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Chickasaw Community Bank COO Josh Pape (Dennise Toewes Photography)

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Meet Josh Pape

For This Chickasaw Community Bank COO, It’s All About Character, Quality & Respect

Josh Pape’s life and career have taken some unusual twists and turns prior to stepping into his new role as chief operating officer for Chickasaw Community Bank. However, his personal mission has always been the same: to work with people and help them develop and achieve their life goals.

In April, Josh was named as the bank’s COO. He also holds the title of executive vice president and serves as chairman of the Senior Loan Committee. In his new role, he oversees the overall management, administration, efficiency and compliance, working closely with CEO Gene Watson and senior executives.

He is responsible for providing strategic leadership to all divisions of the bank, including commercial, consumer, mortgage and tribal/governmental lending; retail banking; treasure management; marketing; and human resources. That’s no small task, given that the Chickasaw Community Bank is among the more successful community banks in the United States, with nearly $500 million in assets and more than $1.5 billion in assets under management.

Josh has been with CCB since 2021, and also worked for the bank from 2013 to 2019, spending two years in between as executive vice president for another local community bank. He said he is proud to be second in command at Chickasaw Community Bank and part of an institution that’s known for its stability and high-quality customer service.

His own affinity for the banking world was evident early on; Josh’s expertise includes retail, consumer and commercial lending; treasury management; and specialty CDFI lending. In 2022 he was selected by the Independent Community Bankers Association as one of their “Top 40 Under 40: Emerging Community Bank Leaders.”   

“For me, the biggest motivation I have now as COO, along with of course serving our customers, is to help our employees get where they want to go in their careers,” he said. “I enjoy advising them, helping them learn how to handle all types of situations with clients and coworkers, and helping them reach more than they ever thought they could achieve.

“It doesn’t matter whether they plan to stay in banking or not, I want to help them succeed. It may be a part-time teller who’s in college and plans on doing something else after graduating, but whoever that employee is, even if their time at our bank is a brief chapter in their book, I’d like it to be a good chapter.”

Josh grew up in eastern Oklahoma, graduating from Tahlequah High School. He entered college but ended up dropping out and joining the Air Force. He served on active duty in Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom, where he worked as an aerospace ground equipment mechanic. Post-service, he became a probation officer with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in Sequoyah County and married a former high school classmate, Jennifer Plant.

While he found working as a probation officer to be rewarding, “I felt that with getting married and looking at starting a family I needed something with better financial stability,” Josh said. Coincidentally, a friend was leaving a job with a large national bank’s local branch in Tahlequah and put in a good word for him.

“I was asked during the interview ‘How does your experience in corrections translate to banking?' I replied that both jobs have the same mission. Both are all about asking people their goals for their lives, and then helping them develop and achieve those goals. I got the job.”

Josh’s 2007 career shift to banking proved to be the perfect career fit. Prior to joining the Chickasaw Community Bank team, he worked for Citizens Bank of Edmond, UMB Bank and Bank of America. He holds an undergraduate degree in business management from Western Governors University and is a graduate of the Oklahoma Bankers Association’s Commercial Lending School.

Josh is active in many professional and philanthropic boards and committees for organizations such as the ICBA, the Community Bankers Association of Oklahoma, Fight for the Forgotten, Heroes in Waiting, the Air Force Association, SALLT and the National Society of Leadership & Success.

He enjoys spending time with Jennifer (a licensed real estate agent and a stay-at-home mom) and their young children, Ellie, 6, and Wyatt, 5. He’s also a huge fan of podcasts and golfing, and attends church regularly at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Edmond.

“My favorite story to tell is how I went from flunking out of college to becoming the first male college graduate in the Pape family,” he said. “At the end of the day, if I can help our team members accomplish what they need to know, to teach them that we all learn from our failures, like I did, then in the end we are going to help our customers in the same way.”

  • Chickasaw Community Bank COO Josh Pape (Dennise Toewes Photography)
  • Josh and Jennifer Pape with their children, Ellie and Wyatt, on vacation
  • Josh Ellie and Wyatt Pape(Christiana Bailey Photography)

“For me, the biggest motivation I have now as COO, along with of course serving our customers, is to help our employees get where they want to go in their careers."

“At the end of the day, if I can help our team members accomplish what they need to know, to teach them that we all learn from our failures, like I did, then in the end we are going to help our customers in the same way.”

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