Chairman & CEO, Equity Bancshares, Inc.
Brad S. Elliott is our founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Under Mr. Elliott’s leadership over more than 20 years, Equity Bank has grown to $5.2 Billion in total assets with more than 60 locations across Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Mr. Elliott has strategically expanded the Company through numerous capital raises and bank mergers. In 2015, he led the Company through its initial public offering (IPO), then in May 2023, moved Equity’s common stock from the Nasdaq to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Both strategies better position the Bank, its customers, and shareholders for the future. One of Equity Bank’s core values is community focus, and Mr. Elliott exemplifies this. He has served on the board of directors for the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Wichita State University Shocker Athletic Scholarship Organization, PCS Advisory Board, Via Christi Health, and the Kansas Bankers Association. Before founding the Company, Mr. Elliott served as Director of Marketing at Koch Industries, Inc., a privately held multinational corporation. Prior to joining Koch Industries, Inc., he served as a Regional President at Sunflower Bank, a community bank with locations throughout Kansas, Colorado, and Missouri. Prior to joining Sunflower Bank, Mr. Elliott was employed in various capacities by Home State Bank and Trust for six years following graduation from McPherson College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Management. Mr. Elliott is also a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Mr. Elliott adds financial services experience, especially lending and asset liability management, to the board of directors, as well as a deep understanding of the Company’s business and operations. Mr. Elliott also brings risk and operations management and strategic planning expertise to the board of directors, skills that are important as we continue to implement our business strategy and acquire and integrate growth opportunities. In July 2023, Mr. Elliott was honored as a ‘Top 10 CEO Redefining Business’ by CIO Views magazine.
Gary C. Allerheiligen has served as a member of our board since 2014. Mr. Allerheiligen was a partner at Grant Thornton LLP from 1987 to his retirement in 2010, where he most recently served as a managing partner. Mr. Allerheiligen is a certified public accountant and is the past Chairman of the Board of the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants (“KSPCA”) and has served as the KSPCA’s elected member to the governing council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Orpheum Center for the Performing Arts and Forward Wichita, Inc. He is a former member of the School of Business Advisory Board at Emporia State University. Mr. Allerheiligen holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Emporia State University. Mr. Allerheiligen’s experience and qualifications provide sound leadership to the board of Directors. In addition, as a certified public accountant, Mr. Allerheiligen brings extensive accounting, management, strategic planning and financial skills important to the oversight of our financial reporting, enterprise and operational risk management.
James Berglund has served as a member of our board since 2007. He worked for Sunflower Bank for 35 years, serving as President and Chief Executive Officer for twenty of those years. Since his retirement from Sunflower Bank in 2005, Mr. Berglund has served as lending consultant and on the board of directors of the State Bank of Osborne, Kansas. Mr. Berglund holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas. Mr. Berglund’s extensive banking experience and knowledge of the Kansas banking industry qualify him to serve on our board of directors.
Dan R. Bowers
Dan R. Bowers was appointed to Equity’s Board of Directors upon the closing of the merger. Mr. Bowers served as a director on the board of Community First Bank since its formation in 1997 and served as a director, secretary and vice-chairman of Community First Bank and Community. Mr. Bowers is a licensed attorney and has practiced law in Harrison, Arkansas for more than 30 years. He received both his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 and his Juris Doctor degree in 1982 from the University of Arkansas. He has also served on the board of directors of Signature Bank of Arkansas and its parent holding company, White River Bancshares, since 2010. Mr. Bowers is active in his community and currently serves on the board of directors of the North Arkansas Regional Medical Center. He has previously served on the boards of the North Arkansas College Foundation, Hillcrest Home Administrative Board and the Arkansas Baptist Foundation.
Mr. Cook was a Partner and business leader at BKD, LLP a national CPA and advisory firm until his retirement in September 2019. He brings to the Company his insights and expertise from his exceptional 33-year career in public accounting providing solutions to financial services companies. His skills focused on developing and leading BKD, LLP financial services practice into the marketplace through quality, reputation, networking, brand, and high-level advisement. Various leadership positions during his career included national tax leader financial services practice, national leader outsourcing services practice, and regional leader for Kansas City, Iowa and Wisconsin financial services practice. During his time at BKD, LLP, Mr. Cook worked with some the firm’s largest financial services clients which gives him unique insights into financial reporting, taxation, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning and corporate governance matters. Mr. Cook also currently serves as Treasurer and as a member of the Board of Governors of Nebraska Wesleyan University. His roles include Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, Executive Committee and Chair of the Investment Committee overseeing the school’s endowment. He has also served as a director for numerous non-profit, civic, and charitable organizations.
Junetta M. Everett
Ms. Junetta M. Everett serves as an Independent Director at Equity Bancshares, Inc since April 22, 2020. She has been Vice President of Professional Relations at Delta Dental of Kansas, Inc. since 1995. Ms. Everett has been Director of Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce since January 1, 2014. Ms. Everett is actively involved in numerous charitable and social causes including, the development and coordination of the P.A.N.D.A. (Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness) program and coalition for the state of Kansas, which was established to educate dental professionals and others on how to identify and report suspected cases of child abuse which led to a Governor’s Exemplary Service Award for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Ms. Everett was recognized in the 2012 Journal Magazine of Kansas Leadership Center for civic citizenry and also was named and recognized as one of the Wichita Business Journal’s Leaders in Diversity, Women in Business and 2019 Women Who Lead. She received the 2015 Wichita State University Alumni Recognition Award and was named one of the Wichita Black Legends in 2017. She is a 2010 Leadership Kansas graduate and has served on the boards of various civic and nonprofit organizations including, among others, the Wesley Medical Center, Exploration Place, Kansas Health Foundation, Wichita State College of Health Professions and the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce of which she serves as the chairperson. Ms. Everett holds a Bachelor of Science from Wichita State University and an Associate of Arts from Butler Community College and was previously a registered dental hygienist.
Gregory L. Gaeddert has served as a member of our board since 2007. Mr. Gaeddert has served as Managing Partner of B12 Capital Partners, LLC since 2006. Prior to co-founding B12 Capital Partners, LLC in 2006, Mr. Gaeddert was employed in various capacities by Commerce Bancshares, Inc. and its affiliates, including serving as Kansas City officer manager for its private equity arm, Capital For Business, Inc. He also served in various management roles for Commerce Bank in Wichita and Kansas City, including serving as Executive Vice President and Commercial Group Manager, Executive Committee and Senior Loan Committee member for the Wichita Bank. Mr. Gaeddert currently serves on the board of directors of Great Plans Ventures, Inc., IBT Industrial Solutions and several of B12 Capital Partners’ portfolio companies. Mr. Gaeddert graduated from Bethel College with a degree in Economics and Business Administration and he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Kansas. His experience and qualifications provide sound leadership to the board of directors. In addition, Mr. Gaeddert brings strong investment, accounting and financial skills important to the oversight of our financial reporting, enterprise and operational risk management.
Benjamen M. Hutton
Mr. Benjamen M. Hutton, also known as Ben, serves as Independent Director of Equity Bancshares, Inc. since April 22, 2020. Mr. Hutton has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hutton Construction Corporation since August 1, 2016. Mr. Hutton served as the President at Hutton Construction Corporation since July 2010 until August 1, 2016. Mr. Hutton has served on the boards of various civic and nonprofit organizations including, among others, Associated General Contractors of Kansas, Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Wichita Chamber of Commerce of which he is the chair-elect. He has also been actively involved with the following organizations: Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas, Young Presidents Organization and Maize Education Foundation. Mr. Hutton served as Vice President of Business Development at Hutton Construction Corporation until July 2010. As second generation in the Business, he grew up in Hutton Construction. From cleaning up the jobsites when he was younger to more recently managing projects and overseeing Hutton Construction's business development efforts, he has many years of experience in all aspects of the industry. Mr. Hutton holds a Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University in Construction Science and a Masters of Business Administration from Friends University.
Randee Koger has served as a member of our board since 2003. Ms. Koger is currently a partner with the law firm of Wise & Reber, L.C. where she has practiced since 1991. Ms. Koger is a certified public accountant (currently inactive) and is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa College of Law. She has served on numerous civic and charitable boards and is the past president of the Tax Section of the Kansas Bar Association, the McPherson Chamber of Commerce and United Way of McPherson County. Ms Koger brings legal, accounting and tax experience to the board of directors providing oversight to our financial reporting, enterprise and operational risk management.
Gregory H. Kossover has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and as Executive Vice President of Equity Bank since October 2013. He has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2011. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Kossover served as President of Physicians Development Group, a builder and manager of senior living facilities in the Wichita, Kansas metropolitan area, from 2012 to 2013. From 2004 to 2011 he served as Chief Executive Officer of Value Place, LLC, one of the largest economy extended stay lodging franchises in the United States. Mr. Kossover previously served as Treasurer of Western Financial Corporation, a publicly-held thrift holding company. Mr. Kossover graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and has successfully completed the Uniform Certified Public Accountants exam. Mr. Kossover’s leadership and financial experience provide important oversight of our financial reporting and enterprise and operational risk management to the board of directors.
Jerry P. Maland
Jerry P. Maland was appointed to Equity Bancshares’ Board upon the closing of the merger of Equity and Community First Bancshares, Inc. Mr. Maland served as a director on the board of Community First Bancshares since its formation in 1997, and served as Chairman of the Board for Community First Bank and Community. Mr. Maland is the former owner of McDonald’s restaurants in Harrison, Berryville, and Eureka Springs. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Security Bank and First Commercial Corporation from 1984 until forming Community First Bank in 1997. Mr. Maland is a 1972 graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. A resident of Harrison, Arkansas for more than 36 years, Mr. Maland has been active in the Harrison community and has served on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, the City Advertising and Promotion Committee, the Harrison Parks and Recreation Commission, Boone County United Way, Boone County Special Services, American Legion Baseball and Consolidated Youth.
Shawn D. Penner has served as a member of our board since 2003. Mr. Penner is the owner of Shamrock Development, LLC, a real estate development firm, which he founded in 1997. He also serves as a director of First Federal of Olathe Bancorp, Inc., First Federal Savings and Loan Bank, and GPV, Inc. From 1993 to 1994, Mr. Penner worked as a national bank examiner for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Mr. Penner graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Master of Business of Administration degrees. He currently serves as a member of the Executive Board of the Wichita State University Alumni Association. Mr. Penner brings experience as an executive and local knowledge of our markets as well as bank regulatory and investment experience to the board of directors.