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Chris Ekstrum

FNB Family Friday

Chris Ekstrum

Each week we’ll be showing you who we are through FNB Family Fridays! We’ve asked our friends and teammates questions that will give you a look into what they do at the Bank, their hobbies outside of work, and some of their favorite things. Be sure to check back here every Friday to read about another featured team member, we have some interesting people we work with every day!

This week we’re highlighting our CEO and President Chris Ekstrum. He chats about some of his faves, fun facts, and what he’s looking forward to in the future as our new leader.

Chris began his career in 1993 with FNB as a management trainee and then grew within the organization. He transitioned from a personal banker to a business banker, to FNB’s business banking manager, then to chief banking officer before being selected as Bill Baker’s successor.

He received his undergraduate degree from USD and attended the Graduate School of Banking at Georgetown University. When he was job hunting in 1993, he probably wouldn’t have pictured himself where he is now.

“I was going to school, and I thought I just needed a paycheck.  It did not take me long to experience the impact of FNB’s culture. I knew in 1993 that I had found a home.”

Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?

A: I have a lot of favorite things. Back when I was a banker, my favorite part was helping people realize their dreams, helping their businesses succeed. Today, I receive motivation through our teammates and community impact.

Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?

A: I like to do things that end in –ing: Running, skiing, hunting, traveling, and golfing, especially with my children. I don’t sit still well.

Q: Where do you like to volunteer and why?

A: I like to volunteer with Sioux Falls Cares. At Christmas time, we deliver food and clothing to needy families. It’s a reminder that I’m so blessed and lucky, but even more rewarding and meaningful is seeing in families’ eyes when they realize that someone cared enough to do this for them. The impact of providing a family with three weeks’ worth of food and supplies…it centers you.

Q: What are some interesting fun facts about you?

A: I was shot in the eye with a BB gun when I was 12. Most people probably do not believe that I am a risk-taker. I’ve climbed Devil’s Tower, skydived, jumped out of a helicopter to ski in Canada, and spent a week in Hawaii with no hotel room. I’m also allergic to chocolate.

Q: What is the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten?

A: My mother used to tell me that life is not a dress rehearsal.

As Chris gets comfortable in his role of President and CEO of our great Bank, he’s looking forward to what 2020 has to offer and beyond.

“I love this place, and I am excited to dive into my new role. We have many challenges and opportunities in front of us, and our business will look different five or ten years from now. We may change how we achieve our mission, but our mission will remain constant.  We have a culture that is second to none, and that will not change; it can’t – it’s in our DNA. With the support of our shareholders, Board, and all of our talented teammates, our best years are ahead!”


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