Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois: Women in Banking and Finance
Gretchen Murphy, Committee Member, Illinois Banking Association, Senior Vice President, Soy Capital Bank & Trust
By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
For Gretchen Murphy, senior vice president at Soy Capital Bank & Trust Co. headquartered in Decatur, banking was in her genes. With 35 years in the industry, she has been at Soy Capital since 1992. She still maintains a friendly rivalry with the banker who got it all started for her back when she was still in high school — her father, Hans Henseler.
Today, Murphy’s areas of specialty at Soy Capital include marketing and business development. She also serves as the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act officer and as secretary of the board of directors of SCB Bancorp, Inc.
Illinois Banking Association nominated Murphy for recognition as a “Woman in Banking.” She explained that after attending many IBA classes and seminars, she was invited to be a speaker at IBA’s internal audit school. She also helped to develop the school 20 years ago.
As her career flourished, her bank president nominated her for the IBA board, and she served two terms. Currently the committee chair of the IBA Finance and Investment Committee, Murphy is also a member of the IBA Annual Conference Committee and IBA Financial Literacy Committee.
Other professional affiliations include serving as board chairman for the Metro Decatur Chamber of Commerce; member and past president of the Forsythe Sunrise Rotary Club; and advisory board member of Catholic Charities. Murphy also helped to develop and roll out “Money Smart Week” throughout the Decatur communities, promoting financial literacy.
As a successful woman in banking, Murphy’s secret to success is this: “I think you have to have a passion for whatever you do and you have to do it the best way you can. A positive attitude and enjoying what you’re doing is paramount.”
Completing her bachelor of science degree in accounting at Millikin University and her MBA at University of Illinois at Springfield, she also attended the graduate school of banking in Madison, Wisc.
Married for 31 years, she has three children. She enjoys gardening, cooking, and golf — as Murphy pointed out, “It’s important to golf if you’re a woman in business.”