Peter Giese, Park Bank

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Peter Giese, assistant vice president credit administration, Park Bank.
Park Bank

(Beth Skogen Photography)

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most challenging part of the job is often the gray areas. There are a lot of policies and rules to follow, and with that there are almost always things that pop up which aren’t clearly covered. Those are the things that you can spend the most time on. Being able to use your judgment can be the trickiest part, while attempting to keep the best interest of both the client and the bank in mind.

The most rewarding part of the job is working with my team. Watching some of the younger associates grow and progress, as well as teaching them more about their role and responsibilities is very rewarding. For instance, if a board member makes a positive comment about an associate’s work, it makes me feel really great about what we’re doing here. We are all learning and it’s gratifying to see us all come together to get to bigger and better places.

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

Someone I really admire in business would be my mom. She retired from teaching about 20 years ago and started her own business selling blinds and window coverings. It has really taken off and a lot of that success is from her just being herself. She had no prior experience, but her good attitude immediately won over customers. She is someone who really cares and tries to help anyone she can. She is not afraid of anything; she will walk into a new place and go right up to someone and introduce herself.

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

The high point of my career is honestly right now. Park Bank is a fun place to work, and the associates on my team are all great people and passionate about what they do. They truly care, which makes a big difference. I come to work on a Monday knowing that the week will fly by because it’s going to be fun. When I started my career at Park Bank, I started smiling on my way to work. I hope to be a good role model for my kids to find a job they love. If you don’t find a job that you enjoy right away, figure out how to get there.

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

Be kind to everyone you meet. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Good things happen to good people. Work hard. Just say yes and try new things. If you try new things, you gain something, whether that be a friend or an experience — you are gaining something you didn’t have prior.

I would reassure my younger self to keep doing what you need to do, and life will continue to get better.

If you told me 20 years ago that this would be my life, I would be thrilled. I think of the other paths I could have taken, but that wouldn’t have led me to where I am today, and I couldn’t be happier.

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

The reminders of why we choose to stay in Dane County pop up all the time. There are so many events and activities our family enjoys that happen right here. For instance, Badger hockey games in the winter and Madison Mallards baseball games in the summer. Dane County has a wide variety of restaurants that we are always looking to try. There are also several great local parks we like going to such as Governor Nelson or Westport Prairie. Where we live, we get the small town feel but we are still only 10 minutes away from everything else.

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

I enjoy welding and woodworking.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I cannot say no to barbeque and pizza. I once convinced my wife to travel with me to Phoenix to try the supposed “best” pizza in the country. It was an amazing trip, and the pizza was awesome. We drove back through Texas, and there I was exposed to real barbeque for the first time. From that day forward, it became another one of my passions. The cool thing is that when you pick up a new passion, you don’t have to replace others — you simply gain another! I used to have two to three times a year that I would really look forward to, and now there are more like 10. Almost every month there is something I’m looking forward to!

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