May 28, 2021

Meet Riverland Employee Kristopher Sonsteby!

Kris Sonsteby photo

Kristopher Sonsteby, Senior Vice President – Credit Officer at Riverland Bank, was born to entrepreneurial parents in Coon Rapids, Minnesota before relocating to St. Paul (in the Como area) with his wife in April of 2017. He has been in banking since he was an intern teller at a local community bank back in high school and has been on the credit side of banking in one form or another for over 16 years. In fact, all his former employers are also independent financial institutions like Riverland, so you could say he found his career niche early in his career. Read on to learn more about Kristopher and his role at Riverland.

Q. What do you like best about working at Riverland?

A. One of my favorite things about working for a small business like Riverland is knowing my contributions are integral to the growth of the bank. It would be easy to get lost in the shuffle at a big corporation, but here, there is a great sense of comradery and we are all critical to the collective success of the organization – regardless of our respective job titles.

Q. What do you like to do in your free time for fun?

A. I am a huge card game and board game junkie in the winter months, and an avid golfer when the weather is nice. My wife describes me as “outdoorsy” and “experience-focused,” as I was the kid who was in the yard from dawn until dusk growing up. If given the choice, I will always choose going on vacation to explore some new corner of the state or an exotic locale over buying something tangible. All you take with you from this life are the memories and I want to make mine unforgettable.

Q. What is your favorite book or movie?

A. My favorite book has always been The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, although the Hunger Games series is a close second. My favorite movie is probably Gladiator, although there are countless other Oscar-winning and indie films I enjoy.

Q. In what ways are you involved in the community, personally and through Riverland?

A. I have been involved in I.S.P.M., a family-oriented outreach program based in the Philippines for over two decades, and I currently serve as a board member for two non-profit organizations. It is critical that community banks such as Riverland give back to the communities they serve, and I am proud of all that we do here for such deserving causes like Every Meal, Second Harvest Heartland, and the Jordan food shelf, among others.

Q. What is your favorite quote?

A. “The truth only hurts when it is supposed to.” – Howard Holm

Q. How do you positively contribute to customers’ experience at Riverland?

A. I serve as the department head of the Credit Analyst team in what is essentially a player/coach role, so my customers are largely internal (e.g., Riverland’s bankers, the CCO, and the CEO). Prior to the pandemic, I frequently attended new and existing customer calls, and I have served on the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) team ever since. While the PPP process has been a daunting task, it is also very rewarding to know that in some small way I helped keep frontline workers paid and our small business customers up and running during a period fraught with such great uncertainty.