The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) recently named Horicon Bank’s Grace Bruins to their “40 Under 40” list of emerging community bank leaders.
The annual 40 Under 40 award recognizes up-and-coming community bank influencers and innovators from across the nation. Bruins serves as Horicon Bank’s marketing officer, leading communication across the bank’s footprint.
“In my twelve years at Horicon Bank, I’ve had the opportunity to serve alongside some amazing leaders, both inside and outside the bank,” said Bruins. “Some had ‘chief’ in their title, but many didn’t. All of those leaders taught me that true leadership involves empathy and authenticity. A leader needs to genuinely care about people and the work they are doing.”
Horicon Bank President Fred C. Schwertfeger emphasized the bank’s caring mission for their bankers.
“Our bankers are charged with caring about their communities, their customers, and one another,” explained Schwertfeger. “Grace does just that. She is a selfless leader that takes communicating with her coworkers to a whole new level. She empowers and supports her team to unleash the best version of themselves — celebrating each accomplishment along the way.”
In addition to leading the bank’s marketing team, Bruins spearheaded the launch of the bank’s own “Banking on Business” podcast — which is aimed at bringing practical business strategies to local entrepreneurs. She also serves as vice president of the Board for REACH Waupun, is a member of the MPTC Marketing and Social Media Advisory Committee, and will be chairing the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s (WBA) Marketing Committee this year.
“It’s not often a workplace encourages community involvement the way Horicon Bank does,” said Bruins. “I’m grateful for an employer that invests in training the leadership skills of their workforce and then says: ‘Now go use those skills in a way that makes the community around you a better place.’”