By ROBERTA CODEMO
Stuart Langrehr said his father was the biggest influence in his life and inspired him to pursue a banking career. “I got the idea watching him be frugal with money,” he said.
A sentimentalist at heart, he and his siblings grew up on a farm a few miles outside the small town of Red Bud, where he and his wife of 35 years, Nancy, live. He and his oldest son, Jason, and his brother still manage the farm, which has been in their family for five generations.
His working knowledge of agriculture and his interest in economics and finance led him to pursue a double major in economics and agribusiness economics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Following graduation, he went to work for W.R. Grace and Co. in Memphis, Tenn.
He and his wife had the opportunity to move back home. They received job offers on the same day four hours apart. “It had always been in the back of our mind,” he said. “We had a lot of friends and family here.”
When asked what he does at First Bank, he laughed and said it depends on the day of the week. He started at the bank 33 years ago when everything was processed by hand and today is the bank president and group manager of the agricultural lending group, and handles a lot of commercial and agricultural loans.
What he loves most about his job is meeting people.
“I enjoy working out ideas that someone may have to expand their business or whatever the case may be.” He also enjoys meeting others’ needs and helping them meet their goals and objectives on time.
He believes in giving back to his community and serves on several local boards. Among them are his local church board, the school board, hospital board, economic development committee, insurance company and a charitable funds board that raises money to fund scholarships for high school seniors.
“It’s important to give back,” he said.
His father instilled in him the importance of following through when you tell someone you’re going to do something and to do the job right, and he wants to pass this along to his three children.
The one piece of advice he wants to pass along is it’s important to enjoy what you do. “If you truly enjoy your job, it makes your job a lot easier,” he said.