Correspondent Banker Brings Unique Perspective to Position

Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Mary Voss works as a SVP/correspondent banking business development officer for Bell Bank, talking with senior lenders, bank presidents and chief financial offers across Iowa and Illinois about how Bell can help their banks succeed.

Mary has worked in banking for more than 27 years. She worked at a community bank in Iowa for 20 years, starting out as a teller and working her way into all types of lending. Prior to joining Bell in 2015, she worked in Iowa as a credit officer for a correspondent bank.

“I think I have a unique perspective when discussing participations with bank management and lenders, since I have been on both sides of the desk, both as a community banker and a correspondent credit officer,” she notes.

What drew you to Bell?

My first impressions of Bell Bank were at bank functions were I often ran into Bell folks – they were so nice and professional. I was also impressed with how much banks respected the company. Bell has a great reputation.

After looking more deeply at the company, I was pleased to find that it’s a community-minded bank that encourages all employees to get involved in the world around them.

One of the ways I like to give back is by providing a financial literacy program to the fifth graders at the school where my husband teaches. I think learning to be fiscally responsible is a critical life lesson that unfortunately seems to be missing in many of our schools.

What do you like the most about your position?

It’s very satisfying work. I especially like talking to bank presidents about the history of their banks and what their vision is for the future. I love that Bell can help them achieve those goals.

What do you like about traveling so much for your job?

The view from “my office” is fabulous! Seriously, we’ve lived in Iowa for 35 years, so it’s great to get to know the state better. There are so many places, people and events that I didn’t even know existed. Also, since I am a farmer’s daughter from Nebraska, I really enjoy driving down the country roads and seeing fields and farmhouses. I will take the back roads to visit my customers over the interstate any day!

What do you want your clients to know that they might not realize?

Bell has a terrific ag department. A lot of the other correspondents here in Iowa don’t have that expertise. I think that’s what sets Bell apart from our competition.

Also, due to our hold limits, we can help alleviate concerns for those banks that do not want their bank holding company loans, director loans or participations sub-participated to others.

As far as bank stock loans, we know that each one is unique. There is no cookie-cutter bank stock loan. We can structure things in a way that fits a bank’s balance sheet, income statement and payment structure.

It’s also important that banks know we can put a revolving line of credit in place that can help them better position themselves for an acquisition, which might help when they’re filling out applications with regulators. Even if they’re not planning to use it right away, we can help them put things in place so they can plan their budgets and futures a little more confidently.

How do you spend your time outside of work?

I am very involved in our church and am on the Pleasant Hill Cares Committee, which provides funding for senior citizens who need small home remodeling projects done or to make their homes handicapped accessible. I am also involved in the Altoona Chamber of Commerce and Relay for Life. In my spare time, I love to visit my grandchildren, garden, fish and golf.