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Adam Velasquez, 2019 Accomplished Under 40

Adam Velasquez

38 • Vice president and executive banking relationship manager •

Zions Bank • Pocatello

When Adam Velasquez was a kid, he didn’t dream of being a banker. He wanted to work for the FBI. However, like many people, Velasquez found that another career appealed to him.

While working for a credit union during college, Velasquez found his niche in a fi eld where he could do what he loved best: work hard, build close relationships with others and give back to the community.

Now, the 38-year-old lifelong Pocatello resident is a vice president and executive banking relationship manager for Zions Bank.

Hard work and service

At Zions Bank, Velasquez helps high-net-worth individuals find personalized solutions for their financial needs. Working at Zions also enables him to tap into his community spirit with service opportunities such as painting the houses of people in need.

Velasquez’s personal values stem from his childhood, when his parents would involve him in helping other family members when they needed it. In high school, he was on the wrestling team (making all-state in 1999) and learned lessons such as discipline and goal commitment.

In the 20 years since his high school wrestling days, Velasquez continued to work hard. He attended college part-time for about a decade while starting his career and raising a family with his wife. In 2011, he received his bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Idaho State University and became the first in his family to graduate from college. He remembers his father crying and hugging him on graduation day, and having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the sacrifices made by his ancestors.

Giving back

Velasquez often asks himself what his late friend and former teammate, Richard Suenaga, would be doing. Suenaga, who died in 2002, was a great student and “the giver in his social circle,” Velasquez says.

“He was doing all these things to improve himself and others,” Velasquez adds. Suenaga’s example inspired Velasquez to help others. In 2005, Velasquez started the annual Richard Iwao Suenaga II Most Academic Wrestler Award at his alma mater, Pocatello High School.

Velasquez focuses on working with the next generation. He volunteers with kids in various capacities, including as a volunteer instructor and scholarship fundraiser for the National Academy Foundation. He speaks enthusiastically of coaching young wrestlers and serving as a high school wrestling official.

That enthusiasm is contagious, notes his friend of 10 years, Ryan Sargent, alumni relations director for Idaho State University.

“Adam not only dedicates himself to causes he believes in but inspires others to believe in them too,” Sargent writes in a letter of recommendation.

The next 20 years

In the next two decades, Velasquez says he would like to advocate for the next generation of bankers so they can be successful in helping their clients.

As for non-professional goals, says he hopes to see his three children take the lessons he and his wife have tried to instill in them about working hard, serving others and pursuing education.

“Twenty years from now, if I can look at my family and they’re doing well, they have college educations, they have good paying jobs, they have families that they’re starting, I will feel like I’ve been successful.”

About Lis Stewart