Talking shop with Kevin Greaser of Alliance Bank

Monday, June 20, 2011
Kevin Greaser is the Community Bank President at Alliance Bank in Cape Girardeau. (Kristin Eberts)

Kevin Greaser is a lifelong resident of Cape Girardeau who serves as community bank president at Alliance Bank. In addition to his duties there, Greaser takes time to work with such organizations as Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army. Although he cites his position at the bank as his greatest professional accomplishment, Greaser gains a sense of personal fulfillment from his work in the community and his time at home with his family.

Q: How long have you worked in banking?

A: When I finished college in 1983, my first job was at Centerre Bank. That opportunity was made possible by Mr. Bill Winkler, who was an officer of the bank. He was instrumental in getting me an interview, and I cannot thank him enough.

Q: Why did you choose to get into banking?

A: I initially thought I wanted to be an accountant, but I soon discovered that the banking industry offered me other opportunities that were appealing. And because of men like Bill Winkler and Jim Reinagel, I saw how successful their careers were and how big an impact they had in the lives of their customers and the community. I grew up going to school with both of their kids and had plenty of opportunity to see them in the workplace as well as at home. I saw their character and integrity. That was it for me; I wanted to be a banker, too.

Q: How has banking changed over the course of your career?

A: While there have always been banking regulations, we live in a time where more regulation has become the marching order from Washington, D.C. Now don't misunderstand, regulation is not a bad thing. It's just that when these regulations become overreaching, they become an obstacle and can stifle economic growth.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you've faced professionally?

A: My biggest professional challenge frankly is finding a work-life balance. In order to be successful, one must be engaged and involved, but it is a challenge to balance that with home life. You can ask my family, they would probably say that I haven't figured it out yet.

Q: What effects have the recession had on banking?

A: The recession brought the housing industry to its knees and as a result, a large portion of our local economy. Banks have gone back to basics and are looking much closer at character, income and cash flow, and collateral. This is a good thing and will serve to bring stability and growth back into the economy at some point. Consumers now must have down payments and good credit scores in order to get financing.

Q: What is your greatest professional achievement?

A: Professionally, my greatest achievement is without a doubt this position at Alliance Bank. It is a privilege to serve in this capacity and the rewards of the job are too numerous to count. I work with a fantastic team of professionals who really care about providing the best banking experience.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A: By far and away, my favorite pastime is cooking. Something is always on the stove on the weekend or outside on the smoker. An occasional round of golf is a good thing.

Q: What charitable organizations are you involved with?

A: Volunteering is a way of life for me. The Salvation Army, the United Way, Habitat for Humanity and the Cape Girardeau Public Library are just a few organizations that are close to my heart. My church family at Cape Bible Chapel is at the top of that list.

Q: Why do you think it's important to give back to the community?

A: God has blessed me beyond my comprehension. There are so many reasons to give back to community. This is where I live and work. This is where I am raising my family. Just knowing that I can make a difference in someone else's life, to make it a bit better for them, to give them a hand up. I am proud to be an American. We are the most generous people on Earth. But it all starts right here at home with your neighbor, your fellow church member, the family across town. God wants us to be servants. It starts with me.

Q: Why have you chosen to live in Southeast Missouri?

A: There is an old saying, "There's no place like home." Growing up in Cape with seven brothers was awesome. When I think of the sacrifices that my mom and dad made for us and how hard they both worked to provide us with a good life, full of meaning and purpose, well, I just can't possibly thank them enough. There is just no way.

Q: What are you most grateful for?

A: I am most grateful for the freedom that we have as Americans and the opportunities available to each and every one of us. I am thankful for my wife and four boys.

Q: What are your goals for the future?

A: My goals for the future include continuing to serve whenever and wherever I can. Providing the best banking services at the most competitive prices I can. A bit of travel with my family. My dad is 86 and still works. I think I'll be just like him.

Q: Name something most people don't know about you.

A: A little-known fact is that indeed at one time in my life I did have hair (a long time ago).

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