BTB Rogers1

Kevin Rogers, president at CEO of Philo Exchange Bank, poses for a photo next to an Illinois football helmet Monday, March 2, 2020, at the bank in Philo.

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He was sitting in the Orange Krush section on that glorious January night 41 years ago when Lou Henson’s Illini stunned Magic Johnson and Michigan State’s No. 1-ranked Spartans.

And both of his daughters, KEVIN ROGERS is proud to say, grew up to be Krush alumnae, as well.

So it’s no surprise how the longtime local banking executive answers the question about the one thing he can’t possibly live without.

“Illini sports,” he wrote. “GO ILLINI!!!!!!!!!!!!”

A Shiloh High grad and member of the UI Class of 1979, Rogers will mark 20 years heading up an area bank this year. He took over as CEO of the State Bank of Allerton in 2000 and president/CEO of Philo Exchange Bank four years later, when the two merged.

He took time out to answer a few questions from Editor Jeff D’Alessio in the 14th installment of our weekly speed read spotlighting local leaders of organizations big and small.

The hardest thing about being a leader is ... leading from the trenches. Those you are leading are much more respectful if they know you have been and will be on the front lines with them, not behind the lines giving orders.

I am frugal in that ... I used a shredder with a broken and taped-together bin for 10 years.

My philosophy on meetings is ... they should not be overused. Each participant should feel they are allowed meaningful input.

My single favorite moment of all-time in this job was ... being elected chairman of the Illinois Bankers Association in 2014-15.

My business role models are ... Tom Butler, retired president of the Sidell State Bank, who was and is my great friend and mentor in my banking career; Jim Evans, banking attorney from Champaign, who taught me about business law and loan documentation; and my former boss and longtime friend, Merle Schweineke, who taught me to respect each and every customer of the bank, no matter the amount of business they do with us.

The worst job I ever had was ... a tie — part-time janitor at Target and replacing grain-bin floors in the Illinois summer heat and humidity.

The biggest business risk I ever took was ... suggesting that our much smaller bank, the State Bank of Allerton, should pursue purchasing the Philo Exchange Bank that was double our size. We later merged the two banks together and they are now known as the Philo Exchange Bank.

My one unbreakable rule for employees is ... be honest.

My exercise routine is ... broken at present. I like to try to walk every morning and work out three to four times a week at the Urbana Country Club fitness center but fell off the wagon a few weeks ago.

The last luxury in which I indulged was ... a two-week vacation with my wife in warmer climates.

The most beneficial college courses I took were ... three postgraduate classes after my U of I undergrad — Business Law at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado; IBA Ag Lending School with Professor Tom Frey from the U of I College of Ag, teaching cash flow lending in agricultural finance; and IBA lending seminars taught by James Evans, retired Champaign banking attorney.

I’m up and at ’em every day at ... 5:09 a.m.

The next big thing in my line of work is ... one, online digital lending and two, virtual customer service reps.

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