We are excited to announce the appointment of Brian Hannah as president of Community State Bank! We sat down with Brian for a candid conversation to get to know him better - learn about his background and family, why he chose CSB, and what he looks forward to most in his first 90 days with the company, and beyond.
Roots in Farming and Banking
Where did you grow up and how did you get into banking?
Proud to say I grew up on a family farm in Hampton, Iowa, that produces corn, beans and has hog facilities. My parents still run the farm to this day, and it's one of my family's favorites places to spend time. My dad never pushed me to be part of the family farm. He would say, "It's a great big world. Find your path." I decided farming wasn’t my path but I still wanted to be in the industry, which led me to the Agriculture Business program at Iowa State University. During college, my uncle Jonathan - a bank executive in Chicago - and I would spend time together. I always looked up to him and we had a great relationship. With his guidance, I gravitated toward economics and found my interest there. I transferred into business, then got into finance management and accounting.
I started working at a bank in college as a teller. Upon graduating, an opportunity came up to work with Wells Fargo in Des Moines on their commercial banking team. Over the next 15 years, I worked for Wells Fargo - managing clients as a relationship manager, to managing business development in Iowa and across the Midwest. Over time, I knew I was ready to make a shift in my career to more community banking. From there, I moved into a banking leadership position with Bankers Trust. Eventually, this momentum and shift in my career led me to the tremendous opportunity today to be a part of the CSB leadership team and I could not be happier to be here.
Laying the Foundation: From Teller to Leadership, and the Importance of Authenticity and Connection
How do you feel your experience as a teller prepared you for your career today?
Being a teller really helped me with customer service interactions. I have always had a great appreciation for those working on our bank front lines. Customer representatives/tellers are such an important part of the bank, providing that face-to-face customer service. I think for me personally, as I went through the start of my career, it was an opportunity to not only show up professionally but to develop a routine. As a teller, you have times when you need to handle adverse situations and that's a skill you learn and can carry with you throughout your career. That experience helped lay a strong foundation for the rest of my career.
What is your approach to building successful relationships?
While I tend to be more of a strategic and analytical thinker, I greatly enjoy people and the relationship building that banking brings. I always try to treat people the same. It’s important to be curious and to listen and engage. Regardless of who you are or what position you hold, I've found that if you take a consistent approach and remain authentic with the relationship, that will build better connection and success.
A Passion for Community Banking and the CSB Difference
What was it about CSB that stood out most and made you want to work here?
The bank’s leadership certainly impressed me. I’ve known Kurt Gibson, CSB’s CEO, for 15 years. Not only do I know him to be a great person - thoughtful, humble and super smart - I think what he’s accomplished here with the team at CSB to be a sought after employer and strong and stable top tier performer has been pretty fantastic.
The unique banking model of CSB also really stood out to me. You have the resources and experienced legacy leadership at the bank’s holding company QCR Holdings. Inc., while fully embracing independent community banks where CSB employees make the decisions and are at the forefront of everything the bank does. That’s a differentiator in the banking world today and in the future.
What do you look forward to most in your role as president?
During these first days, weeks and months, I am most looking forward to meeting employees and getting to know the different areas of the bank. What I’m looking to do is bring positivity, lots of energy and fortitude. CSB is already doing a wonderful job and I want to integrate into that and become a resource to help others. It’s an impressive group and I’m lucky to be a part of it.
Getting Personal: Family, Pursuits and What Drives You
Share with us a little about your family, hobbies or pursuits you enjoy most.
My wife and I are celebrating our 15-year wedding anniversary later this year. We met in college at Iowa State, where we were both part of the community that started the cheer section for the ISU basketball team. We have a son who’s 12, and twin daughters who are 11. We also recently adopted a golden retriever named Lou, who is four months old. In our free time we stay busy with lots of activities and events for the kids. I love to golf, and we enjoy opportunities to travel as a family as well.
Surprise us! What's something about yourself that might surprise people to know?
I really like Nascar! On Sundays, I’m likely watching a race. What I like the most is the strategy behind it - how everything starts out relatively the same between the stock cars, but then how the teams work to set up their cars differently, find the right people, and what that means down the road. Oddly enough, that’s the part that I’m most interested in, and in many ways, can be a good comparison to banking.