Charles Lamb never thought he would work for a bank, but he’s found a passion during his three years at Central Bancorp. The 34-year-old marketing director moved to the Springs to take the position in 2010, leaving the home he made for himself in Indianapolis. Starting in public relations for the Indiana Governor’s Office, he went on to work for Purdue University and other organizations before landing a job in the place he had always dreamed of living: the Front Range. Lamb took some time out from his busy schedule this week to talk to the Business Journal about what he does for Central Bancorp and the potential he sees in Colorado Springs and its community of young professionals.
How did you end up living in Colorado Springs and working at Central Bancorp?
I knew that I wanted to land somewhere along the Front Range, and this job was brought to my attention by Jill Johnson, who works here. She was volunteering for the American Heart Association, where my mom was working as executive director, and Jill kept going to these meetings and saying, “We have a marketing position open at Central Bancorp, so if you know anyone that would like to apply for it, please let me know.”
I don’t think I had ever thought about doing marketing for a bank or for financial services — it had never really crossed my mind. They put me through this intensive interview process and it just really revealed to me that this wasn’t just a bank that was about selling free checking accounts, but a bank that is part of a large organization that wants to be a holistic financial home for individuals and businesses in Colorado Springs.
So when the job became available, the option to move and to live in Colorado Springs and along the Front Range became a possibility, and I just took it. It had been a dream of mine to live in this area for a long time and this made it possible.
What do you think of the city’s young professional community?
To be honest, I’m not that involved with the young professional community here in Colorado Springs. I went to one of their meetings last year and it felt a little bit like speed-dating. I cycle, so most of the young professionals that I hang out with are generally race organizers or riders. I’m used to a more activist culture: “Let’s not meet, let’s do; let’s not talk, let’s get things done.” I think that titles and positions and starting your career are great things to be thinking about, but I think you have to do things right and think about the opportunities you’ve been given. It’s not the problem that this community doesn’t have intelligent and capable young professionals, it’s that the network is unorganized and disjointed and needs to just get things together.
What are your responsibilities as marketing director for Central Bancorp?
Central Bancorp was founded to be a holistic financial home for a very specific target audience. In terms of marketing in that environment, it’s really about creating a market between us, our products and the clients we service or the ones we might be able to service down the road.
What keeps you busy in your personal life while you’re not working?
Well, I picked up biking last year. I was riding around in a Jeep Wrangler and basically just wanted to meet people and get fit, so I picked up the equipment I needed and a coach to help keep me on track and accountable. I raced last season and loved it. If I’m not working, I’m training. I’m also in graduate school now, so I’m studying for my master’s degree.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
When I was living in Indianapolis and working in state government, it was really during a time when it was called “Nap Town,” people left downtown at 5 o’clock and it was horribly boring. I was a young professional, and you just have this energy and you want to walk to work, walk to go eat, walk to go out, and you want everything at least in a couple-mile radius. I’ve just always felt really attached to downtown living … so I find this whole conversation about the City for Champions and about what the core of our downtown should be is very interesting to me. Because I think Colorado Springs and Indianapolis are very similar in terms of where they were and in terms of the potential they have … I think Colorado Springs really has to find what its pulse and what its spirit is, and I think that is found in the young professionals who want to live downtown.