He loved playing football, basketball and baseball while growing up and these experiences taught him the value of working as a team and having a good game plan.
Mills has applied those experiences to how he runs First Busey Corp., where he serves as president.
He’s created a team culture called “The Busey Way” where he sees himself as a coach working to support his employees. He wants to get the most out of his associates while furthering their development. The success of this approach is evident by the fact that the senior management team has an average of 21 years of service with Mills at the company.
Mills also stresses the importance of enjoying work to his more than 600 employees, especially because Busey is in the service industry where everything must be done in a friendly and professional way. With so many competitors in the banking industry, there is an increased focus on making the work environment enjoyable for all employees and customers.
He also puts together a game plan for the company that looks years into the future. In 2000, he established “Vision 2010”, a business plan that contains the path by which he plans to achieve an asset size of $5 billion by 2010. As a result, the company expanded into Florida, and in 2002, Mills took the company public.
He has also made First Busey Corp. the first financial institution to establish a broker dealer subsidiary and an insurance subsidiary.
How to reach: First Busey Corp., www.busey.com