Peter Ostapko believes his role in banking is more than just what’s written on his business card.
Currently vice president and commercial banker with Mid-Missouri Bank, Ostapko says his career accomplishments are better defined by the relationships formed through his work.
“Titles are important, but if we limit ourselves to what’s listed on our business card, we’ll miss out on the great experiences and joys of working in business,” Ostapko says. “For me, taking the time to learn about each person, their business and their journey, that’s where the good stuff comes from.
“If you genuinely take care of people, over time you’ll build a very successful professional career, no matter what field. But it all begins with honesty and serving others.”
Some of his favorite moments include helping a customer consolidate debt, teaching the basics of debit and credit to a teenager who walked into the bank, delivering cards and flowers, and having lunch with a new customer to thank them for their business.
“We naturally have expectations of people, fair or not. When we exceed those expectations, that’s when we find ourselves in what I believe is the sweet spot of impact,” he says.
That’s not to say Ostapko’s influence isn’t noticeable on paper, too.
Currently building his portfolio from the ground up at Mid-Missouri Bank after joining the company in January, his goal is to hit nearly $5 million in new loan growth by the end of September and to double that figure four or five months later. At past jobs at Arvest Bank and First Bank, his portfolios ranged from $10 million to $25 million.
Ostapko, who earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Missouri State University, soon plans to pursue graduate-level education, as well as new certifications, to further his career goals.
Outside of the banking world, Ostapko is active with nonprofit I Pour Life, for which he’s currently board chairman. He uses his banking experience to help govern operations, but it’s his compassion that shines, says Julie Higgins, founder and CEO of I Pour Life.
“Peter has championed this vision,” Higgins says of the nonprofit’s services, such as life-coaching and developmental opportunities, for at-risk, socially isolated youth ages 16-24. “His genuine spirit to love people right where they are, to see their potential and capacity realized, plus strategize on opportunities for advancement is what has helped I Pour Life gain the momentum locally, statewide and now nationally.”
Ostapko says he finds inspiration in his nonprofit work.
A board member with I Pour Life since 2015, he’s helped people not just in the region, but also across the globe in places like Kore, Ethiopia.
“Serving and giving back is absolutely essential, but being part of this organization goes much deeper for me,” Ostapko says. Ostapko also is a member of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Council, and finds time to coach his son’s T-ball team and volunteer at Hope Church.
A Dallas couple follow their bakery franchise dreams to Springfield, and now a Joplin store is on the way.