In his own words: Kevin Sullivan, Nevada State Bank

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Nevada State Bank:

Kevin Sullivan: Nevada State Bank will celebrate its 50th anniversary this December, so it has been through all the good times and the bad with our clients. Our current assets hover around $4 billion, and we are the fourth largest commercial bank in Nevada. We provide a full array of banking services which we have focused on five main lines of business: retail banking (which is the branch network), commercial lending, real estate, small business and private banking. We currently have 58 branches throughout the state with over 800 employees. Here in northern Nevada we have 16 branches serving customers from Minden, all the way out to Wells, Eureka and Tonopah. Some people are not as familiar with our parent company, but we are a subsidiary of the Salt Lake City-based Zions Bancorporation, a financial services companies with a 135-year history of banking and current assets of $54.6 billion.

NNBW: What role do you play in the company?

Sullivan: Senior representative of the bank in northern Nevada. I oversee all commercial lending in northern Nevada.

NNBW: What kind of boss are you?

Sullivan: I try to hire strong people and allow them to do their job. Provide guidance and support and remove any obstacles they encounter.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Sullivan: After graduating from college I was not sure exactly what I wanted to do. With no practical business experience, jobs were hard to find. I applied and was hired as management candidate at First Interstate Bank in 1986. As a management candidate they expose you to all the aspects of banking. I really enjoyed commercial lending and I have spent my career in that aspect.

NNBW: What do you enjoy about it?

Sullivan: I enjoy the interaction with clients. Building relationships and seeing the clients' businesses succeed with our help. It's really where bankers get their satisfaction we are lucky to be a part of so many great projects, new buildings, successful companies people's lives.

NNBW: What do you find annoying or frustrating about it?

Sullivan: It's really frustrating when we can't help when we are unable to provide for a client's needs. Also, when you lose a relationship to a competitor after working so hard for them.

NNBW: If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn't it your first choice?

Sullivan: I thought about going to law school. At that point in my life I just was not committed to more school.

NNBW: What effect has the changing economic environment had on your company?

Sullivan: A significant impact. Any financial institution that had been lending in the residential and commercial arenas is working out of problem loans associated with the residential and commercial developers. Further, as we try to work with clients that are experiencing troubled times financially, it becomes very frustrating when you reach the point that you cannot do anything more for them.

NNBW: How do you spend your time away from the office?

Sullivan: I spend time with my wife and three daughters. They have always been involved with athletics so I spent many of their earlier years coaching; now I am just a spectator, but an avid one. We also spend time outdoors.

NNBW: Of all the things you learned from your parents, which was the most valuable?

Sullivan: I was taught to be respectable and humble. My parents were great role models in being honest and upstanding.

NNBW: Who were your childhood heroes?

Sullivan: My parents, a variety of teachers and coaches. Joe Montana was my childhood hero. I used to watch him play for Notre Dame and I would tell people he was going to be a great pro one day. He is arguably the best ever.

NNBW: What school activities and sports did you participate in?

Sullivan: I was involved in athletics; football, basketball and golf.

NNBW: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Sullivan: I have had a lot of good advice throughout my career from many of my supervisors. My wife has always been a good source of advice.

NNBW:What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?

Sullivan: I would want to be remembered for my integrity.

The basics:

Name: Kevin Sullivan

Professional position: Nevada State Bank, executive vice president - northern Nevada

How long have you been in this job? 19 months

How long in the profession? 23 years

Education: BS in business management, University of Nevada, Reno

Last book you've read? "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell. It's about a Navy Seal team on a special mission that gets caught in firefight in Afghanistan and there is one survivor as the title indicates. Very moving book. Thank God for our military that fights for our country.

What's on your iPod? I do not have one. My daughters have taken all of them.


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