Written by: Laura Warfel
In 2017, Julie Pine joined the team at Lead Bank — a community bank with locations in Kansas City and Lee’s Summit, Missouri — as its first general counsel. Since then, she has helped to build the legal, compliance and human resources departments, as well as the bank’s growth strategy. She is one of only two women on the six-person executive team.
In her current position, Pine helps cultivate partnerships with companies that create digital financial tools. She oversees compliance and enterprise risk to ensure both the bank and its customers are protected. Working with outside counsel, she helps ensure that Lead Bank is compliant with state and federal regulations, particularly in the area of consumer lending. She also works with the chief technology officer on digital strategy.
As an in-house attorney, she helps her clients in achieving what they set out to do and serves as a sounding board to the business leaders and CEO. “When we try to do something new or innovative, I’m brought into the conversation,” she says. “I offer my expertise to help others achieve their goals. It’s so fulfilling for me to work with people on a project and see them happy at the end rather than just being called in when something has gone terribly wrong.”
One of Pine’s most memorable assignments at Lead Bank was negotiating the contract for Self, the bank’s largest Banking as a Service partner. This business relationship provided the foundation for the bank to expand and onboard additional partners in order to reach a larger customer base.
During the past year, she has contributed to the growth and success Lead Bank has experienced, despite the hardships caused by the pandemic. She continues to motivate and inspire her teams to meet the bank’s strategic objectives. “I’ve learned not to be afraid to speak up and let my voice be heard,” she says. “Even if I don’t have expertise in a particular area, I can contribute my training and experience and the way I think about things.”
Pine never imagined she would be an in-house banking attorney. She thought she would become a teacher — like her mother — or a college professor. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a BA in English and Anthropology, she disregarded her father’s advice and — like him — became an attorney. She earned her JD from the University of Kansas School of Law and completed a study abroad program at the University of Limerick, Ireland.
Pine also never imagined that she would become an Orangetheory Fitness® Training enthusiast. To date, she has attended more than 650 classes. When she isn’t working out, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and two sons.
“At Lead Bank, my work is challenging and fulfilling beyond my wildest dreams,” she says. “My opinions are valued, and I have more time flexibility. I’m grateful that I landed at a place where I can do my best work.”