Graduate School of Banking

Educating Professionals, Creating Leaders

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GSB Alumni Share Their Experiences

What's your GSB story? Share your best memories and key takeaways from attending GSB and we'll add them to our site.

GSB has more than 23,000 alumni -- many of them financial professionals who have gone on to positions of leadership in their organizations, community and the financial services industry. All of them have benefited personally and professionally from attending the GSB program. Here are some of their stories...

"Attending GSB was a great eye opener for me, especially in terms of asset-liability management, credit risk management, and BankSim. I also found it to be a great opportunity to develop networks with folks who had a lot broader experience base than I did. I'm concerned that bankers are cutting training and marketing budgets at a time when they can least afford it. Quit training your people and they're going to start to fall behind – at a time when, in my opinion, banking is changing faster than ever before. The pace of change in our industry continues to be phenomenal; how our customers use us, what they expect of us, and the kind of product mix we need to be able to offer."

Craig Goodlock
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Farmers State Bank
Munith, Michigan
GSB Class of 1992
Michigan Bankers Association 2009 Banker of the Year
Member, FDIC Advisory Committee on Community Banking


"GSB has made an immediate and profound impact in my professional growth as a community banker. GSB course work offered challenging curriculum and exciting real world expertise that is very relevant in todays banking environment. I am very thankful for the opportunity. I will miss the University of Wisconsin campus experience and the friendships I have made but am eager to share a return on investment to my bank with the knowledge I have learned over the past 25 months. Thank you GSB!

Jason Walters
Senior Vice President
Denver Savings Bank
Denver, Iowa
GSB Class of 2014


“GSB prides itself on being the premier banking school in the United States. It maintains a rigorous and challenging curriculum that educates the industries top future leaders. I am confident that my experience at GSB will enhance my career and has given me the knowledge and network to be a leader in the banking industry.”

Rodger Karn
Vice President
Nodaway Valley Bank
St. Joseph, Mo.
GSB Class of 2014

"If I were giving advice to a young banker, I'd tell them that their success will be dependent on a carefully planned and considered course of action for banker education … and placing a very high priority on it in their life. When I think back on my days at GSB, I remember the discussions that I had with my classmates at the breaks, at meals and in the evenings about that day's class lectures and how they might impact our individual banks. One 'aha!' moment for me at GSB was Jim Johannes' use of M & M's in his explanation of the law of supply and demand in his economics class -- that still remains with me even though twenty years have passed."

John Chaney
Chief Executive Officer
Auburn State Bank
Auburn, Neb.
GSB Class of 1989
Senior Management Seminar 2001 & 2006

"There were several key 'aha!' moments at GSB; however, one of the most significant changes in my thinking about the future of our institution is that growth for growth's sake —defining success by the number of our locations—is wrong and that we need to understand and focus more intently on the fundamentals: ROA, ROE and Net Income, for these measures, not bricks will determine whether we are truly successful. I have many fond memories … the classes were truly enjoyable; however, my fondest memories stem from discussions held with classmates over a hamburger at Dotty Dumpling's Dowry or the bruschetta at Gino's about the challenges and opportunities they had in their regions and markets. I am passionate about the viability of the communities in which we operate. If I were talking to a young banker beginning his or her career, I'd share with them the importance of a deep connection to the market in which they operate is the single most important component of their success. Good bankers know and are a part of the economic development mechanisms in their markets and they know the people and institutions that drive decision-making."

Robert J. Fouberg
SVP and General Counsel
Dacotah Bank
Aberdeen, S.D.
GSB Class of 2007

"The successes of Baylake Bank are in part due to the education and networking opportunities gained by attending GSB. The depth of our management team has been greatly enhanced because they have obtained their graduate diplomas. Not only has it helped them in gaining knowledge and understanding of their own professional endeavors, but they have also gained a deeper understanding of other parts of the bank and how they interrelate with each other."

Tom Herlache
Chairman & CEO, Baylake Bank -- Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
2003-2004 Chairman, Wisconsin Bankers Association
GSB Class of 1974

"Skills I acquired at GSB have served me well. Since GSB, I've applied those lessons as president of a community bank, president for 18 yeas of Young Americans Bank (only bank in the works for young people), now as president of the $1 billion Daniels Fund (charitable foundation) and in numerous volunteer organizations. The investment of time and energy at GSB produced big returns for me -- in applications I never anticipated."

Linda Childears
President & CEO, Daniels Fund -- Denver, Colorado
Former President & CEO and Co-Founder, Young Americans Bank in Denver
GSB Class of 1982

"My experience at GSB was a key part of my career development. I assumed the Presidency of my bank just a few years after leaving GSB, and as I look back over the decade of the 80's and the significant changes that took place in the industry, the program gave me a much needed skill set to deal with the challenges of an industry in transition. The leadership developed by GSB is present throughout the country and reflects well on the quality of the program."

Aubrey Patterson
Chairman, BancorpSouth -- Tupelo, Mississippi
2002-2003 Chairman, American Bankers Association
GSB Class of 1977

"GSB gave me a solid foundation upon which I was able to build my career in banking and bank regulation. GSB offers the most comprehensive professional education program available in the financial services industry that is continuously updated to provide a relevant education that best prepares students for the future. My experience at GSB was one of the highlights of my career."

Andrew "Skip" Hove
Vice Chair, Saline State Bank, Hallam, Nebraska
Former FDIC Chairman -- Lincoln, Nebraska
1984-1985 President, Nebraska Bankers Association
GSB Class of 1965

"My tenure at GSB allowed me to gain phenomenal insights into the business of banking and radically improved my ability to engage my mind in the management of my bank, the people it serves, and my staff. GSB continues to be a prime option for the training of Caribbean bankers and I fully support its efforts. I constantly recommend GSB to every banker when discussing quality staff training options."

E. Valentine Banks
CEO, National Bank of Anguilla, Ltd. -- The Valley, Anguilla, British West Indies
GSB Class of 1991