Word of mouth is the best advertisement, and Corey Kates heard good things about INB before coming to work here. He says that INB Mortgage Processor Kent Starr talked to him about the culture and the growth opportunities for both employees and the bank.
“When I interviewed, I could tell right from the beginning that this was going to be a great fit, and what solidified it for me was when they told me that Sarah Phalen, the president of the bank, meets with each candidate at the end of the interview process. In today’s world, that’s almost unheard of . . . I knew then that the bank puts their employees first . . . so it was just a no brainer that this is where I wanted to be.”
Though hired two years ago to work behind the scenes in our mortgage department, Corey told his boss from the beginning that he was interested in being a lender. “I wanted to be the one who handed over the keys at the end of the closing.” Corey thanks both Samantha Patrick (mortgage processing manager) and Gregg Formigoni (vice president, mortgage operations) for helping him get the chance. “I’ve learned more from them in the last two years than I would have anywhere else . . . They are true experts in their field, and I am undeniably grateful for the opportunity they have given me, and have backed me 100% in my growth at the bank.”
Making the Transition to Lending
Today, Corey is a mortgage lender (NMLS#: 1652367) and is now being mentored by INB Mortgage Lender Todd Weir. “I can’t tell you how many nights a week I have been on the phone with Todd at 8 or 9 p.m. going over questions . . . He has sacrificed quite a bit of his personal time to ensure that any questions I have get answered, and he has fully backed my growth within the bank . . . Have I mentioned how INB is 100% committed to the growth path of its employees yet?”
Corey graduated from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He says, “When I graduated college I knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to be in the banking field at some level, but at that time I wasn’t sure what level that was just yet. I had the opportunity out of college to go work at Systemax Corp. as a senior consultant, which I’m so thankful for the chance because I was able to travel across the country and meet with senior executives and officers at banks and credit unions about their marketing plans . . . My time there was the door to the banking industry, and just knew that’s where I wanted to go from there.”
Being part of the mortgage process is very rewarding, says Corey. “I’m most proud of the individuals throughout the industry who are dedicated in assisting families in the hardest decision of their lives. A lot of people would not want to be in charge of helping make those choices for other people, but it’s a very rewarding and fulfilling process to me!”
While the home buying process includes a lot of paperwork and steps, Corey is glad that INB has made the process simple with our easy online application and the use of smart phones to take pictures of essential documents. He notes, “Technology is not passing INB by.”
Springfield is Home
Corey is committed to his hometown of Springfield. He says, “I was born and raised in Springfield, all my family is still in the area, and my closest friends are still here. I’ve had the opportunity to move out of Springfield, but I love this community . . . Springfield as a whole has been good to me ever since I was a child. I feel like it’s my turn to give back, and I’m ready to do my part to show how incredible this community truly is.”
Taking his love and family and community to heart, Corey talks about The Mike Steele Memorial Golf Tournament. “It started in 1986 in the memory of my Uncle Mike, and is a two-day stroke play golf tournament. Mike passed away from leukemia; he was a talented athlete and golfer in the Springfield area. My grandparents, John and Dixie Steele, came up with the plan to start the golf tournament to commemorate his competitiveness in golf, but also raised money each year for a scholarship for someone needing financial assistance and wanting to play athletics in college. Around seven or eight years ago, my grandparents told my brother, my mom, and I that they just couldn’t keep up with the hard work it took to run the tournament. It was a no brainer to my brother and me, and we told my grandparents and our mother that we weren’t going to let it cease. We decided to make a few changes, and our first order was changing the donation from a scholarship winner to a local individual or family in dire need of assistance due to a debilitating disease or illness in the family. I’m very proud of what our community is able to accomplish when we all come together, and we’ve been able to raise over $250,000 since starting the tournament!”
This year’s tournament is June 8 and 9.