Local SCC Grads’ Education Returns Dividends

Matt (’95) and Mike Shinn (’01) know a good investment when they see one.

When it was time for college, these brothers from West Burlington chose SCC. Now 20 years later, they spend their days helping others make sound investments in themselves and in their community.

“Neither of our parents finished college, and they really encouraged us to go,” says Matt.

With finances tight in the Shinn household, SCC was the logical choice. So after graduating from high school in 1993, Matt enrolled.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so my plan was to take different classes at SCC to figure it out,” says Matt.

A chance conversation would help him with that decision.

The mother of Mike’s friend worked at a local bank and asked Matt if he was interested in a summer job.

“I had never considered banking and thought being a teller would be fun, Plus, the hours worked around my classes, so I applied,” Matt explains.

Thus began Matt’s journey into banking.

After earning his AA from SCC, Matt transferred to Harding University in Arkansas where he earned his BBA in finance.

“SCC really prepared me for Harding,” says Matt. “Especially Mr. Krekel. He was a tough math teacher but was always there to help whenever you asked. I had a number of quality teachers like him. I didn’t miss a beat when I transferred.”

A few years later, Matt landed a loan officer job at a bank in Florida. Even though life was good in the Sunshine State, Iowa was still home.

“Then one day out of the blue Mike called to tell me about a position at the bank where I first started as a teller.”

Matt got the job and headed home. Over the next 10 years he rose through the ranks at local banks to become the current president and CEO of Two Rivers Bank and Trust in Burlington.

Now Matt sees how SCC positively impacts thousands of lives in ways many don’t have the chance to see firsthand.

“SCC plays a huge role in contributing to the vitality of our region,” he explains. “Whether it’s educating students, providing training for business, exposing kids to careers—it’s about helping people see what can be and then giving them the skills make it happen.”

Mike followed a similar path. After graduating SCC, he, too, attended Harding, earning a BBA in professional sales.

“I did the math, and as long as I worked 20 hours a week, I could save enough money to pay the next semester’s SCC tuition bill,” recalls Mike. “That allowed me to graduate debt-free.”

After Harding, Mike returned to Burlington where he built an impressive resume working as an investment advisor, commercial lender, and market president. He now helps clients manage their investments at Berthel Fisher as a financial planner.

While both are regularly called to share their talents on a variety of civic and community boards, each finds the most satisfaction in the opportunities to positively impact the lives of others—either on the macro or micro level.

“I’m proud to be a part of attracting big business and industry to our area, and I really love helping people with an idea to launch their small business,” says Matt. “Behind all those financial numbers and data points are actual people and families. That’s what excites me.”

Each attributes SCC to helping instill in them a spirit of community and opportunity.

“They say that education is the great equalizer, but I think community colleges are even more so,” Mike states. “SCC provides a quality education to anyone who wants it, regardless of income or circumstance.”

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