Transforming local deposits into a thriving community: Wyoming Community Bank Board of Directors – Meet Jared Kail

    With long-established roots in Fremont County, Wyoming Community Bank is more than experienced bankers. They are your partner, your neighbor, your friend. The people that work there are part of this community just like you and me. They care and it shows in the service they provide. Jared Kail is one of these people.

    Jared has been a member of the Bank’s Board of Directors for 13 years and was previously a part of the Lander Advisory Board. The main purpose of a director is to monitor and govern the bank’s operations, support our communities and protect the interest of the bank’s shareholders. The board meets monthly to oversee the bank’s direction and to strategically plan for the future.

    We took a moment to talk with Jared about his role on the board and what makes Wyoming Community Bank great.

    How did you end up on the bank’s board?

    I received a call from Scott Estep, who is now the bank President, asking if I would provide a small presentation on the current state of web development to Lander’s Advisory Board. Little did I know that he and Dean McKee, who I’ve known since I was growing up in Lander, had set up a practical test to determine if I would be a good fit for the organization. Evidently, I passed because a few weeks later Scott and Dean asked me if I would consider accepting a position on the Lander Advisory Board. I joined in November 2007 and, in October 2010, the Lander Advisory Board was folded into the full Governing Board of Directors for Wyoming Community Bank.

    Wyoming Community Bank Board of Directors – Standing L to R: Richard Chenoweth (resigned last year), Kraig Florquist, Kent Shurtleff, Mary Margaret Stockton, Dean McKee, Tom Youtz, Dick Phillip, Scott Estep, Hans Hummel, Brad McPherson Seated L to R: John Linton, Bob Foster, Jared Kail, Scott Pettit, Corte McGuffey, Trevor Bekken

    What do you enjoy about serving on the board?

    My favorite part of being a board member is knowing that I am helping an organization that focuses on building our community. Every checking, savings, CD and money market account opened at the bank helps us fund loans that build the foundation of Fremont Country.

    Whether it is a family buying a new ATV through Wyoming Community Finance, a rancher purchasing a new pivot or a business beautifying a storefront on our main streets, Wyoming Community Bank helps grow and support the families and businesses in the place I’ve always known as “home.” This is why community banking is so vital to small communities; we help transform local deposits into a thriving community. To me, being a part of that process is unique and special.

    As a shareholder, you are personally invested in the bank. How does this affect your position as a board member?

    Over the past year, we’ve seen a handful of high-profile, large bank failures. While Wyoming Community Bank may be a small fraction of the size of larger banks, the banking fundamentals are still the same: the riskier and more speculative your investments, the more likely you will face problems when times change. At WCB, every board member has a personally significant investment in the success of our institution. Those investments are important to our families and futures. As we make loans and invest our customer deposits, we all understand that risky decision-making could have serious consequences for our own financial outlook as well as for those of our customers. This encourages us to actively engage with our strong management team to ensure our institution always stays on a very sound financial footing.

    What is the most difficult part of the job?

    The hardest part of being a bank board member is also the hardest part of being a banker – staying up with ever-evolving regulations. Our bank is frequently audited by federal and state agencies, external auditors we hire and internal compliance officers we employ. This is all done in an effort to never fall behind the never-ending regulatory changes that the banking industry goes through. While as board members we are mercifully spared much of the detail behind these changes, we are legally and fiscally responsible to ensure that our institution never becomes complacent about banking rules and procedures.

    Thankfully, Wyoming Community Bank has a team that is highly skilled and professional at wading through the morass of federal and state banking regulations, so that makes our jobs as board members a whole lot easier and our customers’ investments that much safer.

    What special committees have you served on?

    I am the Chair of the IT Committee and serve on the Loan Committee at Wyoming Community Bank. My professional background is in Internet application development, so I was a natural fit to be part of the IT Committee. While banking traces its origins back over 10,000 years, the Internet has only been with us for a few decades. It has materially transformed the landscape of banking and its effects on the industry are just beginning.

    Wyoming Community Bank has technical capabilities that rival those of even our largest competitors. In many ways, technology is a capability-leveling force. It has been fascinating to watch our bank transform from one that uses technology to more or less keep track of customer transactions to one that fully embraces online banking capabilities, including new features like opening accounts virtually, depositing checks remotely, allowing out-of-institution and peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, and supporting Apple and Google Pay at point-of-sale directly from your phone.

    Tell us a little about yourself.

    Born at Bishop Randall Hospital here in Lander, I am a native that comes from a multi-generational family that homesteaded originally in Dubois and Clark, Wyoming. My wife, Joanna, is the Executive Director of the Wyoming PBS Foundation, and we are the (overly) proud parents of two independent and bright daughters: McKenna and Seneca, both LVHS graduates now attending college.

    I survived Laramie’s winters and received a BS in Computer Science from UW in 1993 and earned an MBA from the University of Utah in 1998. I am employed by the National Information Solutions Cooperative, writing code to support our nation’s electrical grid from the comfort of my basement. I tell people I am an 80-year-old birder stuck in a 52-year-old body and have a passion for nature photography (

    I am currently the Chair of the Fremont County School District #1’s Board of Trustees, giving time back to an institution that was crucial to my personal and academic growth. I’d rather be on a trail in the Wind River Mountains than anywhere on the planet, so if you see me in Leg Lake Cirque, stop and say “Hi!”

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