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PYSK: Brett Burri

President of Providence Bank, Columbia
AGE: 45

JOB DESCRIPTION: Establishing Providence Bank in the Columbia market, taking it from its beginnings as a loan production office (LPO) to a full-service bank branch. My duties include: overall management of the Columbia market, recruiting a talented staff, developing and implementing our marketing plan, executing our business development strategy, and calling on top prospects to gain market share. I also serve on the bank’s executive loan committee.


ORIGINAL HOMETOWN: St. Joseph, Mo., “where the Pony Express started and Jesse James stopped.”

EDUCATION: I received my bachelor’s degree in business management from Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. I also completed the following professional education: Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the American Bankers Association’s National Schools of Commercial Lending, Real Estate Finance and Consumer Lending.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: I currently serve on the board of directors of the Columbia Area United Way and on the executive board of directors of the Great Rivers Council of Boy Scouts of America. I served as the Boonslick District chairman for the 2007 Friends of Scouting campaign. I also am a member of the Columbia Area Chamber of Commerce and the Central Missouri Development Council.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I have nearly 27 years of experience in banking. The last 20 years I have served in an executive capacity, including as president of two other Columbia banks. I moved to Columbia in 1999 to accept the position of president of Mercantile Bank of Boone County. Prior to that, I had several positions over 21 years with that organization, during which I managed retail banking, residential real estate lending and commercial banking divisions and handled marketing and business development.

A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE: I have had the pleasure of meeting so many admirable businesspeople in Columbia that I find it difficult to single someone out. In our community live some of the most talented, wise and generous people I have ever met. I have a great admiration for those who have taken an idea or passion and turned that into a viable business. I particularly admire those who have managed to keep balance in their lives and have kept their priorities in check, which can be difficult when success is attained. I also have tremendous respect for those who remember to give back to the community through their generosity.

WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: I have an incredible opportunity, along with our investors, to build a local banking franchise from the ground up, leveraging the infrastructure of our affiliate in Lincoln County. Most of my career has been in working for large regional and super-regional banking organizations. They generally establish policies and procedures used in a particular market area and replicate that in all markets. This “one-size-fits-all” approach tends to create an inflexible environment in which customer service, along with employee morale, often suffers. Our owners encourage me to use my experience and creativity in developing and growing our franchise. Providence Bank provides the flexibility of a local community bank with the strong financial resources of a larger organization to handle the financial needs of most any client. I find it very rewarding to be a part of.

IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING: I have been in banking for so many years and truly enjoy it. I honestly don’t know what else I would do.

BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME: In 1999, I had an opportunity for a bank president’s job, which required me to relocate to Columbia. The opportunity to become the president of a bank had long been a goal of mine. However, the job started in March, and three of my four children were in school, which didn’t end until May. Micheal and I wanted to allow our children to finish out the school year to minimize disruption for them. Micheal stayed behind and managed the household until the end of the school year. I spent two and a half months living in a hotel room, commuting home on the weekends. The support of my family is what made it possible.

A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: My current opportunity to establish Providence Bank. More than just a project, I find it to be challenging, exciting and very rewarding to be a part of.

WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: The term “bankers’ hours,” a term that I get teased about occasionally, is a myth. The term originates from the era in which my grandfather was a banker, when a bank was generally open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed during the lunch hour. The hours can be long, but the balance is that we do get to take the day off most holidays. Banking is a very rewarding profession that offers a variety of opportunities for a person to capitalize on their talents. Whether you have analytical skills, sales and marketing abilities, organizational skills or people skills, there are positions in banking that would provide exciting and challenging opportunities.

WHAT I DO FOR FUN: Attend children’s activities and events, play golf and attend Mizzou sporting events.

FAMILY: My wife, Micheal Roe, and I have been married for 21 years. We have two sons, Justin, 18, and Spencer, 11, and twin daughters, Kirsten and Kayla, 15.

FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: I have many favorite places in Columbia. I enjoy attending my children’s events and activities, Tigers’ games at Mizzou Arena and Faurot Field, and C.C.’s City Broiler.

ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: Having a family that has been so supportive, which has enabled me to pursue my career opportunities.

MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT: I won a miniature golf tournament when I was in college.

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