Brian Spielmann, First Business Bank

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Brian Spielmann, chief accounting officer, First Business Bank.
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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

As a growth-oriented company, First Business Bank is a fast-paced organization which directly contributes to the continuous challenge and opportunity that arises and pushes you to take on more. This has naturally advanced my career in a very rewarding way, including my recent promotion into our chief accounting officer position, which is a great next step in my progressive career path with the company. Each day I am surrounded by an amazing team of people who are experts in their field and provide the leadership necessary to move our people and the company forward. The most rewarding part of my role is being able to coach and mentor others on my team, as well as the motivation that comes from seeing how my work impacts the success of the company.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

When I first started my career, I had the opportunity to work with a phenomenal leader who continues to be a mentor for me to this day. His ability to teach and educate others was a natural instinct and something he did without skipping a beat. Every project, task, or situation that arose was a learning opportunity for those who were open to it. He was always focused on helping me advance and pushing me to take on new challenges and opportunities. He instilled in me core leadership characteristics that I now try to emulate as I lead, develop, and motivate people around me. Best of all, he has a great sense of humor (he can quote Seinfeld with the best of them), drove change in the company, and pushed and supported me along every stage of my career so far.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

The best is yet to come, but at this point I am proud of how my hard work, leadership, and dedication have been recognized and the opportunity that has allowed me as I progressed into the chief accounting role with our company. I am also proud of the designations that I have work hard to achieve: MBA, CPA, and graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Something I would say to myself or others starting out in their careers: work hard, be inquisitive, push yourself to take on new challenges and opportunities, and don’t be afraid to say “yes.” Be comfortable with setting boundaries and make sure to create a healthy balance with work and life, always look for continuous improvement, and focus on others and how you can impact those around you.

What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

The Greater Madison community provides so much opportunity in your personal and professional life. I love all the different ways there are to connect with others through music, art, food, physical activities, volunteerism, etc. Plus, I love the outdoors and there are countless ways to get out and enjoy the beauty that we are surrounded with in our area. The Madison area is a great place to raise a family and my wife and I have enjoyed raising our four growing children here.

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I have had a lifelong love of baseball and worked hard to play competitively, taking the opportunity to play collegiately at Bradley University (go Braves). I was drafted by a Major League Baseball team and was excited to move my career to the next level, but unfortunately my time was cut short due to a shoulder injury.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I am music buff and particularly love live music. When I have the chance, I always take the opportunity to travel around the Midwest to catch a live concert with my favorite bands and artists. A concert highlight was catching Kenny Chesney play at Miller Park, which brought two of my loves together — baseball and country music!

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