Changemaker Spotlight – Brian Gibson

Changemaker Spotlight Series - January 2024 Edition

Welcome to our second Changemaker Spotlight, where we recognize and celebrate employees who are making a positive impact through community outreach.

First Mid is proud to highlight Brian Gibson, SVP, Director of Community and Economic Development, located in Fairview Heights, IL. He is responsible for promoting community economic development while achieving Company initiatives and goals. Acting as a liaison between First Mid, nonprofit agencies, and other stakeholders, including residents, businesses, and government officials, Brian strives to ensure our community outreach efforts are inclusive and address the concerns and priorities of all communities within our footprint.

What is your role at First Mid and how does it connect to your community outreach efforts?
As the Director of Community and Economic Development, my main role is to develop and execute strategic plans that effectively promote First Mid team members, products, and services to all, including the diverse communities we serve. These efforts allow us to demonstrate and emphasize our commitment to community! Another key aspect of my responsibility is to actively engage with stakeholders such as community leaders, nonprofit organizations, and business owners in historically underserved communities. My goal is to introduce First Mid and begin nurturing meaningful relationships. Ultimately, I want to ensure our community outreach initiatives are comprehensive, inclusive, and tailored to address the specific concerns and priorities of each community within our footprint.

Are there any specific organizations or causes you’re passionate about supporting, and why?
I am fortunate in my role to have the opportunity to meet community organizations that are doing great work. Some are well-known, while others are “under the radar”. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for both the United Way of Greater St. Louis and the Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition, and formerly served on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois.

I spend a lot of my volunteer time mentoring young men. A few favorites I have been introduced to recently are the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and The Black Male Initiative of Harris Stowe State University, which is a mentorship program for young minority college students.

What impact have your community outreach efforts had on the local community or organizations you’ve been supporting?
I believe anytime someone is committed to reaching out and being involved in their community, it has an impact. The significance of your contribution can sometimes be felt immediately, other times you may be planting a seed that may not bear fruit for a few years.

Can you share any advice or tips for fellow employees who may want to get involved in similar initiatives?
I highly encourage and fully support employees finding something they are passionate about and using their gifts or talents to make a positive impact on others. Whether it is working with children, young adults, Veterans, people with disabilities, or the elderly, there are always individuals in need of your support. Even if you believe you don’t have a specific talent, simply offering your time and actively listening to someone facing adversity or a challenging situation can have a profound impact. Demonstrating empathy and compassion can be incredibly helpful in ways that may exceed your expectations.

What do you envision for the future of your community outreach efforts, and do you have any upcoming projects or goals you’d like to share?
As our department continues to grow and adapt, our primary focus is establishing a solid foundation and encouraging our employees to actively engage with the communities we serve. This commitment is not only the right thing to do as responsible corporate citizens, but it also presents opportunities for all our business lines including Deposits, Retail Lending, Mortgage Lending, Commercial Lending, Insurance, Investments, Treasury Management, and more.

Congratulations, Brian! We are honored to showcase the impact you have on the communities you serve. First Mid is proud to support your community outreach efforts.