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PYSK: David Stepanek

David Stepanek

Senior Vice President and Regional Manager
Central Trust and Investment Company

David Stepanek

AGE: 47
JOB DESCRIPTION: I manage the Columbia and Kansas City offices of Central Trust and Investment Company, which is an affiliate of Boone County National Bank.  Our company has offices around the state and provides investment management, trust and fiduciary services, and retirement plan services to individuals and businesses.  Here in Columbia, we handle over $1.3 billion in assets for our clients, and our local staff of 18 employees includes portfolio managers, attorneys, CFPs, CFAs and other highly specialized officers.
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in business administration, University of Missouri-St. Louis.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Board Member, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri; board member, City of Columbia New Century Fund; volunteer, United Way and Special Olympics; den leader, Cub Scouts.
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I have worked in the investment business for more than 19 years.  In 1993 I was working for a firm in St. Louis and heard about a position with the Trust Division at Boone County National Bank. I was fortunate enough to be offered the job and have worked as business development officer, sales manager, and now regional manager.
A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE AND WHY: There are many, but the one person who has been the most helpful to me through my career thus far is our recently retired CEO, Bob Roper. In addition to hiring me 15 years ago, Bob showed me the importance of how to treat people and make sure all employees realize their value to the organization. Bob always treated people, whether clients or staff, the right way. He has inspired many people with his leadership.
WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: As I’m sure everyone is painfully aware, the last 18 months have been extremely difficult for virtually every investor. In fact, the current bear market now ranks as the worst since the Great Depression. I am passionate about my job because almost every day I talk with someone who has taken a huge loss in his or her portfolio, whether it’s a 401k at work or an independent investment account. I know that in times like these, the professional guidance and disciplined approach that firms like mine take in managing money is crucial. The staff here at Central Trust and Investment Company has done an extraordinary job of sheltering our clients in this difficult environment.
IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING, I WOULD: I’d love to be a member of the crew on one of the yachts racing in the America’s Cup.  Sailing has always been something I would love to learn to do, but it will probably have to wait until I retire.
BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME AND HOW: The investment business can appear to be dominated by the big firms, and it has sometimes been a challenge to convince an individual or institutional client that a firm in Columbia, Missouri, can provide the same experience and performance as a firm in New York or California. I believe we overcome it by just continuing to provide exceptional advice and service to our clients.
A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: I have recently joined the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri, and I’m extremely impressed with the commitment of their staff to bettering the lives of kids in our community.  There are too few times in a person’s life when one can stop and think, “I am making a difference.” It’s a nice feeling.
WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: It can be very challenging because one year the market is up and everyone is happy, and the next the market is down and of course investors are unhappy. In my opinion, the people who are the most successful in this business are those who can stay focused on a disciplined, well-thought-out plan and don’t become distracted by the inevitable swings of the market.
WHAT I DO FOR FUN: I enjoy travelling, playing racquetball and going to my kids’ many sports events.
FAMILY: My wife, Joyce, and our four kids, Emily (17), Derek (17), Rachel (12) and Jack (8).
FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: Faurot Field on a crisp, cool fall Saturday afternoon (particularly if we are beating Kansas!).
ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: Along with my wife, raising four kids of whom I am very proud.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT I: Spent four years in the U.S. Army in a military intelligence battalion. It was hard, but I learned much about the world and other people and cultures. Sometimes we forget just how fortunate we are. ϖ

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