First Security Bank – Explore Big Sky


By Mira Brody EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – Timothy Kent, branch president of First Security Bank, fell in love with Big Sky and the community even before he had his first job interview at what was then called Big Sky Western Bank. He had spent years traveling the world, both in the Peace Corps and as part of his work developing 40 golf courses in Asia, Europe and South America. When he accepted the job at the bank, the Colorado native was ready to settle under the spacious skies of Montana.

Big Sky Western Bank was founded by locals in 1990 – Big Sky’s very first bank – and was purchased by Glacier Bancorp of Kalispell, then merged with First Security in 2018. Today they cater for every need Big Sky community banks. Explore Big Sky spoke with Kent about his time at First Security and why he loves the tight-knit community of employees he works with every day.

This series is part of a paid partnership with the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. The following answers have been edited for brevity.

Explore Big Sky: I would like to start with some background information about you, when did you come to Big Sky and what brought you here?

Timothy Kent: June 2015 was my first introduction to Big Sky. On the recommendation of a good friend who lived here, I had applied for a job at Big Sky Western Bank. I was able to spend a weekend exploring the area, including fishing for Gallatin [River] for a Sunday morning and hike in [Yellowstone National] To park. Even before going to a formal job interview, I was hooked.

If that wasn’t enough, everyone I met at the bank, from senior management, was welcoming and positive about the community, the way of life and what’s going on here. I am continually reminded of how lucky I am to now be part of this community.

I am a Colorado native from the far southwest of the state. I grew up in a community of breeders and farmers, but from an early age I was interested in everything international. After a college degree or two from Colorado State, I joined the Peace Corps and spent nearly three years in North Africa working with Tunisia’s Department of Agriculture. After that, I graduated with a degree in international business, moved to Northern California, and started working at an international golf course design and construction company as a financial manager.

EBS: Tell me about the history of First Security Bank, when did it start? How/when did you get involved?

know : The bank we call First Security in Big Sky can be traced back to Big Sky Western Bank, which was established by local Big Sky residents in early 1990. There was no bank here before that time, which meant trips to Bozeman for business and individuals on a regular basis. Big Sky Western eventually expanded to Bozeman where it had four branches under that name and was purchased by Glacier Bancorp of Kalispell. Glacier Bancorp then purchased First Security Bank in 2018 and the two banks were merged as First Security Bank with a total of eight branches. We are now part of the Glacier Bank family, which includes 15 divisions or sister banks that stretch from Kalispell to Yuma, Arizona, primarily along the Rocky Mountains.

EBS: How big is your team and what do you enjoy most about working with them?

know : Here at Big Sky, we are a relatively small team of around eight to nine people typically. However, with our support staff in Bozeman and the other Gallatin Valley branches, we are approximately 200 people in total. It’s a great combination of local services and knowledge, combined with an incredible pool of resources to draw on.

And that describes what I love most about my job at First Security Bank. The company culture promotes one-on-one interactions with customers and takes the time to get to know everyone who walks through the door. Yet, as part of a larger organization, we have the financial resources and knowledge to meet most demands. It’s the best of both worlds.

“The corporate culture promotes one-on-one interactions with customers and takes the time to get to know everyone who walks through the door.”

Timothy Kent, First Security Bank, Branch President

EBS: What is the best part of working at FSB?

know : The past two years have highlighted the great community and colleagues I work with on a daily basis. We’ve all struggled with COVID and how our business models need to adapt so we can continue to deliver services in a safe manner. At the bank we had to close the lobby much more than I would like and customers were good at using the drive-thru even on the coldest and most miserable days. The most common comment heard from customers is that they hope employees stay safe and healthy. It is a supportive community and, in turn, we have been able to continue to provide essential services.

EBS: When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing the most?

know : Let’s go back to where this conversation started: fly fishing the Gallatin way! In warm weather that’s where you’ll find me, unless I venture farther afield and spend a day on the Madison. My son and I started an annual hiking trip to YNP, which has become something I look forward to every summer. If it’s not fishing or hiking, then I’ll be downhill, classic cross-country skiing, or just learning to skate ski. All the great things that most people who live in Big Sky enjoy are right outside our doors.

EBS: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

know : Good companies support their communities. It’s clear and simple advice, but easy to forget in the daily challenges that every business owner or manager faces.

EBS: Do you have anything else to say to the Big Sky community?

know : It is a community that is facing a wave of development at a pace that few others have experienced. With all the opportunities that [growth] present, there are an equal number of challenges. How we as a community approach these issues will set the tone for generations of Big Sky residents to come. It is not a matter of one interest group against another as we seek the best way forward, but all of us together as residents of the community who will find a common path to protect our resources and our quality. of life. I don’t know what it looks like, but I know it’s different from what we have today and our ability to embrace and define change will be key to Big Sky’s future. Big Sky will never be “like the good old days” again, but it can continue to be a world-class community for visitors and residents.


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