We’re bringing you a special blog series from The Accidental Banker. Orv Kimbrough offers a smart, caring perspective on simplifying home ownership, and we are so happy to share his story and lessons with you. This series is part of a paid partnership with Rising Bank, a division of Midwest BankCentre, and we do receive a commission if you take advantage of their services.
I’m Orv Kimbrough, but you can call me The Accidental Banker.
Because, for most of my life, it didn’t look like I would end up where I am now.
I’m a Black man who was raised in foster care in North St. Louis, a product of the St. Louis City public school system, and a beneficiary of affirmative action. I’m also the CEO of Rising Bank, a division of Midwest BankCentre. I’m the former CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis, the largest United Way affiliate in the country.
I move between these worlds that don’t usually intersect. I live a life that I was told was impossible. This gives me a unique perspective — that much of what ails us can be solved through a democratized approach and access to opportunity and capital.
When I was young, my mother struggled to buy groceries for our family of five. She would visit Lee’s Pawn Shop to borrow against the few assets we had, like our family’s bicycle. The interest rates were high, but like many of the neighborhood moms we ran into there, she lacked access to credit and didn’t have the option to shop around.
That was my first experience with credit. It’s no surprise, then, that when I needed a way to get to school and work, I gladly took out a loan the dealership offered so I could buy my Buick Le Sabre. I didn’t realize that people outside of our urban community weren’t paying similar interest rates (mine was much higher) until I met my accountant wife.
As the Accidental Banker, I’ll share the lessons I have lived and learned – many of them the hard way. I hope you’ll join me. Rising Bank and I will help you get to where you want to go.