bank, but his position there was highly specialized and he yearned for more diversity and hands-on interaction with clients and prospects. Moving to Valley Bank, a community bank, will better enable him to fulfill these career goals.
“In larger operations, things are compartmentalized and you tend to deal with one issue at a time,” McConnell noted. “This is an opportunity to be responsible for the customers’ needs, whatever they might be. It allows me to work from the vantage of a much broader scope.”
McConnell’s responsibilities at Valley Bank include growing loans and deposits and raising the visibility of one of Southern Nevada’s newer financial institutions. McConnell plans to network with his many business associates, along with new contacts, to get the word out about the many services Valley Bank offers. As an active member of the Southern Nevada community, McConnell has made plenty of contacts over the years. He served for nine years as a laymember of the Nevada State Bar disciplinary panel and is a familiar face at community events. He’s also co-chair of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce navigator committee, which welcomes new chamber members.
Valley Bank president and CEO Barry Hulin recognizes the value of McConnell’s high visibility and community connections. “He knows his way around the market and he knows what potential clients need,” observed Hulin. “He’s a very focused individual. He understands what we want him to do and he’s getting out there and doing it, using his vast experience in this market to introduce people to our bank?’
Banking institutions with minds of their own
Community Bank’s executives encouraged to approach management from entrepreneur’s viewpoint
For parents, it is a philosophy that has raised many a talented, independent child: offer the infant everything he or she needs to grow, then step back and watch the little one leave the nest. Guidance is offered along the way, but the child-turned-adult must now make decisions on his own. In this sense, Nevada Community Bancorp Ltd. is the ideal parent. Executives of the holding company behind Desert and Red Rock community banks and the new Black Mountain Community Bank believe in giving theft offspring local independence. Each bank has its own president and board of directors. The president and other executives at each institution make credit decisions and have the authority to market and price products independently of the other banks and the holding company.
‘They truly are their own banks,” said Tom Mangione, executive vice president and COO of Nevada Community Bancorp. “Just changing the name of the head of a bank from manager to president has significant impact on [bank executives] and the way they approach things. They approach it from an entrepreneurial basis?’
Nevada Community Bancorp Ltd. is one of three holding companies. Joe Reid, chairman of the board and CEO of all three holding companies, formed the original parent company, Capitol Bancorp Ltd., in 1982. It owns 11 independent banks throughout Michigan. with 1999 fourth quarter assets totaling $1.3 billion. Reid opened the first Sun Community Bancorp Ltd. financial institution in 1996. It is now the holding company for seven independent banks in Phoenix and Tucson, with fourth quarter 1999 assets of $300 million—a growth rate of 120 percent for the year. Desert and Red Rock community banks in Las Vegas are doing their best to catch up with their older Michigan and Arizona siblings. Desert Community Bank, which opened in August, has approximately $22 million in assets, $16 million in deposits and $14 million in loans. Since opening in November, Red Rock Community Bank has generated roughly $17 million in assets, $9 million in deposits and more than $10 million in loans. This success spawned the creation of Black Mountain Community Bank, which opened in Henderson this spring. The company plans to open two additional banks in Southern Nevada: one as soon as the end of 2000, the other in 2001.
The presidents of each bank and their lending offices all possess strong commercial lending backgrounds. Consequently, Mangione admits it’s sometimes a challenge to entice the business-minded staff to focus on private client services. To compensate, Mangione helps each bank recruit employees more equipped to focus on individualized needs.
In addition, the parent company assists each bank with background services such as mailing statements and proof of deposits. In exchange, Nevada Community Bancorp charges each of its banks a management fee to cover expenses. Although each bank shares a common philosophy, a subtle difference will exist between product offerings in Black Mountain and the other Nevada Community-owned banks. Desert and Red Rock are located in well-established areas, but Black Mountain will be one of the first banks in a rapidly growing sector of the Las Vegas Valley. Mangione anticipates the new bank will offer a promotional package for new area residents.
Even after Nevada Community Bancorp’s five initial banks are all open, the family is far from complete. But for now, further expansion is on hold. “We’ll hold off before we do any others,” explained Mangione, “to make sure that we’re achieving optimal growth and recruiting the right people.”