A Haberfeld Podcast

HabChat is a bi-monthly podcast focused on hyper-relevant topics for community financial institutions.

Join Patrick Reese and Susan Kubert as they talk with industry leaders, Haberfeld experts, and current Haberfeld clients.

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Recent Episodes

Episode 9

We’ve all had the experience of walking into a business to find a product only to receive average or even subpar service. When this happens, we can feel like we’re not valued; almost as if we’re wasting the time of the employee whose job it is to help us. These are often the same businesses who then ask us to refer family and friends! But, why would we send anyone we know to a business like that after receiving such unimpressive service?

The truly unfortunate thing about these situations is that they are entirely common. Which is a shame, because it’s crucial to create an environment in which customers feel Welcomed, Reassured, and Significant—especially when you’re asking them to refer others! Even if we offer excellent service and have customers who’d be willing to refer us, we must have a strategy in place to capitalize on it.

In this episode of HabChat, join hosts Patrick and Susan as they discuss Referral Strategies with Scott Friesen, Haberfeld Executive Consultant & Director of Referral Strategies. We’ll discuss why it’s so important to creative an environment that’s conducive to referrals, and Scott will explain how Haberfeld helps financial institutions maintain focus and fun while successfully tracking their referral strategy. You also might learn a thing or two about pickleball!

Episode 8

Imagine for a moment: After making yourself thoroughly indispensable within your institution, you are promoted to a management role. Congratulations! You did it! You’ve worked hard for years and mastered every aspect of your job, and this promotion is very well-deserved. But, once you step into your role, you quickly realize that you are quite unprepared to lead others. You may even feel like you’re just making it up as you go.

Well, you’re not alone! In fact, this is something most first-time managers experience. Most companies are excellent at training people to handle the operational aspects of the job, but those same companies often place little (to no) focus on the human aspect of leadership. So, what are we to do about it?

In this episode of HabChat, join hosts Patrick and Susan as they discuss this vital leadership issue with Rob Bennetts (Haberfeld Senior Consultant & Director of Cultivate). Tune in today to learn why managers aren’t there to tell people what to do; they’re there to help people grow. You’ll also learn how Haberfeld can help grow your team’s leadership through our Cultivate platform.

Episode 7

Whether we’re seeking personal, professional, or institutional growth, getting there will always be a journey. A financial institution’s journey will involve many factors, but some of the highest drivers for deposit growth relate to having compelling products and a strong culture that promotes innovation. Mid Oregon Credit Union is one such institution, and they’ve seen tremendous growth in their partnership with Haberfeld. This is due in no small part to Mid Oregon’s President and CEO, Kevin Cole, who has been a staunch advocate and guiding light on their path to success.

Join Patrick and Susan as they talk to Kevin about Mid Oregon’s impressive growth in a conversation that touches on compelling products, strong culture, and how some of the smallest things make the biggest difference.

Episode 6

You have been leading your financial institution for decades, and you’re immensely proud that you’ve helped it grow in almost every way. Now, as you reflect on 30-plus years of hard work, struggles, wins, and relationships, you realize it’s time to take a step back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

But what does that look like, exactly? How do you slowly step away, and who is going to lead the institution when you do? Once you’ve identified your institution’s next leader, how do you plan a successful handoff? These are the same questions David Furnace (Executive Vice Chairman and former CEO of Haberfeld) had when it was time to hand over the reins to Ben O’Neill (new CEO of Haberfeld).

Join Patrick and Susan as they talk with David and Ben about the process and timeline of succession planning, and how the two worked together for an effective and timely passing of the torch.

Episode 5

We’d say the battle for deposits is heating up, but in truth, it’s already red-hot.

With every financial institution in America doing everything they can to attract new deposit customers, it's crucial for your institution to have a solid strategy and an account lineup to match. For years, Haberfeld has preached the Free Account, and it’s still absolutely critical. But, what if we told you there’s an account that can offer your customers wonderful value AND increase your institution’s noninterest income?

Join Patrick and Susan as they discuss the Benefits Checking account with Haberfeld President Achim Griesel and Jenny Wofford, SVP and CSO of Pinnacle Bank in Georgia! Listen in as they break down why Benefits Checking will truly benefit your institution as well as your customers!

Episode 4

Imagine for a moment that you’re starting up a bank or credit union. You already know the type of culture you want to build, the community you want to support, and even the products you want to provide. Now, you just need to figure out how to get people in the door to open an account. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? Just put up a sign, run a few ads in the local paper, and maybe go door to door.

And it will work...but only a little, and not in the long-term. The main issue here is that we need to be painstakingly deliberate in how we attract people to our institution and develop these relationship. This is where Haberfeld’s HPG Strategy comes in.

For more than 35 years, Haberfeld has assisted financial institutions in running highly successful marketing campaigns, from messaging to design to audience to so much more. In this episode, join Patrick and Susan for a discussion with Haberfeld marketing experts Joe McWilliams and Cory Kibler on how the Haberfeld team helps our clients attract as many new customers as possible.

Episode 3

Once a year, Haberfeld hosts an annual symposium for our clients. Symposium is a great way for Haberfeld clients to connect with one another, learn from the Haberfeld experts, and have a lot of fun! We were very fortunate to sit down with Lori Loffler of Community Bank N.A. (NY), David Layton of First State Bank (TX), Brady Stratton of First Community Bank (UT), Debbie Arnold of Peoples Bank (AR), Kristi Thornton of West Gate Bank (NE), and Jenny Wofford of Pinnacle Bank (GA). Listen in as they share their symposium experience and we hope to see you in San Antonio for Symposium 2024!

Episode 2

It’s safe to say that every financial institution wants to grow. Well, growth isn’t something that happens overnight; it happens when one is consistently working towards it. This is where the Haberfeld HPG™ strategy comes in, but does it really work? The short answer is YES! Not only does it work, but there are countless advocates for this strategy. One of those advocates is Doug Carey who is a former Executive VP for West Gate Bank in Lincoln, NE. His experience, leadership, and humility helped West Gate Bank grow from 5 to 10 neighborhood branches in 15 years. Join Patrick and Susan as they chat with Doug Carey and Dr. Sean Payant to discover how Doug championed the HPG™ strategy over a long period of time.

Episode 1

Let’s face it: We’ve all had a leader that we never trusted, didn’t get along with, or weren’t supported by. The way the world works today, it’s crucial to have leaders in our organizations that build trust, inspire others, and promote growth. Join Patrick and Susan as they speak with Haberfeld’s Ben O’Neill and Ned Pauley about leadership’s true role in your FI’s growth. Here, Ben and Ned also offer their perspective on the best ways to help your leaders grow.

Books Mentioned

Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf

Good to Great by Jim Collins


Take control of your financial institution and have sustainable growth for years to come. Habchat offers an in-depth look at how the Haberfeld strategy works. Join Patrick Reese and Susan Kubert as they talk with industry leaders, Haberfeld experts, and current Haberfeld clients. Listen in as we discuss the proven strategy that will help grow core deposits and set your financial institution up for long-term growth.

Meet Your Hosts

Headshot of Susan Kubert with.shoulder length blonde hair and a bright green blouse.

Susan Kubert

Senior Account Executive

Susan has been in the financial services industry for 20 years. She joined Haberfeld several years ago as an Account Executive and switched her focus to banking. Susan enjoys helping her clients measure the success of their High Performance Growth™ strategy through data analytics and our overall marketing approach. Her favorite part of this role is forming lasting relationships with our partners.

Susan is a graduate of the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. Susan has held Series 6 and Series 63 licenses, as well as the CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter designation. She and her husband Tom have three grown sons and reside in Lincoln, NE with their two dogs.

Headshot of Patrick Reese who has combed brown hair, a beard, and a blue suit with pink shirt and colorful tie

Patrick Reese


Patrick has been in the banking industry for the past 11 years. Patrick worked on the retail side of a large community bank in Lincoln, NE prior to joining the Haberfeld team. He joined Haberfeld in 2021 as a Consultant to assist clients in the Haberfeld growth strategy. Patrick enjoys assisting clients with the training and development of their staff members.

Patrick is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts. Patrick also obtained a Master of Arts in Management from Doane University. He believes that if leaders help their people become better versions of themselves, then everything else will follow.