For the last 10 years, Curt Wyeno, the Cheyenne Mountain Branch president of Legacy Bank, has helped solidify its community bank reputation by offering personal services to its customers.
A Colorado native (from the Arkansas Valley in the southeastern part of the state), Wyeno was raised on a farm and attended the University of Northern Colorado, where he graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance and economics.
After graduation, he was hired by First Bank Holding Co. and worked there for 22 years. He took an early, three-year retirement before he was hired to run Legacy’s Cheyenne Mountain branch, which serves the southern Front Range.
The $300 million bank has seven locations, with another site opening in Pueblo later this year and an additional location in Colorado Springs within the next few years, according to Wyeno, who will oversee both.
Wyeno said he enjoys community service. For the last 11 years, he’s been on the board (and is currently chairman) of his alma mater’s UNC Foundation. He’s also involved with the Independent Bankers of Colorado and served with the Rotary Champions Foundation and on the board of the Pikes Peak Performance Company.
When not banking or volunteering, he can be found on skis (both water and snow) and spending time with his family, which includes his three adult children.
How has your branch evolved in the last 10 years?
We’ve certainly grown in assets, deposits and loans, but there really hasn’t been much turnover in our staff. … It’s been a very stable staff over the last 10 years. [I think they stay] because of the culture and environment we’ve cultivated. Our employees love our customers and they certainly enjoy the work they do. Those relationships are longstanding and they’re all very committed to what they do. … Last year we embarked on a complete renovation of the bank lobby. … Working environment is extremely important. It’s one of those keys to retaining good employees. We’re proud of this space and it’s a commitment to this market and our presence in the community.
What are your biggest challenges in today’s market?
Well, there’s always competition. There are a lot of good community banks and credit unions, both large and small, that we compete with. The biggest challenge that we face right now is the regulatory environment. … particularly since [the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act] … places a pretty heavy compliance burden on the bank, especially a smaller community bank like us.
How do you set yourself apart?
The primary market we serve is small businesses. We do primarily commercial lending here. … We have a lot of clients in the construction industry, but what sets us apart is the personal service we provide to our clients and the access they have to us, and the autonomy we have in serving their needs. … There’s really not a long chain of command to get decisions made. We can react quickly. We’ve got a stable, long-term staff that knows our customers well and our customers have a lot of trust in our people.
What is your favorite part of your job?
It’s the interaction with our customers. I enjoy being part of their success. That’s all about being a community bank president — you’ve got to be out there, be familiar with your customers and what they do, and know their story. All of that enables us to provide the service we do.
When is your job difficult?
We had a long recession in 2008 at the beginning of this bank. We had a lot of customers, particularly in the construction industry, that were struggling because of the economy. That’s when you really have to work hard as a banker. When economic times aren’t good, our jobs are much harder. But when you see things turn around and [you] stay with those customers, there’s a lot of reward in seeing that. That’s what generates [loyalty].
Has Colorado Springs grown on you?
When my family was young, we moved here and it didn’t take long to fall in love with this community. We moved into a wonderful neighborhood. Colorado Springs, in spite of its population and geographic size, when compared to a large metro area, works like a small town. I have enjoyed the relationships I’ve built over the last 22 years here — and that’s what makes where you live home.