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Officers & Directors

Officers & Directors

Executive Management - Great Western Bank

Kenneth J. Karels
Kenneth J. Karels
Kenneth J. Karels

Kenneth Karels has served as Great Western's President and Chief Executive Officer and on its Board since 2010. Mr. Karels is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of our Bank and serves on the Boards of Directors of our Bank and our other subsidiaries. Mr. Karels' duties include overall leadership and executive oversight of our Bank. Mr. Karels has 40 years of banking experience and expertise in all areas of bank management and strategic bank acquisitions. He has served in several different capacities at our Bank since February 2002, including Regional President and Chief Operating Officer for the Bank's branch distribution channel including agriculture, business and retail lending and deposits functions. During his executive tenure, Mr. Karels has helped grow our Bank from $5.2 million in assets at September 30, 2009 to over $11 billion in assets today. Before joining our Bank, Mr. Karels served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Marquette Bank, Milbank, SD, where he was employed for 25 years. In addition, Mr. Karels also serves as a member of the Federal Advisory Council to the Board of Governors' of the Federal Reserve Bank, on the board of Avera Health Systems, the board of Valley Queen Cheese and the board of the South Dakota Education Enhancement and Funding Corporation.

Peter Chapman
Peter Chapman
Peter Chapman

Peter Chapman has served as Great Western’s Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President since 2013 and on its Board of Directors from January 2013 until October 2014, as well as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Great Western Bancorp, Inc. since its formation in July 2014. Mr. Chapman is also the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of our Bank. Mr. Chapman has over 20 years of industry experience and is responsible for all aspects of our financial and regulatory reporting together with planning and strategy and treasury management of our balance sheet. From 2010 until he was appointed as our Chief Financial Officer in November 2012, Mr. Chapman served as the General Manager, Finance Performance Management & Non Traded Businesses for NAB’s Wholesale Banking business. From 2007 through 2010, Mr. Chapman served as Head of Financial Control at NAB and was responsible for oversight and delivery of NAB’s external financial reporting and internal management reporting. From 2004 through 2007, Mr. Chapman was Manager, and then Senior Manager, in NAB’s Group Accounting Policy team. From 1995 through 2004, Mr. Chapman held various roles with Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Audit Division, including Group Manager of its Melbourne, Australia office’s Financial Services Audit practice, and he was seconded to Ernst & Young’s New York office from 1998 through 2000. Mr. Chapman has been a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia since 1998 and is currently a Fellow of the Institute.

Stephen Ulenberg
Stephen Ulenberg
Stephen Ulenberg

Stephen Ulenberg has served as Great Western’s Chief Risk Officer and Executive Vice President since 2012. Mr. Ulenberg has also served as the Chief Risk Officer and Executive Vice President of our Bank since 2010. Mr. Ulenberg is responsible for ensuring that risk is effectively managed and overseen across our enterprise. Mr. Ulenberg has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, including a 24-year career with NAB and its subsidiaries, where he has worked in a number of senior positions including frontline business leadership in commercial and wholesale banking, risk management and major, cross-organizational strategic initiatives—at both Bank of New Zealand (a NAB subsidiary) and NAB. Immediately prior to joining our Bank, Mr. Ulenberg was responsible for the leadership of Bank of New Zealand’s enterprise risk management capability across a $60 billion lending portfolio. In that role, Mr. Ulenberg provided related analytics, risk reporting, portfolio metrics, risk insights, asset quality information and oversight of decision analysis, managed provisioning, risk appetite and advanced Basel models and led ongoing enhancements to Bank of New Zealand’s risk management capabilities.

Doug Bass
Doug Bass
Doug Bass

Doug Bass has served as a Regional President of our Bank since 2010 and is also an Executive Vice President of our Bank. Mr. Bass oversees all of our banking operations within the states of Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri, as well as our wealth management and mortgage banking business lines. In total, Mr. Bass has over 33 years of banking experience. Mr. Bass has worked in various capacities with our Bank since 2009 and has expertise in all areas of bank management within Great Western Bank. Before joining our Bank, Mr. Bass served as President of First American Bank Group. Previously Mr. Bass served in various capacities over 15 years with Firstar Corporation, which is now known as US Bank, including as President and Chief Executive Officer of Firstar’s Sioux City and Council Bluffs operations in western Iowa and as Manager of Correspondent Banking for its eastern Iowa operations, which also included responsibility for commercial banking and agribusiness lending.

Bryan Kindopp
Bryan Kindopp
Bryan Kindopp

Bryan Kindopp has served as a Regional President of our Bank since 2011 and is also an Executive Vice President of our Bank. Mr. Kindopp oversees all of our banking operations within the states of South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and North Dakota. In these states, Mr. Kindopp is responsible for branch operations of 95 of our locations and approximately 700 of our employees. Mr. Kindopp has 25 years of banking experience. Mr. Kindopp has expertise in all areas of bank management and strategic bank acquisitions and has served in several different capacities at Great Western Bank since 2001. Mr. Kindopp’s roles have included Market President and Group President for our Bank’s branch distribution channel for the northeastern region of South Dakota. In these roles, Mr. Kindopp had responsibility for agriculture and commercial business and retail lending and deposit functions. Before joining Great Western Bank, Mr. Kindopp served as Vice President and Market Manager for three years at Marquette Bank, Kimball, SD.

Board of Directors

James P. Brannen
James P. Brannen
James P. Brannen

James Brannen has been a director since October 2015, and has also served on the Board of Directors of our Bank since 2015. Mr. Brannen has served as Chief Executive Officer of FBL Financial Group, Inc., a publicly held financial services company, since August 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Brannen served for 21 years at FBL Financial Group, Inc. in various roles including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer & Treasurer, and Vice President of Finance. Mr. Brannen serves as a member of the boards of the United Way of Central Iowa, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the Federation of Iowa Insurers. In 2015, Mr. Brannen was named "Outstanding CPA in Business & Industry" by the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Brannen's qualifications to serve on the Board include his more than 30 years of relevant business experience in the banking and financial services industry, including Chief Executive Officer and public company management experience.

Frances Grieb
Frances Grieb
Frances Grieb

Frances Grieb has been a director since July 2014, and has also served on the Board of Directors of our Bank since July 2014. Ms. Grieb is a retired partner with 29 years of public accounting experience with Deloitte LLP, the international professional services firm, including leadership roles as Lead Client Service Partner and Audit Partner. Ms. Grieb was based in Deloitte LLP's office in Omaha, Nebraska, and worked with a broad array of financial service entities throughout her career. Additionally, Ms. Grieb has five years of banking industry experience with Packers National Bank, Omaha, Nebraska. Ms. Grieb also serves on the National Advisory Board of the College of Business at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and on the Millard Public Schools Business Advisory Council. Ms. Grieb's qualifications to serve on the Board include her 35 years of relevant board and business experience in the financial services industry, including banking, insurance, broker-dealer, investment company and real estate audit and consulting, and her significant experience with corporate governance and regulatory matters. Ms. Grieb also brings to the Board her extensive experience working closely with public and private companies of various sizes focusing on accounting and technical matters, internal controls and reporting requirements.

Thomas E. Henning
Thomas E. Henning
Thomas E. Henning

Thomas Henning has been a director since August 2015. Mr. Henning has also served on the Board of Directors of our Bank since 2015. Mr. Henning has served for over 25 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of Assurity Group Inc., a privately-held life and health insurance company. From 1985 through 1990, he served as Executive Vice President of First Commerce Bancshares and President and Chief Operating Officer of its lead bank, the National Bank of Commerce. From 1983 through 1985, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of First Commerce's Overland National Bank subsidiary. Prior to that, Mr. Henning served as a Vice President and loan officer specializing in agriculturally related credits. Mr. Henning also served on the board of directors of Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, where he served as Chairman of the risk management oversight committee and as a member of the audit and compensation committees. He currently serves on the board of directors of Nelnet, a public education finance company, where he serves as Lead Independent Director, as well as Chairman of the audit committee and as a designated financial expert and as a member of the finance and risk management committee. Mr. Henning's qualifications to serve on the Board include his over 30 years of relevant business experience in the banking and financial services industry and significant management and leadership experience. Mr. Henning also completed a comprehensive program of study by National Association of Corporate Directors ("NACD") and has been named a NACD Fellow. Mr. Henning is a Chartered Financial Analyst and brings substantial financial expertise and experience to the Company's Board.

James A. Israel
James A. Israel
James A. Israel

James Israel has been a director since October 2016, and has also served on the Board of Directors of our Bank since October 2016. Mr. Israel is a retired senior executive of Deere & Company, where he served most recently as President of the Worldwide Financial Services Division, a position he held from 2006 through 2014. He joined Deere & Company in 1979 holding a variety of management positions within the Agriculture, Financial Services, Construction & Forestry Divisions, and executive leadership positions within the Financial Services Division including Senior Vice President International Lending, Commercial Lending and Worldwide Equipment Financing. He also served as Vice President Marketing and Product Support, Europe, Africa, Middle East and the CIS from 2003 through 2006 in the Worldwide Agriculture Division. Mr. Israel currently serves on the board of trustees for Central College in Pella, Iowa and the advisory board of the Tippe Business College at the University of Iowa. Mr. Israel's qualifications to serve on the Board include his more than 35 years of relevant business experience in the financial services industry, including executive leadership and public company management experience.

Kenneth J. Karels
Kenneth J. Karels
Kenneth J. Karels

Kenneth Karels has served as Great Western's President and Chief Executive Officer and on its Board since 2010. Mr. Karels is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of our Bank and serves on the Boards of Directors of our Bank and our other subsidiaries. Mr. Karels' duties include overall leadership and executive oversight of our Bank. Mr. Karels has 40 years of banking experience and expertise in all areas of bank management and strategic bank acquisitions. He has served in several different capacities at our Bank since February 2002, including Regional President and Chief Operating Officer for the Bank's branch distribution channel including agriculture, business and retail lending and deposits functions. During his executive tenure, Mr. Karels has helped grow our Bank from $5.2 million in assets at September 30, 2009 to over $11 billion in assets today. Before joining our Bank, Mr. Karels served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Marquette Bank, Milbank, SD, where he was employed for 25 years. In addition, Mr. Karels also serves as a member of the Federal Advisory Council to the Board of Governors' of the Federal Reserve Bank, on the board of Avera Health Systems, the board of Valley Queen Cheese and the board of the South Dakota Education Enhancement and Funding Corporation.

Stephen M. Lacy
Stephen M. Lacy
Stephen M. Lacy

Stephen Lacy has been a director since August 2015, and also has served as a member of our Bank Board of Directors since April 2015. Mr. Lacy is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Meredith Corporation, a public media and marketing company serving American women. He joined Meredith Corporation in 1998 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer until 2006, and since then has served as Chief Executive Officer. He was appointed Chairman of Meredith Corporation in 2010. Mr. Lacy serves on the board of directors of Hormel Foods Corporation, a public corporation, where he is Chair of the compensation committee and also serves on its audit committee. Mr. Lacy also serves on the board of the Kansas State University Foundation and United Way of Central Iowa. Mr. Lacy's qualifications to serve on the Board include his significant public company management experience and public company board experience. As the leader of Meredith Corporation and his other board memberships, Mr. Lacy also brings several years of public company corporate governance experience to our Board.

Daniel Rykhus
Daniel Rykhus
Daniel Rykhus

Daniel Rykhus has been a director since July 2014. Mr. Rykhus joined our Bank as a director in 2011. Since August 2010, he has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Raven Industries, a publicly-held corporation that solves great challenges through innovative, high-value products in precision agriculture, high performance specialty films, and situational awareness markets. He has been a member of the board of directors of Raven Industries since 2008. He has worked in various managerial capacities at Raven Industries since 1991, starting as Manufacturing Manager of the Applied Technology Division and serving from 1999 through 2008 as the Division's General Manager. From 2008 through 2010, Mr. Rykhus was the Executive Vice President of Raven Industries. In addition, Mr. Rykhus serves on the boards of directors of the Sioux Empire United Way, the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Face It Together, a nonprofit organization that employs innovative approaches to combating drug and alcohol addiction. Mr. Rykhus' qualifications to serve on the Board include his 25 years of managerial experience and his years of experience as a director and Audit Committee member for our Bank. As the leader of a publicly-held company with a market capitalization of approximately $1 billion as of September 2016, Mr. Rykhus also brings several years of public company corporate governance experience to our Board.

James Spies
James Spies
James Spies

James Spies has been a director since August 2015. Mr. Spies has served as a member of our Bank's Board of Directors since May 1983 and is the Chairman of its Trust Committee. Mr. Spies is President of Spies Corporation, a privately-held company that owns, operates, manages and develops real estate, and he also owns a number of retail businesses in South Dakota. Mr. Spies has served as a Corporate Director of the Educational Enhancement Funding Corporation since 2002 and has, since 2010, served as a Commissioner of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission. He also served as a member on the South Dakota Transportation Commission from 2005 through 2011. Mr. Spies' qualifications to serve on the Board include his extensive management experience, in-depth knowledge about our business and over 30 years of relevant experience as a member of the Board of Directors of our Bank.