Hometown man Chris Jones to lead Bank of Colorado’s Craig branch | CraigDailyPress.com

Hometown man Chris Jones to lead Bank of Colorado’s Craig branch

Bank of Colorado Craig Branch President Chris Jones.

Bank of Colorado decided to go with the home court advantage when selecting a new president for the Craig branch.

Chris Jones recently accepted the leadership position at his hometown bank. Jones was born and raised in Craig. After graduating from Moffat County High School in 1992 he attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs earning a bachelor of arts in economics before completing a master's of science in accounting from Regis University in Denver.

It was while he was living on the Front Range that he met his wife Amy — a kindergarten teacher at Sunset Elementary School — at a football game between University of Colorado and Colorado State University. Amy heckled him for wearing the losing school's colors.

The couple have two children — Emma, who will start eighth-grade this fall, and Hudson, who will enter sixth-grade. In 2009 the family decided to return to Chris's hometown.

The couple is involved in a number of community service efforts and created the Friends of Moffat County Education that has provided over $100,000 to support school district programs and teachers. In 2012, he was awarded the Craig Chamber of Commerce "Business Person of the Year."

Prior to accepting the position with the bank, Jones worked for Mountain West Insurance. We caught up with Bank of Colorado Executive Vice President Brad Kreikemeier and Jones to learn more.

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What is the best word used to describe Chris Jones?

Kreikemeier: Chris, from my prospective, is professional. From the way Chris handles himself, has conducted himself in previous business dealings, we know you can always count on Chris to operate with high integrity, do the right thing and work hard and get the job done.

Jones: Determined. I'm determined to do the right thing for all involved. Determined to keep the information of our customers private and secure. Determined to help their needs the best we can and determined to help the community create long-term sustainability.

What will be his duties as branch president?

Kreikemeier: Running the business of the bank: Chris will be responsible for managing the staff of the branch, managing the property, managing and growing the loan portfolio, serving our customers and being a leader in the community.

Jones: Invest in our staff, customers and community. Like any local business, the success of the bank is tied to the success of the community.

How much autonomy is given to branch presidents?

Kreikemeier: We give our presidents a lot of autonomy, as we understand each market is different and we are going to rely on them to know their local market and to be good decision makers. We are going to trust them and give them a significant amount of authority.

To Jones, what are you most looking forward to in your new role?

Jones: The opportunity to reinvest in this community through the bank and working with the staff here. So far they have been very helpful, energetic and great representatives of our bank.

What is the history of the bank? When did it first open?

Jones: The Dinsdale family, owners of Bank of Colorado, acquired First Security Bank in 1988.

When did it become Bank of Colorado?

Jones: The name was changed to Bank of Colorado in 1998. We have been a part of this community for almost 30 years.

When was the last time the bank had a home-grown branch president?

Kreikemeier: Bank of Colorado has always tried to match the personality of the branch President with the community. This time we have a rare opportunity to match our president role to a native of this community.

Craig has a number of banks, so what percent of market share would you say Bank of Colorado has?

Kreikemeier: As of June 2016, our deposit market share was 25.15 percent. The 2017 market share report comes out in the third quarter.

What challenges face Bank of Colorado in general and the Craig branch specifically?

Kreikemeier: Overall challenges that we are facing, like a lot of other banks, are challenges in the agricultural and energy sectors with significant downward pressure in commodity and energy prices. On the Western Slope the general economy has not been as quick to rebound after the 2008 recession, as elsewhere in the state, primarily due to the energy sector. Those factors have a direct relation to the overall economy in Craig; however, there seems to be increased activity in the residential home market.

Jones: Outside of the volatility in the energy industries, the primary challenge would be identifying and cultivating new business opportunities for existing and perspective businesses to come to Craig. There needs to be some economic diversity and stability in Craig. If you are accomplishing those things you create longevity for the community.

Should the community expect additional engagement by the bank in helping Craig grow?

Jones: As a community bank, you can expect us to continue to be engaged to help Moffat County grow and prosper. We are going to do our best to support the things that are going to help build the community and its future sustainability.

Anything else you'd like readers to know? About the bank, about Chris Jones?

Kreikemeier: Bank of Colorado is committed to Craig and we're pleased to have Chris on board, especially as he's born and raised here. He's a local. He knows a lot of people and it's going to be fun to have Chris's leadership both at the bank and in the community.

Jones: The bank and I share the same vision that we want to be a long-term member of the community. That drew us together. They were looking for someone committed to Craig and I was looking for an opportunity to help this community.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.