Banking was a natural career choice for Ryan Edmundson, new vice president at Marion National Bank. You might say he was raised for it.
“I have quite a bit of family in banking all over the state,” he said.
But before there were bankers, there was his mother, who taught high school business and computers for 13 years in Rexford. Edmundson said early interest he took in her work, coupled with family connections, led to his decision to go into banking.
His family moved from Rexford to Brewster, a town of 350 people about 20 miles west of Colby, when his mother became superintendent and principal of the school system there. He graduated from Brewster High School in 2007, and started working at the bank in Brewster while attending nearby Colby Community College.
Edmundson moved on to Fort Hays State University to pursue a business degree, but he came away with something even better.
One day, Edmundson’s roommate took him along on a visit to his hometown, Hill City, where he met Jillian, his future bride.
“She came out to Fort Hays to work on her master’s in special education, and she was living in Hill City,” Edmundson said. “We met in the grocery store. It doesn’t get much more cliché than that. From the day I met her, it was less than a year before we were engaged.”
Jillian was still working on her degree when Edmundson graduated and got a call from the bank in Brewster.
“Their branch manager and loan officer was retiring, and they called and offered the position,” he said. “Six or eight months later he retired and I took over.”
Jillian stayed in Hays while Edmundson settled in as manager of three branches of Farmers Bank and Trust, then joined him in Brewster when they married in June 2012.
Edmundson’s life changed again the following April when the couple welcomed their first child, Addison.
“It was night and day different,” he said. “It was absolutely wonderful.”
Edmundson gained greater appreciation for small-town living as the couple juggled careers and family life.
“You can’t ask for better support than you get in a small town,” he said. “It’s hard to describe. Your neighbors would do anything for you. If you needed a babysitter or an extra hand around the house, there was always a friend willing to help.”
Extra hands were welcome when a second daughter, Katelyn, came along.
“We lucked out,” Edumundson said. “We have two great kids. They’re always happy. They’ve made it easy to be a parent. So far.”
Edmundson said that he got into the job market because he wanted to live closer to his parents, who had moved to Humboldt, Nebraska. An invitation to interview with Marion National Bank was appealing in part because a move to Marion would cut nearly four hours off of the six-hour drive from Brewster to Humboldt.
“We came down and visited the town and absolutely just loved it, and decided to jump on board,” Edumundson said.
His rural background and experience in agricultural lending, Edmundson said, should benefit his work with farmers as they negotiate the challenges presented by high input costs and lower commodity prices.
Edmundson said he’s gratified by the reception he’s received.
“From the first time I interviewed, and it’s still true, everybody I’ve met has been overly welcoming and very accepting.”