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Employee Spotlight: Ben Pankonin

By January 31, 20202 min read

Say hello to Ben Pankonin, our cofounder and CEO! He once water skied behind a tractor and attends almost every Nebraska basketball game. Learn more about him below.

What made you want to start a company like Social Assurance?

I actually saw a need from some financial institutions on another business endeavor I was on at the time. At the 2011 Big Omaha event — a technology and entrepreneurial conference — I met Matt Secoske and we collaborated over coffee. At that meeting I proposed the Social Assurance idea to him and the rest is history.

What do you like most about your job?

I really enjoy seeing my employees and our customers share success together. Someone from our company getting excitement and joy out of the accomplishments of others makes my heart happy.

What’s your earliest memory of banking?

My parents owned a small business growing up, so I remember going to the bank with them almost every day to make business deposits. The bankers knew us really well and my dad would bring chocolate from our store to the tellers – they all really liked him!

What are you passionate about?

I’ve always loved seeing how community is built and defined. I’m interested in how we connect the various interests and passions people have around a place. Figuring out how to help people become a more prominent part of our community is very rewarding to me. Also, I like to golf – but not competitively.

How do you stay up on current trends in the marketing and social media world?

I spend a ridiculous amount of time on social media. I also spend time talking with people much younger than me (going to high schools with the Class Intercom team) to stay updated on what’s popular.

What do you think will be the biggest marketing or social media trend to hit the financial industry this year?

Financial institutions that will win the social media game are the ones who take a selfless approach. The ones who understand that authentic employee engagement is how you eventually get increased community engagement. We often engage marketing tactics when really we need leadership tactics. If you’re not excited about what you’re posting, then how can you expect your community to be?

If you want to schedule a call with Ben, or if you have any kind words to say to him about Nebraska basketball, you can email him at