A familiar face takes on a new role

Dempster begins work as bank president today

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At bigger, metropolitan banks, bank presidents might not get to spend much time with customers.

But in Craig, bank presidents aren't hidden away in an office; they meet customers face to face.

For David Dempster, the new president at the Craig branch of Bank of Colorado, being able to interact with customers is one of the best parts of the job.

"Since we're a rural bank, we have broader duties," Dempster said. "That's a plus."

Today is Dempster's first official day as president of the branch.

He takes over for Mark Harmon, who is moving to Montrose to take over Olathe State Banks in Delta and Olathe.

Ready for the challenge

Dempster, 36, said he isn't nervous about the transition from vice president to president.

Having been at the bank for nine years and having spent the past six years working closely with Harmon, Dempster said he is ready for the new job and new responsibilities.

"There are going to be some different things that I'll need to learn," Dempster said, but he stressed that he isn't nervous about becoming president.

Harmon said Dempster is a good fit for the job.

"Dave is a great guy, a long-term employee," Harmon said. "The bank will not lose a step."

Dempster got started in banking right after high school in 1988.

He was working on an associate's degree in business at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, Neb., at the time.

Since he was already working toward a business degree, Dempster said he decided to pursue a banking career.

"I just like dealing with people," Dempster said.

Dempster went on to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration and management from Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb., in 1997.

John Gray will succeed Demp--ster as vice president at the bank.

The customers at Bank of Colorado probably won't notice the staff changes, Dempster said.

"The bottom line is, we're going to continue business as usual," Dempster said. "We're going to continue to work hard to help our customers."

'Scared to death'

Dempster may not be nervous about his new job, but in February, when he was gearing up to be the master of ceremonies at the Kiwanis Play, Dempster said he was plenty nervous.

"I was scared to death," Demp--ster said.

Hosting the play, which is infamous for lampooning virtually everything and everyone in Craig, was an honor, Dempster said.

He did a lot of joke research to keep the crowd entertained between skits.

He started with about 100 jokes and narrowed it down to about 30 before opening night.

For Dempster, who has been a Kiwanis member for five years, it was his first time as the emcee at the play. By all accounts, he looked like a veteran.

Dempster's wife, Julie, said she was apprehensive about her husband's performance, but thought he did a good job.

"He did well," Julie Dempster said. "But he definitely was nervous."

A good fit

When he accepted the job as bank president, Dempster said some people were worried that the promotion would lead to another that would take him out of Craig.

But he said he has no desire to do that.

For Dempster, his wife and their children, Brynnae, 8, and Ethan, 5, Craig is a good fit, he said.

Dempster said Northwest Colorado provides plenty of opportunity to what he enjoys, including playing ice hockey, riding motorcycles, camping and four-wheeling.

"I like the rural environment," Dempster said.

Plus, Craig is a great place to be a dad, Dempster said.

"This is the best place to raise small children," he said.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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