For Kevin Finke, it’s all a matter of keeping an open mind.
Finke, assistant vice president and commercial banker at Merchants Bank in Winona, has been in the banking industry for seven years, the past two in Winona, and he sees it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
“I feel this profession has multiple opportunities for personal growth, exposure to new industries, markets and businesses,” Finke said. “Whether it’s working thoroughly through a business’s financials, developing solutions to mitigate risk, or structuring a loan to provide the most effective financing structure for the business, I constantly find myself learning and adapting to new industry trends. This all comes together by keeping an open mind to adapt to different industries, which makes it very engaging and interesting on a daily basis.”
Finke applies that same open mind and willingness to adapt to his personal life. He and his wife, April, have two children, and he said he’s most proud of the time he’s able to spend with them, while trying to maintain a balance between work and family and a healthy lifestyle.
“Having a 2-year-old son, a 7-month-old daughter, a full-time career, and making time to stay healthy can be very difficult,” he said. “But, raising a family has by far been my proudest moment, as there is nothing better than being a father and hearing your children say, ‘Dada’ for the first time.”
James Vrchota, also of Merchants Bank, nominated Finke for Rising Stars Under 40, and he said Finke has been able to take on much since he moved to Winona.
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“He is a multi-talented lender, with a background in commercial, agricultural and residential real estate lending,” Vrchota said, “with additional experience in helping small businesses grow with his expertise in SBA lending. Kevin serves as an ambassador for the Winona Chamber of Commerce, and was on Dancing with the Winona Stars team for the bank, which raised more than $18,000 for play equipment for the sick children in the pediatric area of the Winona Health Clinic.”
Vrchota went on to say Finke has registered countless hours for bank activities, such as working the brat booth at Steamboat Days, and raising food for those in need through the bank’s “10 Days of Giving” program.
“When he is not involved with some type of work or volunteer activity,” Vrchota said, “you can find him at home with his wife, April, and their two children, where this incredible handy man has found time to finish their entire basement on his own.”
When asked what motivates him as a young leader, Finke kept his answer simple.
“Striving to be a difference maker for my clients, colleagues,and (the) community I live in,” Finke said, “by doing what is right and best for all involved.”