Getting Personal: Dan Marker

Getting Personal: Dan Marker

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 39-year-old Champaign resident Dan Marker chats with staff writer Paul Wood. Marker is about to become president of Hickory Point Bank's Champaign region. The Mahomet-Seymour grad is excited about the job, but between the long hours and two young children, his golf game is suffering.

This must be an exciting time for you. You mentioned creating new relationships with people and businesses in the Champaign-Urbana area. How are you going to do that?

I've had the opportunity to build some meaningful relationships over the past 16 years. I plan to continue to work with those longtime clients to expand their banking relationship with Hickory Point Bank. I also plan to spend as much time as possible out in our community creating new relationships with people and businesses.

How long have you been with Hickory Point, and what made you want to go into banking?

I've been with Hickory Point Bank for just over five years. I knew I wanted to be a banker at a very young age. As a child, I would take a bucket of change from my dad's closet and dump it on the living room floor. I would then spend the next hour or so stacking all the coins and adding them up for a grand total. I always made sure to put everything back in the bucket and place it back where I found it.

Besides your promotion, what interests you most right now?

I'm trying to read more books this year and scale back on my social-media outlets.

You grew up in Champaign County. What do you like most about the area, and do you plan to stay here for a long time?

I love Champaign County. My wife and I grew up here, and we're lucky our families are here. I've built my business relationships here, and I hope to raise our boys here. We have no plans to ever leave.

Tell us about your family. You and Angie have two boys, 5-year-old Dean and 6-year-old Johnny. What do you like to do together?

We really enjoy playing at the great parks in Champaign, Urbana and Savoy. The boys can get bored easily, so we're always traveling across town to check out a park or two that we've never visited. We love hanging out at home in our backyard too.

What's something only a few people know about you?

My nickname among close friends and family is "Monk." It's a name given to me by my brothers when I was a kid because I was always climbing trees like a monkey. It quickly caught on with all the kids in the neighborhood and my close friends growing up. I lived with my older brother my first two years in college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and he called me Monk, so now all my close friends from college call me that as well.

What's your favorite sport? Were you on a team at Mahomet-Seymour?

My favorite sport to watch is NFL football. I was the captain of the football team at Mahomet, and I was also an all-state pole vaulter. Being an athlete really helped me succeed in the business world. Playing football in Mahomet taught me a lot about teamwork. The pole vault was an individual sport, so any success or disappointment rested on me alone, and I thrived in that environment. I still do.

Your golf handicap is "16 and getting worse." Any plans to turn that around?

It's actually not as bad as I told you; I looked it up, and I'm currently a 12. I don't expect it to improve anytime soon. Golf is a great game, but it takes a lot of time to get better. I'd much rather spend my time these days with my family or working to help grow the bank. I realized years ago I wasn't going to make the PGA tour, so now it's just a hobby I'll be able to enjoy later in life.

As a travel fan, what are some of the places you've visited?

When I was a teenager, my mother and I traveled to Europe together. It was a great experience and one I'll never forget. Given the choice, I prefer to travel to a destination with a beach. I've been lucky enough to travel to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico on a number of occasions.

At SIU, you earned your bachelor's degree in business management. Now you have more than 16 years of banking experience in Champaign and most recently served as Hickory Point Bank's vice president of mortgage lending. Do you belong to any professional organizations?

Yes, the Home Builders Association of East Central Illinois and the Champaign County Association of Realtors. Both organizations are extremely important to our local real estate market.

What made you decide to serve on the board of directors for the Parkland College Foundation?

Parkland College is such an important institution in our community, and I was thrilled when they asked me to join the board. Parkland has provided an exceptional educational experience for more than 50 years to more than 300,000 people. Many of my family, friends and clients either graduated from Parkland or have benefited from the numerous services the college provides.

What book are you reading now? What is your favorite book ever?

I just finished "The Energy Bus" by Jon Gordon. It was a great read. I'm currently reading "The 12-Week Year" by Brian P. Moran. I'm not only into self-improvement type books though; I do enjoy the occasional fictional tale.

Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?

New York; I've never been.

Tell me about your favorite pet.

I've only had one. His name was Buddy and he was a mutt. I don't recall what age Buddy entered my life, but it seemed like he was always old. He wasn't the cutest dog in the world, but he was as loyal as they come. He died when I was in fourth grade, and I remember how sad we all were that day. I'm sure we'll get a family pet someday, but I'll never forget old Buddy.

What's your favorite sports team?

I enjoy anything Illini athletics. I especially enjoy Illini football, and I'm looking forward to the day our program is back on top of the Big Ten. #WeWillWin

What would you order for your last meal?

Alex Tacos from Fiesta Café.

Who are your favorite musicians and why?

Probably the Dave Matthews Band. Those songs just remind me of high school and college, some of the best times of my life. My kids are into DMB too now, which is kind of cool.

What's the happiest memory of your life?

Fishing with my grandpa. He was a farmer and he had a pond on his land in Piatt County. I loved fishing, and my grandpa loved teaching me to fish. I learned the importance of being patient and respecting Mother Nature. I've taken our boys fishing a few times over the last couple years, so I know how difficult it is to get them to focus. Thinking back, my grandpa must have had more patience than anyone to deal with my two brothers and me out on that pond.

What's your best piece of advice?

Become an expert in your field. To be an expert, you have to continue to learn and grow from your successes and failures. If you're an expert in your field, your phone will always ring, and that's a good thing. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself with new opportunities. That's usually when you learn the most about yourself.

What was your first job and how much did you make an hour?

My first job was at Garcia's Pizza here in Champaign. I started right after I turned 16 and got my driver's license. I don't recall my exact hourly wage, but the minimum wage at that time was $4.25, so that's probably close to what I earned.

Do you have any regrets in your life? What are they?

No, if I did, I wouldn't be in the position I am today.

How do you handle a stressful situation?

I don't get too stressed. Working out definitely helps. My wife keeps things running smoothly in most aspects of our lives, so things rarely get stressful. We're lucky to have her.

Sections (1):Living
Topics (3):Banking, Economy, People