From camping with family to being deeply ingrained in his Kansas agricultural roots, Dan Heinz, our Chief Commercial Lending Officer, recently shared his background and how that’s shaped the way he approaches his responsibilities in the workplace.
Dan, can you describe your background and yourself?
I grew up in Hamilton County, KS. My father was a farmer and I spent most of my “summer internships” working for him. I developed a passion for agriculture during that time, which led me to Kansas State University, where I graduated with an Animal Science Degree. Right out of college, I jumped into banking and have been here ever since.
Most of my career has been focused on supporting the banking needs of farmers, feed yards and other agribusiness companies. Most recently, I’ve had the opportunity to move into the role of Chief Commercial Lending Officer.
Apart from my professional career, I spend my spare time jumping back and forth between my children’s athletic activities and enjoy just about any outdoor activity.
Tell us about your role as Chief Commercial Lending Officer?
The textbook definition of my role would probably be defined by supporting the credit and relationship development needs of our business customers in different industries, from Agriculture to Hospitality and a large variety between. But there is really more outside of the core responsibilities that I enjoy focusing on. Assisting in credit underwriting is a large component, but also constantly learning and broadening my view of different industries is equally important. Fortunately, I am surrounded by a very experienced team focused on specialized borrowing needs.
What are some of the challenges that commercial banking customers face?
I find it very interesting that our customers, and other strategic partners for that matter, tend to face the same challenges we do as an organization.
- Labor remains a concern across the country – businesses are looking for the right people and enough people to support ongoing operations.
- Technology and adopting new efficiencies is relevant to any business. We are all exploring better ways to utilize technology to create a better experience for our customers. For us, it is a matter of using technology to enhance the experience without losing the personal touch; this is also a challenge for our customers.
- Understanding effective ways to use data. New trends around data emerge daily and businesses are tasked with finding ways to manage this information responsibly and effectively.
- Economically speaking, we all have to be keenly aware of the volatility that exists in today’s business environment and prepare for what seems to be out of our control. While it’s a challenge to prepare for the unimaginable, it is necessary to limit risk if the unforeseen occurs.
What are some of the greatest opportunities commercial banking customers have today?
Today’s business environment allows all organizations to be better positioned to start, grow and succeed over time than ever before. And the challenges that organizations are tasked with are also the opportunities for the most growth. Technology and the digitization of business is creating more efficiency than ever before. The utilization and analyzing of data is enabling businesses to make real-time strategic decisions. It’s a rapidly evolving world, but using data responsibly to deliver actionable business insights will be the difference.
What about your previous experiences prepared you for your role?
Working in agriculture taught me a lot. There is no better industry where you can learn to plan for the unforeseen circumstance. Floods, drought, trade wars and market volatility force you to prepare for what is out of your control. I don’t believe in transactional customer relationships, and taking these practices and applying them to other industries that we serve allows me to have a unique perspective. One that is designed to have a long-term view and helps create an ongoing collaborative relationship.
I’ve also always had a clear vision for what I wanted to pursue professionally. That helped me establish priorities, such as focusing on my studies in school, never being afraid to put in the extra time to learn something new and always treating others with respect.
Are you involved in activities outside of INTRUST Bank?
I’ve had the opportunity to work extensively with the American Banker’s Association, specifically the Ag and Rural Banking Committee. As a current board member of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture, I’m involved in state-wide issues related to agriculture that impact both banks and customers.
What about working at INTRUST is unique for your role?
- Each organization I’ve worked for has taught me something valuable, but there are definitely aspects of my role at INTRUST that are unique.
- The people. Everyone wants each other to succeed. This creates a collaborative and progressive environment.
- The structure. INTRUST Bank has a long history of family ownership. Along with that comes patience and the ability to look at things with a long-term perspective. We stay true to who we are and don’t chase what might be considered trendy.
- The size. As a regional bank, our focus tends to be on mid-sized, privately held companies; however, even some of the larger, publicly traded organizations we partner with appreciate the fact that we have the industry expertise to understand their business.
Dan Heinz assumed the role of chief lending officer at INTRUST Bank in 2018. He joined INTRUST in 2006 as a member of the commodities and correspondent banking team.