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Dave Janish, FCS Financial CEOWhen Dave Janish arrives at FCS Financial, he’ll unpack a wealth of experience as well as plenty of enthusiasm for his new job as CEO.

“I am very excited about joining FCS Financial,” Janish says. “It’s a solid, growing organization with an excellent staff and it is going be a great opportunity to make a positive impact on Missouri agriculture.”

The former Chief Operations Officer for CoBank’s Wichita banking center takes the FCS Financial reins on August 1, replacing Daryl Oldvader who retired at the end of last year.

The new FCS Financial CEO grew up on a 2,000-acre farm near Kimball, South Dakota, where his family grew corn, wheat, alfalfa, hay, milo, and oats in addition to running a cow-calf enterprise. As a boy he enjoyed playing basketball, hunting, and working on the farm — except maybe for feeding cows when the mercury hit 20 below, he says with a smile.

That rural background has remained with him and it has shaped his life and professional career.

“I still feel like a farm kid,” Janish says. “My wife, Linda, and I both grew up on farms and that’s where our roots are. I love agriculture — all of it — and I always wanted to remain part of it.”

An important component of that farm heritage is an appreciation for the Farm Credit system. Although his entire professional career has been focused on that system, the connection began much earlier.

“My dad was a Farm Credit borrower for more than 30 years and he was a real advocate of the system,” Janish explains. “Farm Credit helped get him started in farming and he never forgot that.”

After graduating from the University of South Dakota with degrees in computer science and mathematics, Janish began his Farm Credit career as an information technology analyst with the Farm Credit Bank of Omaha.

“The decision to work for Farm Credit was an easy one,” he says. “It allowed me to stay connected to agriculture and to work for an organization I believed in.”

From there he joined what became Farm Credit Council Services in Denver where he also earned an MBA in finance from Regis University. In 1992, Janish became Vice President of Information Services at the Farm Credit Bank of Wichita. He later served as CEO of AgVantis, Inc., a corporation providing business and technology services to Farm Credit associations and banks, and led AgVantis from its formation and operational startup.

More recently, Janish served as the chief financial officer of U.S. AgBank FCB for five years until its merger with CoBank.

Taking over the reins of FCS Financial puts Janish exactly where he wants to be — closer to the heart of Farm Credit with a more direct connection to farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers.

“FCS Financial has been a very successful organization,” he says. “It has a very good reputation and the quality of people — from employees to the board to the customers — is excellent.

“For me, it’s a great opportunity to join an organization that is already successful and help take it to the next level. It’s an organization that doesn’t need fixing — and that’s a great foundation for making it even better.”

The key to achieving that goal, Janish emphasizes, is to provide innovative and high quality financial services to FCS Financial customers.

“I think we’re in a pretty good place right now but agriculture is a dynamic industry,” he says. “To be successful in the future, we must be able to respond quickly to the needs of our customers. Any changes should be driven by opportunities to add value for our customers. We have to ask, ‘Will it benefit our customers?’ and constantly strive to add value to what we offer them.

“We will continue to build trust, relationships and commitment to the farmers and ranchers of FCS Financial.”

Janish feels strongly that an extremely important component of FCS Financial’s success is its people and says that’s where his focus will be.

“People are the fabric of Farm Credit,” he says. “Many of our people were born and raised in agriculture and any time you can have that insight into your customers and their industry — when you’ve actually walked in their shoes — it leads to better service and relationships because there’s a real connection and understanding.”

Janish adds that knowledge and expertise in agriculture, a focus on the customer, and being engaged in making FCS Financial and its customers more successful is what he expects from the team that will take the organization to the next level.

“Getting the right people doing the right things is the key,” Janish said. “As a leader, selecting the right talent, providing them with opportunities to grow, and helping them get over the hurdles they’re confronted with are my key responsibilities. I feel I know how to get people focused and we will all focus on serving FCS Financial customers.

“We will continue to place a priority on having good people and giving them the tools to do their jobs well.”

He adds that another goal he brings to Missouri is to meet and get to know as many FCS Financial customers as possible.

“The better we know our customers, the better we will be able to provide them the products and services they need to be successful,” he says.

Janish and his wife, Linda, have been married for 33 years. They have two children, a son, Chris, who is 29 and in his third year of residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.; and Caitlan, 24, who was recently married and is working on her Master’s degree in psychology at Avila University in Kansas City.

Professionally, Linda has been an elementary school teacher and finished this past spring term as the reading specialist at Maize South Elementary School near Wichita.

A sports fan who also enjoys riding his Harley, Dave and Linda will settle in the Jefferson City/Columbia area.

Although he’s bullish on the future of both agriculture and FCS Financial, Janish has been a part of the industry long enough to know well that there will always be bumps in the road.

“We will face headwinds and challenges,” he acknowledges. “But challenges and opportunities go hand in hand. Agriculture is a dynamic industry and those who serve it must be dynamic as well. There will always be changes in agriculture that we will respond to but we will never change our commitment to our customers and rural Missouri.

“We will be there in good times and in bad as a trusted partner to Missouri farmers and ranchers. As long as we continue to do that,” Dave Janish concludes, “FCS Financial will have a very bright future.”

 
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