Whether a warm spring evening or a cool autumn afternoon, Brad Vincent and his wife, Janet, love to go cruising in their 1968 Chevrolet Impala convertible.
"It's humongous, and barely fits in the garage," he said with a grin. "But the grandkids love it, and it's got a lot of sentimental value."
The Chevy sedan is a family favorite among a few other classics in Vincent's garage. And while automobiles are in his blood, he doesn't buy high-end cars.
"I just like the old '60s and '70s model muscle cars that are considered drivers—the ones that you don’t have to worry about getting dented. I prefer those over the dusters—the immaculate cars that you can’t breathe on, much less drive. Those just sit in the garage collecting dust."
Like his cars, Vincent is a driver, someone who knows what it takes to succeed in a business that has its share of potholes and fender benders. After nearly 40 years in the banking business—25 of them with BOK Financial®—he is taking on the bank's specialized industries segment, a role previously held by Stacy Kymes, who will become the company's next president and CEO in 2022.
"It's a fun ride watching the company grow from where we started at $3 billion in assets to where we are now at almost $50 billion in assets," he said. "I've never claimed to be the smartest guy in the room, but I've always worked with a lot of grit to do a good job. The key is to look forward and always try to set the stage for continued success."
It's all about balance
Vincent has managed BOK Financial's healthcare line of lending twice and will now also direct its energy, commercial real estate, merchant banking, commercial strategies and TransFund sectors.
He is most often credited for building the company's healthcare group from scratch, but his wealth of knowledge as a long-term relationship manager of commercial banking activity has proven invaluable to the organization.
"Brad's leadership style is very collaborative. He pulls people together," said Amy Redford, Vincent's executive assistant who has worked with him for 12 years. "He can glance at an email and immediately notice who is missing—who needs to be included to advance a project."
Redford described her supervisor as a techy kind of guy who is also analytical. In the office, Vincent often puts in long hours, sometimes from sun-up to sundown, but there's always music to lighten the mood.
"He plays Christmas music starting the day after Thanksgiving through the beginning of the new year," Redford said with a chuckle. "From Christian and jazz to country and pop, his music tastes are eclectic, and some Friday afternoons, our corner of the eighth floor can get a little loud."
TransFund Chairman Brian Bourgeois is a fellow classic car fan who can attest to how Vincent creates a fun and inspiring work environment.
"Brad balances the needs of employees with those of shareholders and the company better than anyone I know," Bourgeois said. "When you're part of a special team, it feels a whole lot different than when you're just a tool or a means to an end."
“Working for Brad, you feel like you can take on the world.”- Brian Bourgeois, TransFund Chairman
The car guy
Growing up in western Oklahoma, the world couldn't have felt any bigger to Vincent and his two older brothers. They were raised in the town of Shattuck, population 1,500, where his father worked as a car dealer for 40 years.
Both Vincent and Janet are car buffs. The high school sweethearts have been married for 42 years and enjoy attending classic automobile auctions together.
"We're probably bad for each other in that way because if we like a car, it tends to end up in our garage," Vincent said.
Kymes remembers a Friday several years ago when Vincent drove him and CEO Steve Bradshaw to lunch in a classic ride Vincent owned at the time. After returning to the office and dropping off Kymes and Bradshaw at the front entrance, Vincent couldn't resist spinning his wheels and burning some rubber on the parking garage floor.
"Unbeknownst to us when he did that, he blew out the water pump!" Kymes recalled. "About five minutes after dropping us off, he had to call a tow truck. I enjoyed giving him a hard time about that for years."
Jokes aside, a shiny classic car with an engine that rumbles and a hood that sparkles has rolled through each chapter of Vincent's life. From watching his dad sell cars to washing and waxing one alongside his five grandkids today, he loves his family and the cars that carry them.
Commitment to education
Vincent's other hobbies include travel and watching athletics at his alma mater, Oklahoma State University (OSU). A few years ago, he and his brothers, one a doctor and the other a dentist, established a scholarship for Shattuck High School graduates in honor of their parents, Don and Emily.
"If it wasn't for OSU, I wouldn't exist," he said. "My parents met at OSU where my dad earned a degree in business and public administration, and my mom graduated with a degree in secondary education. Because of their commitment to education, it was pretty clear from an early age that I would go to college."
As he and Janet raised their three daughters, Vincent remained committed to their family and his children's education.
"I think we achieved our goal on that front," he said. "We enjoy investing in young people and helping them grow into responsible, successful adults."
The Vincent family's education values have inspired his involvement in several community organizations over the years. Currently, he is a member of the OSU Foundation Board of Governors and the Oklahoma Caring Foundation board of directors.
Setting the stage
Vincent's management style is influenced by both current and upcoming leaders within the company. CEO Steve Bradshaw's advocacy of internal mobility coupled with Kymes' emphasis on longer-term investments will shape Vincent's new goals for 2022.
"Brad's been a banker longer than I have, and he knows the company, its culture and the specialized industry group," Kymes said. "I'm excited for him to be a part of the executive leadership team as my role changes."