20 Under 40 Class of 2017

Brooke Berkey
Assistant Vice President Relationship Manager, Central Bank of Boone County.
Age:  32

Hometown:
Mound City, Missouri.

Years lived in Columbia:
Nine years.

Tell us about your job:
I have the best job in town! I manage our large commercial relationships, including deposits, cash management, and treasury services, as well as lending needs. I also assist personal customers, especially those new to the area. I focus on making their banking transition easy, and I’m a liaison for them within the bank. I think banking is about relationships and being a trusted advisor. The bank has wonderful customers, and it’s a pleasure to work for them!

Who is a mentor in your life?
Jennifer Schenck. I met Jennifer at Women’s Network — we were co-chairs of WN Membership Development committee. During our term, we brought structure and formality to the XWN program by setting an annual graduation, educating members on the program, and re-designing the XWN marketing material. Jennifer started her own business, Connection Exchange, and continues to grow the business in Columbia and across the state. She has tenacity, strength, and drive. I value her opinion both professionally and personally. She is a wonderful mother, has strong faith, and is a true professional businesswoman.

What are some misconceptions about your job?
I am frequently asked, “What is a relationship manager? I mean, like, what do you really do?” My role is hard to explain until you experience the role in action.

What is the single best thing about your job?
I enjoy meeting new people, building relationships, learning about their family or businesses, and cultivating their business success. I love being customers’ “go-to person.” Furthermore, I’ve had the opportunity to connect business owners to each other so they could be resources and capitalize on each other’s strengths. It’s incredibly rewarding!

What was the last professional goal you accomplished?
I was recently promoted to assistant vice president and was incredibly gratified by the recognition from our executives and board of directors.

What motivates you?
My family, giving back to others, seeing customers’ businesses expand and succeed, assisting customers buy or build their dream home, and living in a strong and thriving community. 

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
My ideal retirement job is to become a certified instructor and teach fitness classes. I’d also increase my involvement with the Assistance League — they do such wonderful work in our community.

Which accomplishment are you most proud of?
Taking the leap into banking. It was a complete industry switch. I’m typically not a large risk taker and am incredibly passionate about my work. Changing from the hospitality industry [at Stoney Creek Inn] to banking was a huge leap of faith for me. Now, the career parallels are quite evident: customer service, details, exceeding expectations, trust, and relationships (my favorite).

What’s your favorite community project?
I have a passion for the American Heart Association. My husband and I are chairing the 2017 Heart & Stroke Ball.

What is the single biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?
Understanding one’s limits. You can’t do it all. There is something to be said about work/life balance.

What is your favorite business book you’ve ever read and what impact did it have on you?
I’m currently reading “Make It Happen,” by Lara Casey, with a group of professional women I greatly admire. The book has helped me as a working mom struggling to “do it all” and being overwhelmed by the chase of perfection.

If you had unlimited funds, what is the one specific thing you would do to improve Columbia?
Educate our children. When you are able to reach children before kindergarten, the statistical data from an economic and social impact is amazing. I also believe it’s important to educate them on nutrition and the benefits of exercise. 

What is one goal you have for 2017 and how do you plan to achieve it?
Pray more during the day at work. 

What trait do you most want in a coworker or employee?
Accountable, trusting, motivated, dedicated, team player.

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Your biggest strength is often your biggest weakness. I need to work on my overly consuming need to please others.

What do you do for fun?

Family trips to the Lake of the Ozarks. (There is truly something to being on the water.) I love to exercise, run on the trail, take walks on the trail with our boys, golf with my husband, and bake just about anything.  Our oldest son is becoming quite the cook. My husband and I honeymooned in Cabo San Lucas, and it’s becoming our spot. I look forward to taking our boys with us to Cabo in a couple of years.

Want more of 2017’s 20 Under 40? Check out Alissa Gerke’s Q&A

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