18 years of dedication to rural banking at Wyoming Community Bank

    In the heart of Fremont County, a banking legacy is coming to an end as Scott Estep, the longtime CEO of Wyoming Community Bank, retires after an impressive 38 years in banking. Scott’s journey into the world of banking, his dedication to rural communities, and his thoughts on the industry’s evolution provide insights into the profound impact he’s had on both the institution and the people it serves.

    A Journey Rooted in Agriculture and Community

    His journey into banking began with a degree in Agricultural Business. Facing the reality of limited capital for pursuing agricultural endeavors directly, he found his calling in banking with an agricultural focus. This decision led him to join First Wyoming Bank in 1985, a pivotal step that shaped his career path and his connection to the local communities.

    Scott’s entry into the banking world coincided with the Schute Creek boom in Big Piney, Wyoming. This unique environment provided him with hands-on experience in a dynamic setting, fostering his deep understanding of local economic cycles and the importance of financial services to community growth.

    A Rewarding Legacy with Wyoming Community Bank

    After two decades of working for large national banks that frequently underwent changes in ownership, Scott’s desire for a stable and community-centered banking experience led him to Wyoming Community Bank in 2005. Over the subsequent 18 years, his leadership style and values have left an indelible mark on this institution.

    One of the most rewarding aspects of Scott’s time at Wyoming Community Bank has been the ability to focus on the valuing of customers and supporting local businesses as opposed to fee income. This shift aligns with the core purpose of community banks: to nurture and strengthen the local economy through genuine relationships. His commitment to employee development and community support has cemented Wyoming Community Bank’s reputation as a cornerstone of the Fremont County community.

    Navigating Challenges and Embracing Change

    During his tenure as CEO, Scott faced various challenges head-on, adapting to the rapid technological advancements in the banking industry. From remote deposits to mobile banking and online loan applications, he recognized the importance of staying abreast of these changes to ensure the bank’s competitiveness. A core software conversion in 2019, though challenging, demonstrated the bank’s commitment to innovation and customer convenience.

    The challenges didn’t end there. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent influx of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans required quick adaptation and resourcefulness. Scott’s leadership during this tumultuous period showcased his resilience and dedication to serving the community, even in the face of unprecedented circumstances.

    Redefining Rural Banking: A Lasting Legacy

    Reflecting on his years in the industry, Scott identified the most significant change in rural banking: the transformation of community banks into tech-savvy institutions capable of competing with larger national banks. This shift has not only enabled community banks to offer modern conveniences but has also highlighted their agility in embracing change without compromising their commitment to personalized service.

    As Scott prepares to pass the torch, he leaves the rural community with a powerful message. “Support your local community banks. Thankfully we have a couple of choices in Fremont County like Wyoming Community Bank. These are the banks employing and developing people in the county and all decisions are made locally instead of by an 800 number,” stated Scott. “I encourage people to deposit and borrow their money with organizations that are invested and focused on Fremont County, which will in turn support a healthy local economy.” 

    As his legacy continues through the foundation he’s built at Wyoming Community Bank, his words serve as a rallying cry for supporting community banks that prioritize local well-being over impersonal decisions made from a distance.

    You will be missed, Scott! Enjoy your retirement.

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