Nebraska branch specializes in ag loans to Clay County and surrounding communities


Earlier this month, Waypoint Bank – Clay Center celebrated its 30th anniversary with around 75 people. 

Attendees were treated to a fun history of the bank from Dave Higbea, who started the branch as a loan production office in 1993.  Waypoint Bank Nebraska Market President, Tim Sladek, genuinely thanked the community for its support, and allowing the bank to serve them.  “Clay Center is a great community and I’m proud to say it is where I got my start with Waypoint Bank,” Tim said. “The bank and the community show strong work ethic and have been able to work hand-in-hand to complete monumental tasks.”

Dave Higbea and Tim Sladek at Waypoint Bank's Clay Center's 30th Anniversary

Waypoint Bank Nebraska Market President Tim Sladek (L) and CEO Kirk Riley talk with Clay Center customer L. Wayne Johnson (back) at the branch’s 30th celebration on November 9, 2023.

Through a series of name changes and the transition to a full-service bank, the original loan office that began as part of the Saronville bank branch, is now Waypoint Bank – Clay Center. But the ownership and the community connection have stayed the same all these years.

Dave retired in 2015, the same year he was voted Person of the Year for Clay County, in recognition of his contributions to the community. Tim Sladek followed Dave and ran the bank until 2019 when he was promoted to the bank’s home office in Cozad. 


 Dave Higbea at Waypoint Bank

Clay Center’s first Branch President, the now retired Dave Higbea, puts his feet up at the 30th celebration on November 9, 2023.

Jessie Anderson took the reins on January 1, 2020.  “With Dave’s 22 years of leadership and Gin Byrkit’s 25 years of experience at this location, this branch is strong and continues to grow here in Clay Center today,” Jessie said. She plans to continue building strong customer and community relations and can’t wait to see where this branch goes in the next 30 years. 

Over the years, Waypoint Bank has made a lasting impact on the growth and prosperity of Clay Center. Our bank loans and services have backed projects such as the Area 911 system, parks and recreation projects, city pool, golf course, fitness center, and a childcare center. The Bank believes in contributing to and supporting local 4-H auctions and beef shows, FFA, youth sports teams, community events and the schools’ activities and fundraisers. Our employees volunteer their time throughout the community – Jessie is president of Clay Center Innovation Partners, Sandy Creek FFA alumni, and a longtime Community Club member.   Loan Officer, James Martin, is treasurer of Clay Center Innovation Partners, TeamMates Mentor and head of Parks and Recreation.  

“This community is a huge part of the bank and our success,” Jessie said. “I can say that all the staff here at Clay Center have a passion for this community and its success. One of the main reasons I decided to get into banking is my passion for the ag industry and this community. The reward of helping customers build their business or operation is on the top of the list. I also love getting an opportunity to help with projects that will better our community.”

Cover photo: November 2023. L-R Lisa DeBord, Lisa Baxa, Gin Byrkit, James Martin, Jessie Anderson.

All photos are courtesy of The Clay County News.

You are leaving