Corey Chambas, Class of 2001
IB is celebrating 20 years of the 40 Under 40 in 2020, and will be catching up with past recipients to see what they’ve been up to since they were honored. This week features Corey Chambas, president & CEO, First Business Financial Services Inc.
What have you accomplished in your professional life/career since your 40 Under 40 selection?
I was honored to be in the first round of 40 Under 40 almost 20 years ago. I’m still enjoying my time at First Business Bank, now as president and CEO of First Business Financial Services Inc., the parent holding company. I’m really proud of our accomplishments in that time, like when we went public in 2005, when we crossed the $2 billion in assets mark last year, when we reached 300 employees recently, and having been a contributing part of the community — for example, surpassing $1 million raised at First Business for United Way of Dane County.
What accomplishments, milestones, or endeavors have you attained in your personal life since your 40 Under 40 selection?
It has been my pleasure to watch my adult children find fulfilling careers and to be blessed with grandchildren. Spending time with my family and especially now the grandkids is everything to me. I was also very personally rewarded to be United Way of Dane County campaign chair last year. Seeing everything UWDC does to help our community is really stunning and it was my honor to be a part of that.
If you were to “do it all over again,” what (if anything) would you do differently throughout your career?
I ended up in banking in a very serendipitous way and I wouldn’t change a thing about my career. I am very lucky to have fallen in with Jerry Smith and the wonderful people at First Business.
How did your 40 Under 40 selection help your career?
Looking back at my fellow first-year 40 Under 40 classmates, I see several who I’m still in regular touch with, one I converted to a co-worker a few years later, and one who is on our holding company board. The 40 Under 40 election was one of the first times I felt like I was really succeeding in my career.
What is something that you have a new passion for since the time of your induction — either professionally or personally?
Over the past 20 years, I’ve gained a much stronger appreciation and actually have become quite passionate about the benefits of having a strong culture. I now understand it to be the key to long-term success. Ours was originally formed by Jerry Smith who founded First Business Bank 30 years ago this year, and we’ve done many things to reinforce it over the years. I truly feel like it has been critical to our success.
Based on your experience, do you have any advice for today’s young professionals (under 40)?
Ideally do something you enjoy, because if you’re passionate about it, you’re more likely to be successful. I know it’s a privilege to have a career you enjoy — my own father didn’t like his job as a factory worker, so he really stressed college to create options for me. There are many ways to define success, but life is too short to not enjoy your work and even more importantly the people with whom you work.
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