Brad Koehn serves as the Regional President for Midwest Bank, a Nebraska based financial institution that originated in Pilger, NE. Midwest Bank’s roots date back three generations to 1952, when the Cooper family purchased The Farmer’s National bank of Pilger, which is a small agricultural community located in Stanton County. The Cooper family’s philosophy of a family-owned, independently managed community bank model has proven successful over the past six decades, and today there are Midwest Bank branches in eight Nebraska communities with total assets exceeding $550,000,000. After 5 years in Lincoln, Midwest Bank has expanded their staff from 4 to 14 and prides itself on being a family of community banks that value personal business relationships, yet are a large enough organization to meet all types of financial needs for their clients.
How did you get started in the business? – After college graduation, I began my career in banking as a National Bank Examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 1987. Since then, I have worked as a Bank Officer in various capacities, served as President and CEO, as well as managed a region of bank locations. I guess you could say that I have sat on about every side of the banking desk that there is.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Without a doubt, the most gratifying accomplishment as a banker is making a substantive difference in a person’s financial life. This can often occur under difficult circumstances, and it takes a genuine commitment to the client and their financial future, as well as a mutual trust, to truly be effective.
Tell me a little about your family. – My wife Lori and I have three children, one in college and two that recently graduated from college. We are still adapting to the empty nester stage of life.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – At age 28, I was given the unique opportunity to manage a large group of banks in the Midwest. Whether I was ready for that supervisory responsibility or not, the experience certainly positioned me for the future that I have been blessed to enjoy in our industry.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – I have many interests outside of the bank. Family activities are always on the top of that list, but I also enjoy spending time on our farm and I am painfully reacquainting myself with the game of golf.
What are you the most proud of? – The type of people that my children have grown to be.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? – I have been fortunate to know many exceptional people who have influenced my life through their actions and words. But the one piece of advice that continually resonates is “Be True to Yourself.”
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – One of my most favorite books is “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck. Two of the more enjoyable books that I’ve recently read were “The Big Short” and “Boomerang”, both written by Michael Lewis.