Connections Have Been Key in Alumnus Brian Moore’s Career

Posted: March 21, 2023 12:00:00 AM CDT

“Connections separate you from others and get you in the front door,” Brian Moore says, when discussing his 30-year career in banking. It was connections developed with a fraternity brother and his dad at the University of Nebraska at Kearney that helped Moore land his first bank job just months after graduating with his Finance degree in 1992.

Moore has always worked in the lending side of banking. Starting as a consumer lender, he moved to commercial loans, where he has been for the past 22 years. “I really enjoy commercial lending and that part of banking,” he says. “You see all sorts of opportunities. A guy who wants to feed 10,000 head of cattle to the person who wants to build a hotel.” Brian Moore in his office

Forget portraits of bankers like Scrouge and Mr. Potter. Making people smile, laugh, and feel good about themselves is part of Moore’s personality. “I’m kind of the in-house practical joker,” he admits. As a positive person he believes “you accomplish more, you’re more creative, and you’re easier to be around.” 

Taking care of the customer and helping them realize their financial goals is Moore’s passion. “You get to see the realization of dreams at the most basic level and the most sophisticated level.  From building or starting a business to buying a first car. Loans from $5,000 to $30 million.” Moore’s customers describe him as creative, honest, hardworking, and available.

Behaviors and Attitudes that Led to Success

Moore is currently the Senior Vice President of Pinnacle Bank in Kearney, which he and seven long-term co-workers started March 1, 2020, just days before things shut down because of Covid. “Instead of seeing the pandemic as a negative,” Moore says “they saw it as an opportunity to hit the pavement and talk to people and prove that we were capable of being their bankers. Since starting,” he explains, “we’ve grown this bank to about $155 million in assets and just opened a new $5 million building in Kearney.”Brian Moore in front of pinnacle bank Kearney branch

Three things, Moore says, have led to his success:

  • “not getting outworked by my competitor,”
  • helping others achieve their financial dreams, and
  • learning to “adapt and figure out ways to do this job in an ever-changing world.”

This idea of adapting and learning was something Moore, who spends summers touring the country on his Harley Davidson with 6 other friends, learned at UNK. “If you are unwilling to change or learn new technology, you’re going to have a short-lived career.” This has served him well in his banking career which, he says, “has changed from lotus and Excel to Blockchain and cryptocurrency.”

Success is not always linear. “Sometimes you back up a bit to create opportunities for yourself down the road,” Moore says, which helped him get where he is today. His first job in banking was a pay cut from his Pizza Hut managerial position. But “this one step backward, set the stage for future earnings and future jobs.”

UNK’s Role

Moore, who enjoys spending time outdoors, hunting and fishing, and now woodworking, enjoyed his college days at UNK. With the smaller class size, he began making connections with teachers and students, was involved in a fraternity, and learned “not to be afraid to ask people you know for help.”

Besides seeing the value of his education and the importance of his university to the community, Moore is still involved with UNK. “My wife and three of my kids have attended UNK.” He’s on the football backers committee and involved with his fraternity and the College of Business and Technology. “UNK is an important part of who I am today.”

Giving back is important to Moore. “It’s about sharing knowledge and experiences to the next generation.” He teaches a session in Bree Dority’s finance class and gives students this advice about developing connections. “Surround yourself with people who help you be a better person. Cultivate what I call a “circle of influence” where you have a contact in 10-12 different industries who you can go to with a question or when you need a lead.”Brian Moore and his son Brandon

Following His Dreams

While his mom and grandmother both worked on the operational side of banking, Moore never thought of banking as a career. He chose a finance degree thinking he would be a New York stockbroker on Wall Street. “I got a little older and into my degree and figured out that’s a tough way to make a living,” he laughs. “Then I had some instructors on the finance side who really ignited my passion for entrepreneurship and financing.”

Moore is right where he wants to be. “I look back and see I’ve managed to stay in the same career for 30 years. And it’s the perfect fit for me.”

By: Theresa Boedeker

Category: General, Business and Technology, Marketing

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