When John J. Coyne III talks about the importance of “making the communities that we serve better,” he’s not only referring to his responsibilities leading Big Horn Federal Savings Bank in his hometown, Greybull, Wyoming. He’s talking about the deep connections that come along with being “a true community banker.”

In addition to his roles as the bank’s chairman, CEO and president, Coyne is a 14-year member of the Greybull Volunteer Fire Department, and he served for 18 years as a high school basketball official, working local games and numerous state and regional tournaments. Those are examples of many ground-level connections that are vital for community success, said Coyne, who this year joined the Denver Branch Board of Directors.

“Our bank was founded in 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression, to provide funding for the purchase and ownership of homes in Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin,” Coyne said. “Over time we’ve evolved to provide all types of lending. We have six branches in four counties in north-central Wyoming, and our customer base is defined around those communities that we serve.”

Coyne noted that many of Big Horn Federal’s traits result from being a mutual savings bank, which means it has no primary owner or shareholder interest. The ideals of mutuality “allow us to provide a long-term perspective and help our customer’s weather storms in a really local and hometown way,” Coyne said.

It can be said that Coyne grew up in the banking industry. His father held executive roles with Big Horn Federal. As a toddler, John III appeared in advertisements and promotions for the bank.

John Coyne of the Kansas City Fed's Denver Branch Board of Directors standing in front of an office doorway.

Many years later, as the bank’s chief executive, Coyne gained insight into the Central Bank’s mission while serving on the Kansas City Fed’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council. The council’s members represent banks, thrift institutions and credit unions across the Tenth District.

Coyne’s first interaction with the Federal Reserve actually occurred during his studies at the University of Wyoming, when he signed up for a banking pilot program led by an official from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Now, as he begins his 25th year in banking and his first as a Reserve Bank director, Coyne is grateful to represent the aspirations of customers and businesses in an “extraordinarily rural” region.

“I am honored to be in that position,” Coyne said. “Being able to learn, understand and contribute to the Fed means a lot. There are unique challenges that come out of a rural and largely ag-based community. It is really important to have those messages understood.”

But it’s equally important to bring insight back to his home state.

“We have roughly 18,000 customers who need our best every day,” Coyne said. “Just being associated with the Fed brings our knowledge base up and helps us understand those challenges and deal with them better, for all those we serve.”

Learn more about Mr. Coyne here.