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Kristy Chastain credits a family tradition of leadership and giving back for shaping her character.
“I had the good fortune of immediate family and extended family that not only gave back to our community but also had leadership roles,” says Chastain, a vice president and commercial loan officer at Metropolitan National Bank.
She has almost 15 years of experience in banking, having started as a commercial support representative installing and programming credit card machines and then working as a small-business banking specialist before moving to her current job.
“As a lender, I have had the pleasure of positively affecting my customers and clients,” Chastain says.
“I take great pride in the ability to help influence a change in business owners’ decision making and succession planning.”
Chastain enjoys the opportunity to help other people in their careers, especially fellow women. Over a three-year period at the bank, she helped establish a women’s initiative that helped not only women within the company, but also women within the community learn to network, develop their career path and give back through volunteerism.
“Under my influence and leadership, I helped to find a curriculum that would influence the way they may conduct themselves professionally and change the way they may think about themselves or their community,” she says.
“I also helped seek out resources to expand our reach into other communities.”
Before Chastain hit the one-year mark at Metropolitan National Bank, she had formed an employee initiative to help people achieve their best personally and professionally. Dubbed Seat at the Table, because all women deserve one, she says the group started with six individuals and has grown to almost 60 out of about 180 employees.
Chastain considers her election this year as president of the Springfield Regional Arts Council board her proudest accomplishment to date.
“Honestly, I was very surprised when I was approached for this position,” she says. “I am not an artist. I do not have any artistic ability, but I love the arts. I love all kinds of arts. I see what art does for children in our community.
“Secretly, I had hoped to be part of the executive roles for the arts council but did not think it was possible.”
Chastain’s intention was to give back to the community through SRAC, but she believes she has received more than she has given.
“I love having the opportunity to shape this organization through decisions that are made,” she says. “It is my hope that this organization is able to continue to help the arts community in our area, as well as impact diversity in our community. I also hope that the greater impact of a more diverse community is a more competitive workforce.”
Chastain is active in the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and has worked with United Way of the Ozarks, the American Heart Association and the Developmental Center of the Ozarks, among others. She is a graduate of Leadership Springfield and a participant with the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge.
The nonprofit moves into its new campus.