Ashley Kuehn of First Montana Bank Wins 2016 Outstanding Young Banker Award

To recognize upcoming leaders in Montana’s banking community, MIB honors one special young banker each year.  This scholarship is based on the community banking values of good citizenship, community service, and sound banking skills.  This award not only recognizes the impact that the candidate has in his or her business each day, but also the difference he or she makes by investing in their community.  Eligible candidates are under 35 years of age and have worked for an MIB member bank for three or more years.  The winner receives free convention registration and three nights lodging at the 2016 MIB Annual Convention, $100 in travel expenses, an honor plaque to display in his or her office, and prominent mention in the MIB magazine and website.

Ashley KuehnAshley Kuehn is a Montana native, born and raised in Missoula, Montana.  She began her career at First Montana Bank in the fall of 2004 as a marketing intern while she was a student at the University of Montana.  Ashley left her year-long internship at the bank for a once-in-a-lifetime internship with the Senate Finance Committee in Washington, DC.  Upon expiration of this internship, Ashley came back to Montana and completed her degrees in Business Administration and Communication Studies.

After graduation from the University of Montana in 2006, Ashley approached the bank about a full-time position and was hired as Marketing Officer.  In 2013, she was nominated for an Emmy award from the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for a commercial she developed as part of a marketing campaign for a new checking account at the bank.

Ashley’s role in the bank has grown and evolved over the last 10 years and she now holds the position of Vice President of Marketing and Retail Sales and serve as the bank’s Cash Management Specialist.  In this role, Ashley works to develop and execute retail sales and marketing strategies to meet organizational objectives.  Additionally, Ashley’s duties include development and management of the bank’s service culture.  Throughout her tenure the bank has invested in her professional development and challenged her to learn the industry so that her support of bank’s markets and strategic initiatives can be more comprehensive and efficient.

As an example of this commitment to life-long learning and professional development, Ashley recently graduated with honors from the ABA School of Bank Marketing and Management.  In June, Ashley earned the designation of Certified Financial Marketing Professional through the Institute of Certified Bankers.  The CFMP designation is the recognized standard of excellence for marketing professionals working in the financial services industry.

Outside of the bank, Ashley gives her time to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula where she serves as Treasurer and Director as well as serving her sorority, Delta Gamma, in a several volunteer and adviser roles as an Alumna.  She is a founding member of Missoula Young Professionals, a volunteer for Missoula Downtown Association, and a Leadership Missoula graduate.

Joe Kesler, CEO of First Montana Bank, describes Ashley as “a great asset to not only the bank, but also the community, because of her high energy and the selfless gifts of her time to worthwhile causes she believes benefit others.”  Danette Rector, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula, applauds Ashley’s “strong work ethic and a positive ‘can do’ attitude.  Her willingness to take on a challenge is both refreshing and inspirational. . . .  Ashley is definitely one who sees the ‘big picture’.”

Ashley and her husband, Sam, a software developer, live in Missoula.  They like mountain biking, golfing, skiing, traveling and enjoying microbrews.  Ashley is also a new runner, and has completed two half-marathons so far this year.

We are pleased to see up and coming stars like Ashley Kuehn in the Montana community banking industry.  The Montana Independent Bankers wishes to recognize Ashley for her proven dedication to her community and her bank.

2016 Outstanding Young Banker Award Honorable Mentions

This year we had three nominations for our Outstanding Young Banker Award, and choosing the winner was a challenge for our impartial third party as they were all extremely qualified.  As such, we wish to acknowledge two excellent honorable mentions in addition to our winner.

Brandi SchweigertBrandi Schweigert has been in banking over 10 years and is native to Big Timber, Montana.  She is currently AVP/Area Manager of Opportunity Bank of Montana and in just the four years she has been with the Bank she has increased loan and deposit growth and exceeded new consumer and business DDA goals by 130% and 187.5% respectively in the Big Timber branch.  In addition, to excelling in the workplace, Schweigert strongly believes in being involved in her community.  Among the many organizations in which she is involved, she coaches youth basketball, teaches several financial classes for all ages, and serves as an officer of multiple boards in her community.  Her hard work and passion have not only improved the Bank’s branches she manages, but also enriched her community and touched many lives.


ColterCuminColter Cumin earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Montana and a MBA also from the University of Montana.  After his undergraduate studies, Colter worked as a loan officer in Missoula, Montana for Northwest Farm Credit Services for 6 years.  His primary focus in this capacity centered around agricultural lending within a $150 Million loan portfolio consisting primarily of recreational ranch loans in the four northwest states.  During Colter’s sophomore year of undergraduate study, he took a year and half sabbatical to serve as an Army Infantryman in Iraq.  His station was a small base in a town called al Hawijah near Kirkuk, Iraq.  Colter is married to JonCee Cumin and has two children, Calvin & Avery Cumin, who are 2 years old and 5 months old respectively.  Colter has worked for First Security Bank of Deer Lodge for 3 years and currently serves as Vice President.