Episode no.12

Entrepreneurship through a Banking Lens with Michael Wamsganz

Hosted by Bryan Taylor and Pat Linden

Podcast details

Have you ever wondered what it takes to master the complexities of commercial banking and entrepreneurship?

In this episode of The BizMafia Podcast, we have the pleasure of delving into the world of finance and business with Michael Wamsganz, the President and CEO of Citywide Banks, a division of HTLF Bank. Michael’s profound insights and personal journey are invaluable for those intrigued by the nuances of banking and the entrepreneurial drive that propels business success.

In our conversation, Michael sheds light on the essence of banking, emphasizing the significance of trust, character, and a deep understanding of both the business and the personal lives of potential borrowers. He also shares his perspective on what constitutes a profitable business and underscores the interconnectedness of personal lifestyle and business operations, a factor often overlooked but crucial for success. Additionally, he touches on his entrepreneurial venture in the wedding and wine industry, highlighting how disruptions like COVID-19 can create opportunities. Michael further explains a strategic partnership with an agricultural school, providing students with practical winemaking experience, and reflects on the lessons learned from his business growth, emphasizing the value of community engagement and partnerships.

What We Discuss

  • [00:00:51] Meet Michael Wamsganz
  • [00:05:29] Balancing risk management and sales in banking
  • [00:08:54] Michael on strategies for differentiation
  • [00:11:25] Evaluating company financials and borrower character in lending
  • [00:13:52] How to balance good and bad deals
  • [00:19:48] Long-term relationship management with customers
  • [00:28:37] Succession planning and transitioning businesses
  • [00:37:14] Managing changes and curveballs in the industry
  • [00:40:56] Michael’s entrepreneurial journey into wedding and wine venue business
  • [00:51:55] The growth, transformation, and future industries of Colorado

Notable Quotes

  • [00:07:32] – “We’re going to look at the character of the customer and build a trust factor. I think that goes both ways. I really appreciate when the customer looks at the organization, the bank, and looks at the strength and the stability.” – Michael Wamsganz
  • [00:20:14] – “It’s really about building a true relationship. You know who your top customers are, and part of your role is to ensure that you’re just staying in touch with them.” – Michael Wamsganz
  • [00:22:34] – “You just can’t say we’re going to have exceptional customer service; that’s just table stakes. Everybody has to have that.” – Michael Wamsganz
  • [00:46:18] – “I think it really makes me a better banker as well because I walk in the shoes of an entrepreneur as a business owner.” – Michael Wamsganz

Our Guest

Michael Wamsganz joined Citywide Banks, a division of HTLF Bank, as Director of Commercial Banking in April 2020. With a rich background in both Commercial and Consumer banking, he ascended to President and CEO in May 2021. Previously, Michael held leadership roles at Huntington National Bank, Bank of the West, U.S. Bank, and Citibank. He holds a B.S. in Business Management and Marketing from Southeast Missouri State University and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School. Actively contributing to his community, Michael serves on the boards of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Banker Association, Downtown Denver Partnership, and University of Colorado Customer Experience Advisory Board.

Resources and Links

Michael Wamsganz

By President and CEO of Citywide Banks

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Michael Wamsganz

By President and CEO of Citywide Banks

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