|Wichita, KS, May 22, 2017 — (NASDAQ: EQBK) Equity Bancshares, Inc., the Wichita-based holding company of Equity Bank, announced the promotion of Julie Huber, Executive Vice President, who will take on a new leadership role – serving to direct Mergers and Acquisitions integration and strategic initiatives for Equity. The Company is replacing her Chief Credit Officer responsibilities with the hiring of Scott Smits, who is being named as Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of Equity Bank.
In her new executive role, Ms. Huber will specialize in strategic initiatives and management for Equity Bancshares, Inc. Ms. Huber will lead Equity’s implementation during merger integrations, and will support Equity Bancshares’ merger pipeline through research, development and planning efforts. Ms. Huber will also oversee strategic projects for the Company, including efforts related to innovation, process improvement, and customer service.
Mr. Smits will be based in Equity’s corporate headquarters, and will oversee Equity’s credit administration and loan operations personnel, processes, and decisions throughout Equity’s footprint, encompassing 37 branch locations. Smits joins Equity after 9 years in executive credit and risk management positions for Standard Bank and Trust Co. (“Standard”) in Hickory Hills, Illinois.
Brad Elliott, Chairman and CEO of Equity, said, “we’re fortunate to continue to bolster our leadership team with seasoned and sophisticated banking talent, and we’re pleased to welcome Scott. He will be an outstanding resource for our lenders, managers and customers throughout our markets. Organic growth is a focal point for us, and adding Scott to our team helps us ensure continued loan growth and high asset quality.”
Mr. Smits served as Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for Standard beginning in 2014, prior to Standard’s merger into First Midwest Bank on February 3, 2017. Smits served as Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer from 2008 until 2014. Mr. Smits’ risk management background also includes 11 years with Crowe Horwath, overseeing business development and client relationship management as an Executive. Mr. Smits began his banking career in Fairlawn, N.J. in 1987 at Columbia Bank and worked in numerous bank management roles prior to joining Crowe Horwath. He is an alumnus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. and earned his M.B.A. from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo.
Equity Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company for Equity Bank, offering a full range of financial solutions, including commercial loans, consumer banking, mortgage loans, and treasury management services. As of March 31, 2017, Equity had $2.4 billion in consolidated total assets, with 37 locations throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas, including corporate headquarters in Wichita, Kansas.