Needham receives Fort Hays State alumni award
Tonganoxie resident L. Kent Needham was one of seven Fort Hays State University alumni honored at the alumni awards and recognition banquet on Oct. 5 during homecoming celebrations in Hays. Six received Alumni Association awards, and one received the Presidential Award.
Needham was one of three who received the Alumni Achievement Award, the association’s highest honor, established in 1959 to recognize graduates who have made outstanding and unselfish contributions in service to their community, state or nation as citizens, in chosen career fields or through philanthropic work.
Needham graduated from FHSU with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1975 and from Wichita State University with a master’s degree in the same area in 1976. In 1984, Needham graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, Boulder, and currently is chairman, president and CEO of First Security Bank, Overbrook.
From 1977 to 1980, Needham was an assistant vice president of Western National Bank, Amarillo, Texas. Needham served as executive vice president and director of Farmers Bank and Trust, Great Bend, from 1980 until 1992. During the tumultuous financial times of the ‘80s, the bank grew from $18 million in assets to $116 million. From 1993 to 2007, he was president, CEO and director of First State Bank and Trust in Tonganoxie. Through strategic purchases, de novo branching and the assistance of a quality senior management team, a $50 million bank with two locations grew into a $325 million institution with eight locations. Needham and his wife, Terry, purchased First Security Bank in 2007, which has grown from $22.8 million to $54 million in assets.
Needham, a member of the FHSU Foundation Board of Trustees, 2009-2013, serves on its executive council and finance committee. He is also on the Board of Trustees of Manhattan Christian College and serves on its executive committee.
Throughout his career, Needham has been active in serving his industry as chair of the Kansas Bankers Association, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado and as a member of the Administrative Committee of the America’s Community Bankers Council of the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C. He has also worked with the Financial Services Volunteer Corporation in New York, traveling to Russia to share his knowledge of strategic planning with Russian bankers in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Needham has served in several capacities within the Masonic fraternity, including Grand Master of Masons in Kansas, Kansas Masonic Foundation Board of Trustees and Kansas Masonic Home Board of Directors.
He actively serves the communities where he has lived through local churches and activities such as Scouting, economic development, legislative affairs, the Chamber of Commerce, foundations, civic groups, school districts and leadership initiatives.