FirstBank believes in ensuring diversity is represented at each level of the organization. In May, we celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander History Month (AAPI) by recognizing some of FirstBank’s Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander employees.

Today we’re featuring Tony Oum, Executive Vice President of the Southwest Market.

Hometown: Berthoud, Colorado

Years at FirstBank: 14 years

In three to four sentences, describe your experience getting to where you are today.

The values of hard work, willingness to learn new things, having an open mind, and being a team player has helped me in my professional career. When I first joined the bank, I needed to learn about banking. My determination to learn and work with the team has allowed me to grow in my career. In addition, I have been fortunate to have met people from different walks of life who have taught me essential skills and attributes. The value of compassion has helped us as we work with people all day, whether with a customer or fellow FirstBanker. It is important to have small conversations with people as we all want to be heard and find reassurance in knowing someone is there to support us through the good times and challenging times.

What is your best career advice for the next generation of leaders? What would you tell someone just starting?

The value of hard work has remained, even with modern technology. It is important to put in the effort as we are in the business of working with people. Face-to-face meetings and telephone conversations are still valuable in our industry. It’s just as easy to text or email, but the message can get lost in translation and lead to unwanted misunderstandings. Also, humility is crucial as you continue to develop and grow as a leader. Fellow team members respect a leader who is willing to work with them when they’re faced with challenges. As leaders, we support our peers and assist them in making the right decisions.

How has FirstBank’s companywide philosophy of “banking for good” impacted your life and career?

FirstBank has impacted my life tremendously. My parents’ have banked with FirstBank since they came to the U.S. in the early 80s. In addition, FirstBank provided them with a $60,000 loan to open a Chinese restaurant in the mid-90s. I began my career with FirstBank in 2008, with no previous banking knowledge, but was supplied with all the resources and tools needed to become a skilled banking officer. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different people, which allowed me to borrow bits and pieces of leadership to develop my leadership style. I can’t thank FirstBank enough for helping me grow in my career and personal life.

Considering May is AAPI Heritage Month, which historical figure/s would you like to meet and why?

Mahatma Gandhi. He’s famous for his nonviolent philosophy that inspired civil rights movements worldwide. I would love to meet him to see what we can improve to create a more peaceful and harmonious world.

“This page may contain links to external websites. These links are displayed for your convenience. FirstBank does not manage these sites and assumes no responsibility for the content, links, privacy policy, or security policy.”