Victor Allen, Senior VP for Ag/Commercial Loans – Serving Fremont County for over 5 years

    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. Senior Vice President, Victor Allen is one of these people.

    After leaving Wyoming as a child, Victor grew up in a great agricultural area in Central Minnesota, where he developed a passion for agriculture and small business. Victor graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor in Agricultural Business Administration and later, obtained his Masters in Business Administration from Wake Forest University.

    Victor joined Wyoming Community Bank (WCB) as Senior Vice President for Ag/Commercial Loans in August 2018. Victor works with customers to figure out their potential use of debt as part of their funding source for operating their farm, ranch, or other commercial enterprise.

    He and his wife, Pam, relocated to Riverton from Kingsport, TN.

    “My roots are in Wyoming, and I wanted to get back closer to my family, who live in the Big Horn Basin,” stated Victor. “We moved to Riverton five years ago and found an old farmhouse with some acreage close to town. Since the original structure was over 100 years old, we’ve made a hobby of remodeling and fixing it up, along with the surrounding property. It provides a place for some gardening, and raising a few head of cattle.”

    We took a moment to talk with Victor about his day-to-day and what makes Wyoming Community Bank great.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    No two days are the same! Of course, there are phone calls, e-mails, and meetings with customers.  As part of underwriting current and potential loans, we’ll collect and review financial information and tax returns. From those conversations and information gathered, I look at what may be the best way to set up a loan for that specific customer. Then I will develop presentations for our loan committee describing the customer’s need, including financial analysis, and present that for their review and approval of loan requests. The fact that our loan committee is local with local decision-making is a key benefit of Wyoming Community Bank, as we’re working our best to serve our local ag and commercial customers. 

    We know small businesses took a hit with COVID. How are they recovering and what part do you play in that recovery?

    We helped our local customers obtain Small Business Administration PPP loans during the pandemic. Now, many small businesses are working with slimmer margins as staffing shortages and inflation are creating issues from lost sales opportunities to higher costs. We’ve been able to continue our assistance by financing equipment that provides greater efficiency in operations or providing lines of credit to help with inventory and working capital.

    What are the different kinds of loans that your department handles?

    We handle both agricultural and commercial loans. We finance a farm’s or ranch’s working capital needs for their annual operations and help them acquire farmland, equipment, and livestock. We can work with all aspects of agricultural production and those commercial entities that support it. Our commercial customers require many types of loans, like lines of credit for working capital, specialized equipment, vehicles, or plant construction. We can assist somebody in buying a business, purchasing investment properties like an apartment building or hotel, or a single-family home that someone will rent.

    What is the process like for these loans?

    When you’re doing a commercial or an agricultural loan, it’s not the same as going in for an automobile, home equity loan, or personal loan. Those loans have an easier process. With agriculture or commercial loans, we do like to have a history of that farm or ranch operation, or commercial enterprise. We’ll typically request financial statements and tax returns for the last couple of years as we want to understand if your business, or your business and you combined, generate enough income to service the debt. Then we’ll look at the assets that are available for collateral. We also, want to understand where the owner(s) want to take their operation in the future.  

    With small businesses, we have to look at not just the business itself but, the ownership structure and who in that business is tied into making it happen. We try to match the product that fits best with the customer’s needs. We do have some resources available to help our customers get a loan when there might be some challenges involved in the approval of a standard loan. We can work with the Small Business Administration and USDA’s Farm Service Agency when the situation calls for it.

    One thing that I’ve seen in Fremont County that is exciting for small business owners, or those looking to start a business, is the CWC Bootstrap Collaborative program. They provide a valuable resource by helping folks figure out some of the critical issues related to starting and operating a new business, or working on changes in a current small business.  They promote coordination between public entities like the Small Business Development Center, local economic development groups, and private entities coming together to help small businesses succeed and achieve their goals. It is a unique resource for entrepreneurs in Fremont County.   

    Tell us a little about yourself.

    My family is originally from Burlington, Wyoming. I wound up living in Minnesota, where I lived until completing an undergraduate in Ag Business Administration from the University of Minnesota. Afterward, I took a job with Eastman Kodak’s chemical division selling animal nutrition supplements for dairy cattle in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.   After the business unit closed, I moved back to Kingsport, Tennessee and held positions in marketing information systems and multiple profit & loss management roles. I obtained a Master of Business Administration from Wake Forest University, and then moved into financial management roles in the now independent, publicly traded, Eastman Chemical Company concluding my tenure there as the vice president & corporate treasurer.  Following that, I worked for eight years as CFO for a start-up renewable energy company that developed technology to grow, harvest, and extract oils, proteins, and dietary supplement ingredients from native sea algae. They sold the technology.

    I met my wife, Pam, when I moved back to Tennessee from Texas. We’ll celebrate 35 years together in September, and we have two grown children. Our son, Jonathan, and his wife Sylvia recently moved to the Des Moines, IA area where he works for Bayer’s seed research & technology group.  Our daughter, Victoria, lives in Auburn, AL, where she works in procurement for an international armored vehicle manufacturer.

    We like visiting with family in the Big Horn Basin area. My wife has become very active with the Riverton Senior Citizens Center, and by association, I’ve enjoyed many activities there. I personally enjoy photography, when time permits, and using our RV to travel and explore.  

    In your opinion, what makes WCB a better banking option?

    Local decision-making!

    We have a high concentration of local ownership and local board members. We are making decisions about how we deploy local depositors’ and investors’ funds into our local community. We’re not shipping their deposits off to some other state or country like a lot of your larger banks do. We are very much focused on Fremont County and the surrounding area and we want to see it succeed, because it’s our home, too!

    For more information on how Wyoming Community Bank can help you with your agriculture or commercial lending needs, click here. One of Wyoming Community Bank’s experienced loan officers will help you through from start to finish!

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