By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
In 1991, David Hopkins became a member of the family at First Bank and has been involved in all areas of community banking ever since. As senior vice president at this financial institution with a 100-year history of independent family ownership, Hopkins now also serves as the manager of the bank’s Southern Illinois commercial lending group.
With 33 years of commercial and community banking experience under his belt, Hopkins said his path in the industry got its start back in 1982 after he graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a degree in business administration and specialties in finance and economics along with a minor in history. He later pursued his MBA there as well, completing it in 1988.
First Bank has 20 branches in Southern Illinois, with a primary concentration of those in the Metro East. Their clientele consists primarily of small- to mid-size family owned businesses—a diverse mix that includes manufacturers, wholesalers, contractors, dealerships, real estate investors and a wide variety of other types of businesses.
“We strive to create enduring business relationships,” said Hopkins. “We understand family operations and we hope that builds a special connectivity to our bank. We want to make sure our clients have full access to all the bank has to offer,” he added.
Hopkins also noted that the Metro East is seeing a great deal of growth in commercial and residential real estate development, with new hospitals further increasing interest in the region.
In light of this, Hopkins said that First Bank has started to address a niche,
“We are building an area of expertise with medical professionals that we feel will bring some real advantages to their businesses. Our focus was developed primarily by listening and learning in order to craft a better overall product mix for those clients.”
Having always enjoyed sharing his time and talents through his volunteer work, Hopkins is active in several business and community organizations. Included in this list is serving as a board member for the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce as well as being a member of the American Cancer Society Leadership Council, the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois and the O’Fallon Sunrise Rotary Club.
Hopkins grew up in the Metro East, and he and his wife Beth have resided in O’Fallon for the past 17 years. In his spare time, he enjoys reading American history and any type of baseball game, from T-ball to professional.