Chairman & CEO
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.
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Chris M. Navratil is the Chief Financial Officer of Equity Bancshares. Mr. Navratil first joined Equity as a Senior Vice President within Finance in February 2019. In December 2022, Mr. Navratil was promoted to Bank CFO, overseeing financial and balance sheet strategy, liquidity, financial planning and analysis, investor outreach and more. Before Equity Bank, Mr. Navratil spent seven years, including two as a Senior Manager within the Financial Institution Audit Practice, with Crowe LLP, a public accounting firm in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Navratil received his Master’s degree in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University in 2011.
Richard M. Sems
President, Equity Bank
Richard M. Sems joined Equity Bank as President in May 2023. Before that, Mr. Sems was the Chief Banking Officer for First Bank in St. Louis, MO. Mr. Sems served as President and CEO of Reliance Bank from 2013 to 2016 and Regional President of PNC Financial Services from 2009-2013. He worked as the President and CEO of Missouri Banking and served as EVP and Managing Director of Corporate Planning of National City Corporation from 2000-2009. Mr. Sems also spent time with PWC, working as a manager from 1993 to 1998 and is an Inactive CPA. He has a B.S in Accounting from Grove City College in Pennsylvania and an MBA - Corporate Strategy from the University of Michigan Ross Business School. He serves on the board of trustees for Grove City College and Maryville University.
EVP, Strategic Initiatives
Julie A. Huber serves as Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives of Equity Bank. Ms. Huber joined Equity Bank in 2003 and has served in a variety of leadership roles for Equity Bank over period of twelve years, including overseeing our operations, human resources, compliance functions and sales and training, and has managed the integration process for each community bank we have acquired. Ms. Huber served as President of Signature Bank for three years following our acquisition of Signature Bank 2009. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Huber most recently served as the executive of Sunflower Bank responsible for the retail, operational, compliance and security functions. Ms. Huber graduated from McPherson College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and History, received her MBA from Baker University in 2014 and is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and the Bank Leaders of Kansas. Ms. Huber currently serves as President of the Andover Advantage Foundation in Andover, Kansas and is a Business Plan Advisor with Youth Entrepreneurs.
Brett A. Reber
EVP, General Counsel
Brett A. Reber joined Equity Bank in October 2018 as General Counsel for Equity Bancshares, Inc. and Equity Bank. Prior to joining Equity, he served as Managing Member of the Wise & Reber, L.C., law firm in McPherson, Kansas. Brett has practiced corporate and business law for the past 30 years.
Mr. Reber received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 1983, and his law degree from the University of Tulsa, College of Law in 1986. He served as a law clerk to United State District Judge Thomas R. Brett in the Northern District of Oklahoma before beginning his law practice. He was admitted to practice in Oklahoma in 1986 and Kansas in 1987, and holds membership in the American, Kansas and Oklahoma Bar Associations.
Reber is active in community affairs, and serves on various boards including the McPherson Industrial Development Company and the Julia J. Mingenback Foundation locally, the National Board of Directors of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever and the corporate boards of Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance Company and the Bradbury Company.
Chief Credit Officer
Krzysztof Slupkowski has been Equity Bank's Chief Credit Officer since September 2023. Krzysztof joined Equity in 2018 and has worked with its largest borrowers as Metro Market Chief Credit Officer guiding credit decisions for Equity’s locations in Wichita, Kansas City, and Tulsa. Prior to joining Equity, Mr. Slupkowski worked in various credit functions for Commerce Bancshares. Krzysztof earned his Master of Business Administration from Wichita State University.
Hetal A. Desai
EVP, Chief Risk Officer
Hetal A. Desai has been Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer at Equity Bancshares, Inc. since joining in October of 2022. Prior to joining Equity Bank, Ms. Desai served in risk management leadership positions with JPMorgan Chase, State Street Corporation, and Santander. She previously served as the Head of Enterprise Risk Management at American Challenger Development Corporation, a de novo digital bank headquartered in Stamford, CT. Ms. Desai received her Master’s in Accounting from the University of Bombay, India, and is both a Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Public Accountant.
SVP, Chief Marketing Officer
John J. Hanley is SVP, Chief Marketing Officer for Equity Bank. Hanley joined Equity Bank in 2012, and oversees all marketing, advertising, communication, brand management, and product development strategy as well as public relations and investor relations for the company. Hanley has more than 12 years of banking experience, serving as marketing manager for Kansas-based Sunflower Bank from 2004 through 2011, and one year as product manager for the AAFP in Leawood, Kansas. Hanley earned his Certified Financial Marketing Professional designation in 2014. He began his career as a writer and editor with The News-Times in Danbury, Connecticut. Hanley is a graduate of Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, and attended the University of Iowa College of Law.
Brian J. Katzfey
VP, Director of Corporate Development and Investor Relations
Brian J. Katzfey joined Equity Bank in June 2023 as Vice President, Director of Corporate Development and Investor Relations. Prior to his time at Equity Bank, Mr. Katzfey spent nearly four years with UMB Financial Corporation in Corporate Development and Financial Planning and Analysis functions. Before that, Mr. Katzfey spent two years with Commerce Bancshares in Corporate Finance. Mr. Katzfey graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in Economics.