Star City Six – Matt Swanson
West Gate Bank (westgate.bank) is a family-owned and operated, full-service community bank with 10 locations in Lincoln and Omaha. Matt Swanson is a mortgage lender at West Gate Bank.
Tell us a little about your business.
What is special about West Gate Bank is that we are large enough to serve all your personal or commercial banking needs, yet small enough to provide the outstanding personal service that only a community bank can deliver. I am here to help people understand and navigate the home buying process. Whether I am educating a first-time homebuyer or discussing leverage and opportunity cost with an investor who has bought and sold multiple properties, my goal is to add value to all my customers.
How did you get started in the business?
My “foot in the door” with mortgage lending was becoming a mortgage processor. That, coupled with my credit background, gave me a great boost of knowledge prior to stepping into a very competitive industry.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
The biggest challenge I have faced, and continue to face, is self-promotion/self-marketing. I’ve always been a very humble and quiet person, so it is not natural for me to talk about or promote myself.
Tell us a little about your family.
I have two labs, Denali and Shadow. We’re frequent visitors to the dog park and the lake!
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Spend a little extra time in the gym and work on projects around the house.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I grew a beard a couple of years ago. Something along the lines of ZZ Top.
Who inspires you?
I would say that my dad has been one of my greatest inspirations. He’s been running a family business in a small town for almost 35 years, served over 25 years on the volunteer fire department and rescue squad, and overcame a battle with cancer this past year. His continued drive and desire to give back to the community, despite his own life challenges, make the day-to-day challenges most people face and stress about seem easy.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Pin and wiggle. I do a lot of back country snowmobiling in the winter and when you’re in deep powder on the side of a mountain or up in the trees, you better not stop. When you feel yourself slowing down and nearly stuck, you pin the throttle and start “wiggling” the sled back and forth; literally doing everything in your power to keep moving forward. Now imagine that mountain is your life, work, etc., and you start getting bogged down by everything that it can throw at you…give it everything you’ve got and keep moving.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life?
Hands down, my ability to sing in the car/shower.
Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to sing well in the car/shower.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
I’ve always been passionate about animals—adopt, don’t shop! Both of my dogs are adopted and they are truly wonderful.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?