Equity Bancshares Promotes Julie Huber to New Strategic Leadership Role

Equity Adds Scott Smits to Team as Chief Credit Officer

WICHITA, Kan., May 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Equity Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:EQBK), (“Equity”, “we”, “us”, “our”, or “the Company”), 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 at 7701 East Kellogg, 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, “Julie Huber is a key leader within our Company and has been instrumental to our growth over the last 15 years. We’ve completed three mergers in the past 18 months, and we believe continued mergers and integrations are crucial to our ongoing business strategy. Julie is a great resource given her well-rounded history with Equity, and her career in banking. She is an excellent and collaborative teammate, dedicated to our future growth.”

Mr. Elliott continued, “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.”

Ms. Huber joined Equity in 2003 as one of the Company’s initial employees, and has served in a variety of senior leadership roles, including Chief Operations Officer and Chief Risk Officer, prior to serving as Equity’s Chief Credit Officer from 2013 through 2017. Ms. Huber began her banking career with Peoples Bank and Trust in McPherson, Kan., prior to joining Sunflower Bank in Salina, Kan., where she managed retail, compliance and training. She is an alumnus of McPherson College, a 2006 graduate of Stonier Graduate School of Banking and earned her M.B.A. from Baker University.

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.

About Equity Bancshares, Inc.

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. Learn more at www.equitybank.com.

Equity seeks to provide an enhanced banking experience for customers by providing a suite of sophisticated banking products and services tailored to their needs, while delivering the high-quality, relationship-based customer service of a community bank. Equity’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “EQBK.”

Special Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  These forward-looking statements reflect the current views of Equity’s management with respect to, among other things, future events and Equity’s financial performance. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “may,” “should,” “could,” “predict,” “potential,” “believe,” “will likely result,” “expect,” “continue,” “will,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “goal,” “target,” “would” and “outlook,” or the negative variations of those words or other comparable words of a future or forward-looking nature.  These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about Equity’s industry, management’s beliefs and certain assumptions made by management, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond Equity’s control. Accordingly, Equity cautions you that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Although Equity believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the date made, actual results may prove to be materially different from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.  Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Equity’s expectations include competition from other financial institutions and bank holding companies; the effects of and changes in trade, monetary and fiscal policies and laws, including interest rate policies of the Federal Reserve Board; changes in the demand for loans; fluctuations in value of collateral and loan reserves; inflation, interest rate, market and monetary fluctuations; changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits; and acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses, and similar variables. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive.

For discussion of these and other risks that may cause actual results to differ from expectations, please refer to “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in Equity’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 16, 2017 and any updates to those risk factors set forth in Equity’s subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K, Form S-3 or Form S-4. If one or more events related to these or other risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Equity’s underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may differ materially from what Equity anticipates. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and Equity does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict those events or how they may affect us. In addition, Equity cannot assess the impact of each factor on Equity’s business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements, expressed or implied, included in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. This cautionary statement should also be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Equity or persons acting on Equity’s behalf may issue.

Media and Investor Contact:
John Hanley, SVP, Director of Investor Relations
913-583-8004 / jhanley@equitybank.com

Primary Logo

Equity Bancshares, Inc.