Max T. Wake


Max Wake says doing what’s best over the long-term, instead of taking high risks on short-term events, provides his customers and his bank a more successful future.

Jones National Bank & Trust Co., based in Seward, Neb., provides banking, trust, insurance and personal finance services to a variety of agricultural, industrial, commercial and individual customers.

“We hope to meet our customers’ needs beyond just core banking,” he said.

Wake says nothing is more fulfilling than having a long-time customer tell you that your bank helped him or her succeed with their business. “That’s a pretty special thing to have someone say,” he said.

His experience with his customers helps in his role as a director for the Kansas City Fed.

“We may not agree with every monetary policy decision, but community bankers understand the important role the Federal Reserve and Kansas City (Fed) plays in the economy.”

Wake says Esther George is a great advocate for Federal Reserve independence, and he thinks the Federal Reserve Act is very clear about that issue.

The intent of the act also allows for directors to share with the Fed real-time economic information from a variety of business sectors.

Wake is a Class A, Group Three director, which is elected by small banking institutions in the Tenth Federal Reserve District.

“They are closely held, family owned, and they like to do the right thing, and they are good to customers and staff and the communities they serve,” he said of these bankers, who elected him.

Wake tries to fairly convey their concerns and thoughts, and put faces and context to the data the Fed provides. He also acts as an ambassador, explaining to the public the role and purpose of the Fed.

“It’s about stewardship,” he said. “In a small way I try to do whatever I can to preserve and enhance the Fed, to help it be successful.”