Four Independence Bank employees have successfully completed the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado. Andrew Howard, Chad Hall, Phil Riney and Scott Thornhill recently traveled to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains for the courses. These men were among 169 community bankers and regulators from across the nation to receive this prestigious diploma through its 71st Annual School Session.

“GSBC was a great opportunity to learn and be introduced to other banking perspectives,” Chief Risk Officer Phil Riney shared. “But, the most rewarding aspect was the quality time spent with Andrew, Chad and Scott through class time, papers and projects as well as during dinners, fly-fishing, hiking, concerts and more. This aspect confirmed my belief in their dedication to their customers and communities, their commitment to Independence Bank and their overall work ethic.”

With focus on community banking, GSBC recognizes its importance and the role banks play across their local economies. The program aims at providing the training and skills necessary for professionals to thrive long-term amidst challenges in the economic and regulatory environment.

“This amazing experience expanded my knowledge surrounding the overall banking industry and helped build strong friendships along the way,” Commercial Loan Officer Andrew Howard reflected. “Valuable tools were garnered during this process—assisting in continuing the everyday excellence we provide our communities, customers and shareholders. The courses and intercession projects were instrumental. However, the most treasured time was that spent with my fellow IB team.”

Students interact closely with expert facilitators in classroom sizes conducive to peer-learning and interaction. Class discussions, case examples and projects are targeted at issues faced by senior managers of community banks—all to provide the technical training and leadership skills needed by the next generation of community bank managers.

Scott Thornhill, who works as a Commercial Loan Officer in Bowling Green says “I am thankful for the opportunity Independence Bank gave me to attend. I learned about different areas of the bank and was able to expand my knowledge of various operations. The learning experience all came together during the bank simulation where our team made day-to-day decisions on many different facets. I have an increased appreciation for the decisions made regarding the direction of Independence Bank.”

Also in attendance, alongside Riney, Howard and Thornhill, was Chad Hall. Hall currently works as President of Independence Bank’s oldest market in McLean County, Kentucky.

“Having the opportunity to attend GSBC has been an invaluable aspect of my career,” Hall explained. “Being able to learn alongside my colleagues made it even better. The exposure to other community bankers’ ideas and viewpoints allows us to identify areas for improvement but also confirms what we do right at Independence Bank for our clients and communities. I will recall my time in Boulder for many years to come both professionally and personally as priceless.”

Since 1950, Graduate School of Banking at Colorado has set the standard in offering a comprehensive banking education for community bank leadership reflecting current industry topics which focus on financial management, strategy, innovation, engagement, leadership, culture, plus lending.

Independence Bank President Jacob Reid and Marketing Director Bridget Reid attended the graduation ceremony to recognize their revolutionary accomplishments.

“As a graduate of this program, it makes me incredibly proud to share this educational experience,” Independence Bank President Jacob Reid reflected. “I know this knowledge is beneficial for our bankers because I, personally, have sat through these same sessions. We believe we have the best people and it’s important to make investments in them. We encourage every employee to continue their education and the Bank helps fund those opportunities across our footprint. We are proud to see our team take a proactive approach in this professional development process.”


Independence Bank is a regional community bank with 28 locations in Calloway, Daviess, Fayette, Franklin, Graves, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, Jefferson, McCracken, McLean, Shelby, Warren and Webster counties. One of the fastest growing banks in Kentucky and fifth largest, Independence Bank possesses the size and experience to serve the largest and most complex clients and offers trust and investment services and agricultural services. As a banking revolution for the people, by the people, central to Independence Bank’s mission is doing what is right and fair for customers, communities and employees. Independence Bank has been recognized in multiple categories by the American Bankers Association, including being named a Top Performing Bank and Best Bank to Work For, for 12 consecutive years, a Best Place to Work in Kentucky for 14 years and has assets totaling $3.3 billion.