Allen Brinkman comes to INB with an impressive, 25-year resume in banking. He recently made the move from a larger bank to INB because, he says, INB places a strong emphasis on culture, consistency and flexibility.
“Throughout my career, I have maintained a belief that despite working in the same industry, following the same operating model, and delivering the same product or service, there is always one thing that is never the same between institutions, and that is the culture of that institution. When it comes to choosing a place to work, where my kids go to school, or in making a risk decision about on how a client operates, culture is the #1 decision factor for me.”
Allen continues: “Culture provides people with the environment and platform necessary to achieve their full potential. This INB culture of working together to create a first-class environment for teammates and clients is one I can thrive in.”
INB: Consistent Yet Flexible
During the nine months he evaluated INB as a place to work, Allen says he’d ask the same question repeatedly, but in different ways, to different people, in INB leadership or board roles. He says he never once detected inconsistency in the answers. This consistency assured him that INB was the right fit.
On the other hand, Allen says, clients deserve flexibility. Bankers need to be able to provide them with customized experiences.
He gives this example: Imagine going to a surgeon for knee surgery. Although your surgeon knows you need surgery since your kneecap is facing the wrong way, the surgeon says, “We have a policy here . . . if your kneecap is facing 30 degrees instead of 45 degrees, we must send you home. Please come back after the kneecap has shifted more.”
Of course, that patient is going to go to another surgeon.
Allen believes that if INB were a medical facility, we would have already had that patient released from surgery and in rehab before they could even get an appointment for a second opinion. Allen wanted to be with a bank that takes care of things quickly and efficiently, and he saw that in INB.
“Banking is not a complicated process; there are some banks, however, that make it so.” Allen says INB applies common sense to everyday problems, making things less complicated for clients.
Leading the Florida Lending Team
Allen’s job with INB is to lead a new team of commercial lenders in the Florida market. He’s worked with these lenders in the past, and he says each individual has his or her own diverse skill set. He adds: “They are some of the best-trained, most creative, most expert, and most skilled bankers you are going to find in Florida and, quite frankly, in the whole country. Specifically, I support them, remove obstacles to their success, collaborate with them on the vision for Florida, treat them with respect, step out of the way, and let them do what they do best.”
Allen’s title is Senior Vice President, Florida Market CEO.
But no matter his title, Allen insists it’s about culture, consistency and flexibility. “We all are here with the same goal, and that is to be exposed to a great culture, to avoid being surprised by being inconsistent, and to provide our clients with the flexibility they need to have their business prosper alongside INB's.”
Focusing on Youth
At one point, Allen estimates he was spending 30 hours a week chairing boards and tackling civic issues. He cut back to focus on his job and serving underprivileged and under-resourced youth. “There is a 100 times greater challenge to their success than most people face. It is heartbreaking,” he says.
When not working with this population of children, he’s busy raising his four boys who range in age from 13-20. He’s coached all of them in football. He concludes: “I wish I could keep my kids living with me forever. Don't tell my wife.”