Pub. 11 2023 Issue 4

Emerging Bank Leaders “Igniting Leadership” Conference Wrap-Up

This story appears in the
Utah Bankers Association Magazine Pub. 11 2023 Issue 4

Nearly 60 Emerging Bank Leaders convened at the Zions Tech Center in Midvale on Nov. 16, 2023, for the “Igniting Leadership” Conference, with another 150 attendees joining via Zoom. An impressive lineup of speakers offered diverse perspectives on leadership, many providing specific examples that have served them well in their careers.

UBA Chair Andrea Moss welcomed the group in the morning with her leadership insights, followed by an economic update from Mark Knold, Chief Economist from the Utah Department of Workforce Services, and then a discussion of AI impacts on banking and fintech with Ryan Christiansen from the University of Utah Center for Financial Technology.

Emerging Bank Leaders Board Chair Tyson Broderick provided an EBL community update, highlighting a successful year gone by while encouraging everyone to engage with EBL in the year ahead. Next up was “Utah Bankers Ignite!”, a fast-paced showcase of four colleagues — Maximillian Hanak of Regions | EnerBank, Heidi Maestas of Umpqua Bank, Jeff Meyer of Zions Bancorporation and Michelle Smith of Brighton Bank. At times enlightening, funny and touching, this session didn’t disappoint, hitting a wide range of topics like teamwork through a first-generation American lens, finding your personal leadership style, ethics and overcoming adversity.

After lunch, Brian Garrett, Chief Master Sergeant of the Utah Air National Guard, provided insights to lead through volatility and emboldened the audience to “fail forward” — mistakes will happen, but your response to adversity is what counts. Zions Bank’s Tom Morgan followed with a discussion of his five favorite leadership attributes: Vision, Effective Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Adaptability/Innovation and Decisiveness.

The group in attendance at the ZTC then participated in the Marshmallow Challenge, in which they had to build a tower to support a single marshmallow using only spaghetti, string and tape. Competition was fierce, with the winning tower reaching over 24 inches.

The final speaker of the day was Nate Orchard, former Ute and NFL Defensive End, to share his amazing journey. His message was simple yet impactful: “You Matter.” Nate overcame humble and homeless beginnings and several twists and turns before finding himself, overcoming obstacles to star at the University of Utah on his way to being a 2nd Round Draft Pick of the Cleveland Browns.

Keep up to date with Emerging Bank Leaders and learn more about the program at