This week's employee spotlight is on Derek Smith. At First Business Bank, it’s easy to see how talented professionals build a fulfilling career. With educational support, mentorship, and opportunities to move positions around the company, our employees are able to plan their career paths and do what it takes to get there. The rewards are many, including an invigorated career building new skills and making a significant impact within the company.

One example is Derek Smith. Derek is an Navy veteran who joined First Business Bank in 2016 as an IT Support Specialist. Before the Navy, Derek’s first job was at Burger King in 1999, so he knows how to multitask and work hard.

Making Career Moves

In 2019, Derek saw his opportunity to make a move into a career he was always interested in: cybersecurity. He was named IT Security & Compliance Specialist in 2019 at First Business Bank. In his role, Derek monitors for security threats, takes appropriate actions against threats, and trains employees on best cybersecurity practices and awareness. He also works with auditors and examiners to ensure First Business Bank meets all required compliance standards.

When he first applied for his original role in 2016, Derek said he was intrigued by the interview process. “I’ve never been a part of an organization that not only focuses on your professional qualifications but also on your personality and how well you will fit with your team and the bank,” Derek said.  “It really improves a team’s and organization’s performance when you’re not only working with professionally qualified people, but also people that mesh well.” 

Derek says his favorite thing about his co-workers at First Business Bank is that they’re down to earth and friendly. “Employees really appreciate and take the time to get to know each other — it’s like a family environment,” he said. 

Cybersecurity Expert 

In his role as IT Security & Compliance Specialist, Derek said he really likes that cybersecurity is always evolving and enjoys staying on top of the latest cybersecurity practices. As part of that, he makes sure we have the best tech and policies in place to protect ourselves. The most rewarding part of his job is stopping threats in their tracks. He said no one likes getting calls from him checking to make sure all is Ok, however, usually he’s double-checking an alert he’s monitoring to make sure it wasn’t malicious. 

His advice for new employees starting at First Business Bank is to not worry if Corey Chambas, CEO of the holding company, comes looking for them. He likes to introduce himself or check in to see how you’re doing. Derek relayed a story from his first day:

“On my first day with First Business Bank, a few people told me that Corey was looking for me. I was still getting to know everyone, and they told me Corey was the CEO. I was thinking, “What in the world does the CEO want with me?” I finally ran into Corey and he just wanted to introduce himself to me and wanted to say hi. In all my previous jobs, I’ve never had the CEO track me down just so they could introduce themselves to me. That was a very positive experience for me. New employees: don’t be scared if you hear that Corey is looking for you!”

When he’s not at work, Derek likes to take ballroom dance lessons, a hobby he said is great exercise, relaxing, and “surprises everyone.” He’s also grateful for the work-life balance that First Business Bank offers.

“First Business Bank is like a family,” Derek said. “If there is a personal issue that you need to take care of, they’re happy to have you take some time off to get your personal matters in order without any pressure and happy to help with anything that may be going on in your life.”