By Landon Turner
Working in the banking industry brings me great joy because I get to wake up every day, knowing that I have a small part in helping businesses thrive in our community. Every business has different values and needs to continue expanding their mission into their community. It’s my job to figure out how we can partner together to live out that mission and continue reinvesting those dollars back into our community. It’s a beautiful cycle.
One of the best pieces of advice I received early on in my career was to get involved early.
As I look back over the last six years in banking, I am reminded how we have people who come into our lives at critical moments to support us in reaching our goals and believing in ourselves.
A critical moment in my life was taking a leap of faith switching majors halfway through my college career, from mechanical engineering to finance. To be honest, I felt like a failure for not finishing what I thought was my big dream, while wasting time and money. But with the help of my mentors, continuous prayer, and those closest to me, I realized something shocking — I was chasing a dream my dad had for my life, not my own.
This moment is when my faith and my community, helped create a path that was well beyond my own understanding.
Everything changed when I took that leap of faith into finance. It created a fire inside my heart to strive for excellence in the work I do, the relationships I build, and the unlimited opportunities I saw for myself.
However, when I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics, a career in banking was not in the forefront of my mind. While at Grand Canyon University in a Servant Leadership class, I met my wife. I was born and raised in Arizona; she was from a small town in Wisconsin. Their connections within their community are what helped me land my career in business banking at a community bank in Sheboygan.
Fast forward six years, I have been able to serve at some great organizations in Wisconsin, simply by showing up and getting involved early. Here is what getting involved early has done for my personal and professional development.
I just celebrated four years at Oostburg State Bank, currently serving as a business banking officer. Oostburg State Bank has been instrumental in my professional development through their support and recognition in our community. Our team has been recognized as the SBA Volume Lender of the Year for the past three years, based on our asset size.
My wife and I have been serving as Youth Group Leaders at our local church for the past four years. I have been blessed to see one of my first students now lead a new ministry at our church focused on young adults. I also currently serve as deacon treasurer, where my team and I track giving and forecast our annual budget for the year.
Another opportunity I have been given, is my involvement in BOLT (Building Our Leaders of Tomorrow). I currently serve as vice chair of the board of directors for the BOLT section. The Wisconsin Banking Association’s (WBA) BOLT Section is focused on education, advocacy, and networking for the next generation of bank leaders. Through my involvement in this organization, I have found leadership to be another passion of mine. Our world is in desperate need of strong leaders that are willing to stand firm in their beliefs and guide their team to success.
Everyone has a different definition of success, for some that could mean providing a comfortable lifestyle for their family, for others it could mean building a business from the ground up. For me, if I can see daily improvements in my life; if I am better today than I was yesterday, that is success for me. Success is never complete; it is a continuous process that I work on every day with the decisions I choose to make. BOLT stands to practice muscles for leadership. I compare it to working out in the gym; if you are not routinely in the gym and putting in the work, you will never reach the results you intended to see. If you are not consistently practicing your leadership or learning new skills, you will not become the leader you or your team needs.
I also currently serve as chair for the Young Professionals Committee at the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce. Our team helps plan and coordinate events throughout the year for the goal of professional development, volunteerism, and social engagement with the members and businesses of Sheboygan County. I cannot thank the Sheboygan Chamber enough for the opportunities they have presented me to serve others and help me grow in my own professional career.
I am grateful for my past experiences and the people who supported me to take that leap of faith that forever changed my life. Make sure you are developing and learning something you are passionate about, not what others think you should be passionate about.
Turner is business banking officer at Oostburg State Bank and vice chair of the 2023–2024 WBA BOLT Section.