Narciso helps lead High Plains Bank with community in mind.
Narciso Garibay joined High Plains Bank in his home base liking how the community bank empowers employee volunteerism.
“High Plains Bank encourages its employees to get involved with a lot of community organizations that help the community be better,” said Garibay, Longmont market president of High Plains Bank and a Longmont resident for 12 years. “That mindset of all employees striving to make the communities they live in better resonated with me.”
Garibay, who has an MBA in finance and accounting, started with High Plains Bank in December 2022, bringing with him 18 years of commercial banking experience with regional and national banks located primarily in Boulder County. His first position was as a credit analyst for Wells Fargo, where he later became senior vice president of commercial banking, serving the company for nearly seven years. He also helped a couple of banks start commercial offices in the Boulder County area.
“Given my background and network in the area, my focus is helping grow organizations on the commercial banking side that want to be in Boulder County,” Garibay said. “For me, it’s always been building relationships with the business community, really forming those relationships and getting to know different businesses and their needs.”
High Plains Bank, founded in 1908, has five locations in Longmont, Bennett, Flagler, Keenesburg and Wiggins and is opening an administrative office in Longmont with move-in expected by mid-December 2023.
The bank is family-run, employee-owned and community-driven and puts value on small business owners and personal relationships, as stated on its website,
“We say family first, then community, then the bank,” the website states.
Garibay wants to understand Longmont’s challenges and find ways he can leverage the bank’s resources to meet the needs of the community and the businesses there, he said. He does this by connecting businesses with the bank’s loan programs and products and services, as well as with his network of contacts to help them establish and grow their businesses, he said.
“We have a little bit of an understanding of the market conditions and the local businesses we work with,” Garibay said. “It’s that shared vision everyone has here of that family-first bank.”
High Plains Bank is committed to serving Longmont by sponsoring and partnering with more than 200 nonprofits, plus hosts a variety of fundraisers, all of which help the bank be more visible in the community, Garibay said.
“The way I see our role is we should be active and involved in the community,” Garibay said. “When you volunteer, you better understand the needs of the community.”
Garibay likes how the bank encourages its employees to be involved, especially since he and his wife, Toni, are starting a family – their son, Austin, is eight months old. He joined the Front Range Community College Foundation board earlier this year, plus he served for 10 years on the grant review committee for the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County.
Garibay, bilingual in Spanish and English, serves in other ways, too, such as by helping Spanish speakers engage with the bank, which now has a bilingual page on its website.
“We’re here to serve the entire community and communicate with the entire community, whether it’s English being the primary language or with our bilingual initiative as well,” Garibay said.
Ultimately, Garibay is an influencer with an aim to better his community while serving in his professional role as a banker.
“An influencer is someone who is well respected in the community and can bring a lot of different people in the community together, whether sharing information or having a dialog on different topics … and seeing what needs are to help solve those problems,” Garibay said. “The biggest thing an influencer can do is make introductions.”
By Shelley Widhalm, Longmont magazine