After 44 years in banking, Kirk Riley looks ahead to family time, being outside, and Harley rides

In a manner of speaking, Kirk Riley has spent his entire life in banking. 

His parents were bankers in Kirk’s hometown of Shelton, Neb. So, when he started his first banking job in 1980 – while still a student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney – Kirk was carrying on a family tradition. On January 31, after 44 years in the business and 20 with Waypoint Bank, Kirk officially closes the books on his full-time responsibilities. He will remain a board member for Waypoint Bank and its holding company, Midwest Banco.

To hear Kirk describe it, his banking life has been a good ride. 

“Community banking has been very rewarding,” Kirk said. “I could not have chosen a better career for myself or my family.”

His career has also served as a rich source of fond memories, highlighted by “relationships developed with helping clients, employees, shareholders, and directors, with whom I have had the privilege to work,” he shared.

As much as Kirk might miss the everyday connections with customers and colleagues, they will also miss him.

“His leadership has been instrumental to the success of Waypoint Bank,” said Tim Sladek, the current Nebraska Market and Cozad Branch President, who will take over as CEO on February 1.

Kirk recalls that he has always been interested in finance. This led him to earn a business degree at UNK (known as Kearney State College when he attended). But he acknowledges that if he were to have chosen a different path, he likely would have pursued a career in forestry or as a park ranger with the National Park Service

His love for nature and the outdoors also shines through in the hobbies and activities Kirk wants to spend more time doing.

Time with family (including his wife Kris, their three children, and seven grandchildren) tops Kirk’s retirement to-do list.  But you can bet he will spend a healthy slice of that time boating, fishing, or outdoors camping.  He and Kris aim to travel more. He also likes to hop on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and ride with his two brothers, including on annual pilgrimages to the Black Hills.

Harley rides and travel time aside, Kirk and Kris also look forward to remaining contributors to the Cozad community through their charitable works.

“Kris and I are not going away as our family calls Cozad and Dawson County home,” he said. “Waypoint Bank has provided – and will continue to provide me with so many great memories. I am grateful for all the friendships I’ve made. After 20 years, the people I’ve met through the bank and living here have truly become my family.”


  • All of the grandkids at Christmas
    Christmas 2023 with all seven grandchildren.

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