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PYSK: Karen Taylor

PYSK: Karen Taylor

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Executive Vice President, Consumer Banking Boone County National Bank

AGE: 47

JOB DESCRIPTION: My responsibilities include providing leadership and management expertise to the consumer banking division of Boone County National Bank. I am responsible for the oversight of sales, service and operations from the 16 branches, the customer service center, the classic department and consumer lending. In addition, I serve on the executive committee and several holding company committees.

YEARS LIVED IN COLUMBIA: 45

ORIGINAL HOMETOWN: Born in Winchester, Mass. Moved to Columbia when I was 2 years old.

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in management from the Columbia College evening program.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Past and current positions include: Columbia Chamber of Commerce executive committee chair; Women’s Network president; Regional Hospital Advisory Board member; Columbia Area United Way campaign chair; Central Missouri Food Bank Score Against Hunger campaign chair; Columbia College community campaign chair; ARC private fundraising campaign chair; Advent Enterprises board member; Columbia Metro Rotary member; Adult Business Advisory Council, Career Center Council chair; Governor’s Missouri Training & Employment Council board member; Governor’s Partnership on the Transition from School to Work member and work-based subcommittee chair; Missouri Foundation for Women’s Resources Board member; and MADD president and local organizer.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I started at Boone County National Bank in 1997 as the vice president, director of marketing. Before that, I spent 10 years at Toastmaster Inc., where I worked in a variety of areas, including human resources; training and development; and consumer relations. I had the opportunity to start the call center, where we handled calls from consumers with questions about our products. From November 1995 to June 1997, I was the marketing manager for Ameritech Cellular, where my responsibilities included sales, marketing and promotions for my region.

A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE: There are three people I admire, and they all possess the same characteristic. They are Bo Fraser, Linda Arnold and Eliot Battle. All three have a talent for making every person they interact with feel special. They also care deeply about people and the community.

WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: I love working with people, and this job gives me that opportunity every day. I have the best co-workers anyone could ever want. My days are filled with such a variety of responsibilities that I am never doing the same thing for very long. I get to “think outside the box” and provide direction for the largest division of Boone County National Bank.

IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR ALIVING, I WOULD: be a travel guide. My husband, Lonnie, and I love to travel. We’re always up for a trip to a new and exciting location.

BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME: I knew that I needed my college degree to pursue the type of career I wanted. I worked full time while going to college full time in the evening, and I had a husband and two small boys. This was definitely a challenge. However, with the help from my family, I was able to achieve that goal.

A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: I recently had the opportunity to chair the Columbia Area United Way campaign. We exceeded our goal and raised more than $3 million that will help so many people in need in our community. We set a challenging goal, but through the dedication and commitment of many volunteers, we exceeded our goal. Hundreds of individuals and 32 United Way agencies will benefit from the generosity of our community.

WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: It’s really a lot of fun to be a banker, and you don’t have to be a number cruncher to be successful in the banking industry.

WHAT I DO FOR FUN: I love outdoor adventures and sports. I bicycle, run and power walk with my 78-pound boxer dog, and I snow ski and scuba dive. My husband and I are learning to play golf. I’ve ridden in the last three MS 150-mile bike rides.

FAMILY: Lonnie and I have been married for 28 years. We own Taylor’s Mirrors and More, Inc. We have two children: Luke, 26, who works for Major Brands and lives in St. Louis, and Adam, 22, who is graduating from the University of Missouri this December.

FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: I don’t necessarily have a favorite place, but I love the Columbia traditions: home football weekends and tailgates, homecoming house decorations and parades, burgers from Booches, pizza from Shakespeare’s, the Stretch from The Diner, Twilight Festivals, Columbia College holiday lights, bike rides on the MKT and Katy trails, and Cosmo Park.

ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: I’m most proud of the way I’ve been able to balance work and family. I have a wonderful support system from my family, who encourage me in whatever I want to pursue.

MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT I: love adventure and am not as conservative as people think I am. I recently went to a NASCAR driving school and drove a racecar 25 laps on the Kansas Speedway at 150 miles per hour!

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