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Sam Unnerstall Graduates from GSBC, Named OYP

photo of sam unnerstallOctober 6, 2021

Sam Unnerstall, Bank of Washington, recently graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado’s state-of-the-art graduate school of banking program. Unnerstall was among 141 graduates of the class of 2021 honored in a ceremony on July 29, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. Additionally, Unnerstall was recently named an Outstanding Young Professional by the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce and The Missourian. The Outstanding Young Professional Awards were created in 2013. To date, the Chamber and The Missourian have honored 119 recipients. 

Students graduate from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado (GSBC) upon successfully completing three annual two-week sessions of classroom training on the University of Colorado Boulder campus in Boulder, Colo., and six immersive intersession research projects between sessions and throughout the year. Courses covering four career areas are delivered by community-banking experts and include financial management, technology, leadership, and lending.

The Outstanding Young Professional (OYP) award was created by the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce and The Missourian to recognize the up-and-coming generation of Washingtonians. The class of 2021 was recognized at a Chamber annual member luncheon on October 4. A selection committee comprised of Chamber and Missourian representatives reviewed the nominations and made the selections. The recipients had to be 40 years of age or younger at the time of nomination. 

Unnerstall joined the Bank of Washington in 2014 as a credit analyst and was most recently promoted to vice president of commercial lending in 2021. He is a graduate of St. Francis Borgia Regional High School and attended East Central College, St. Louis University, a collaboration of online universities and currently holds associates and bachelor degrees in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration. In addition to graduating from GSBC, he completed the Missouri School of Lending in 2016 and the advanced School of Lending in 2017.

The Missourian provided the following Q&A with Unnerstall in their OYP supplement:

First job? Maintenance worker at the Washington City Pool.

Favorite local hangout? 1869 Draft Room

Biggest accomplishment at your current job? Learning the job quickly and gaining the trust of ownership and management. More specifically, knowing some of the buildings I have helped finance will be around for a very long time.

Best advice for a young professional? Never stop learning, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s ok for someone to be smarter than you, but there is no excuse for someone to outwork you.

Who’s the mentor who’s made the biggest impact on you? My parents instilled a really strong work ethic in me, as well as an extraordinary sense of family and community. My older brother Steve and my uncle Tim taught me how to learn and problem solve. Jay Nowak and L. B. Eckelkamp taught me the most important things about being a good community banker.

Who is your dream mentor? Ben Bernanke, former Fed Chairman.

Most surprising fact about you? I’m really bad at board games-like really bad. My wife and kids beat me often, and my boys are 5 and 9.

Most rewarding volunteer experience? Seeing my fundraising efforts with Primero Agua provide clean, running water to a community in Honduras that didn’t have it before, which saves lives.

Something you hope to accomplish in your career? Be a mentor to anyone who comes to me.

How do you want to make your mark in Washington? Lead by example for my kids and develop in them a strong sense of community so that they and Washington continue to thrive for generations to come.

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