Tom Whooley Works towards Mirror Image
By John Wilson
Chief Lender, Executive Vice President
INB’s newest commercial lender, Tom Whooley, knew of INB through the residential mortgage business Justin Gensler was managing in Champaign. It wasn’t until Tom took a good look at INB that he saw the size of the commercial portfolio. At that point, he knew he wanted to be part of the INB story.
“Even coming on board with business on the books, there’s so much growth potential here,” Tom says when asked why he recently joined INB as vice president, commercial lending in our Champaign location. The bank’s reputation on the residential side is fantastic with Justin as the face of it. My job is to mirror that on the commercial side.”
Tom has hit the ground running, sharing the INB story with community business leaders. It’s a routine he’s familiar with after spending the last five years as a commercial lender with another bank. His banking career dates to his high school days as a teller in the Chicago area. He continued to work the job into college, always finding he was needed over breaks and in the summer.
As a finance student at Illinois State University, he decided to concentrate on both small business management and entrepreneurship. That meant some additional time in school, so he took a job as a customer service rep at a Bloomington bank to help with expenses. After graduation, he and his wife, Stephanie, settled in Champaign where he started at Bank One/Chase as a personal banker and investment representative. In 2006, he moved to Commerce Bank to serve as a private banking relationship manager, and a mortgage officer. When a position opened up in Commerce’s commercial lending area five years ago, he made the switch to commercial lending.
Tom says he’s seen the Champaign commercial market grow primarily because of the need for additional housing for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students. He says, “There are tons of projects going on. Six hundred to 1,000 new beds have gone in every year for the last five years.” The university has had a student increase of 1 percent for many years, and the number went to 2 percent for the 2016-17 school year.
Though an ISU graduate, Tom says he’s long been a U of I sports fan. “Growing up in Chicago, it was either Notre Dame or Illinois. I swore I would not become a bandwagon fan. But here I am, on the bandwagon.” He says that when he and his wife first moved to Champaign, there was a lot about U of I basketball and football to cheer about.
When not rooting for the Illini, Tom stays busy with his two young sons: Collin, age 7 and Blake, age 3. He’s very happy that he and Stephanie chose to settle in between each of their hometowns – him, Chicago and her, St. Louis. The compromise location has meant the opportunity to be part of some outstanding organizations including the Champaign Rotary Club, Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club and the
Champaign Parks Foundation. Given his career choice and background, he’s often asked to help these organizations with their finances. That role has led to involvement with many fundraisers, a task Tom takes in stride. “I spend some time on fundraisers. But a lot of my support comes when I’m out talking to business partners, the y sometimes mention things that I can turn into conversations about supporting the Boys and Girls Club or the parks.”
Please welcome Tom Whooley to INB.