Staff Focus: Meet Preston Schotte

By The Trust Company on February 9, 2020

Before joining The Trust Company, Preston Schotte visited with the Manhattan staff to get to know our people and culture. Someone jokingly suggested that it is standard protocol for new employees on their first day of work to supply donuts for the entire office. Preston happily obliged, proving not only that his sense of humor fits right in, but also that you couldn’t ask for a nicer guy on your team.

Preston’s affable demeanor has a way of immediately putting people at ease. His reliable smile reveals an inner confidence in the power of positivity. And he’s motivated by others who engage with their community to make it a better place for everyone. “As a kid I was always involved in team sports, and I’ve always been very caring about the community that I live in.”

Preston is following the lead of The Trust Company’s president & CEO, Mark Knackendoffel, who has served on dozens of nonprofit boards and encourages his staff to make the time to be active in the communities in which we live and work.

Since 2017 Preston has been a member of the Rotary Club of Manhattan. In 2019 he joined the board of Konza United Way. This year he’s also giving his time and talents to Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan. As if that’s not enough, he also is a member of the Leadership Manhattan Class of 2020.
“If you care enough and are passionate enough there is plenty of time in the day for community service,” he says.

His wife, Sarah, an audiologist practicing in Manhattan, appreciates and shares Preston’s passion for doing good. “It’s not easy balancing a demanding career and family life for both Preston and me. When you love your community like we do, though, it becomes easy to say ‘yes’ to opportunities to have an impact on making our community a better place to live for everyone.”

Preston Schotte
Preston enjoys time outdoors with his wife, Sarah, and their German Shepherd, Apollo.

Preston’s face lights up when asked about the initiatives he is supporting. Eager to share details, he describes a new project of Leadership Manhattan in which community service proposals were solicited from local charities.

The first one selected was Pawnee Mental Health’s annual Pancake Feed, taking place on Fat Tuesday, February 25. The Leadership Manhattan class will be involved at every level—selling tickets, flipping pancakes, serving patrons, and running a clean-up crew. The extra manpower will help ensure that the event runs smoothly and attendance is maximized, which should in turn translate to increased financial support for Pawnee Mental Health.

Preston is also excited about Casino Night, the biggest fundraising event of the year for Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan. “It’s a great way for the
organization to engage with the community and their donors,” Preston says, “Plus, it’s a lot of fun!”

Preston Schotte
Preston has been tasked with promoting the March 27 event as well as seeking donations of goods or services to be auctioned off that night to the highest bidder. “Of course, Kansas City Chiefs memorabilia will be very popular this year, but anything that is likely to bring
in a top bid of $500 or more is welcome!”

As a native of Hanover, Kansas (Washington County), Preston is deeply committed to Konza United Way’s effort to support agencies there and in Marshall County. “Our goal is to help build relationships with agencies that are within the Konza United Way footprint and help them understand the support Konza United Way provides.”

He’s looking forward to Community Allocations Day on April 29. This is the annual event at which partner agencies within the Konza United Way footprint are invited to tell their story to community members. Those community members then help decide how funding is allocated amongst the local organizations, providing a unique opportunity for engagement directly with stakeholders.

What is the best part of being involved with all these different organizations?
“It’s incredibly motivating to give back to the community alongside others who are equally passionate. And the stronger the board, the more efficiently the organization can provide needed resources to our community. That makes us all stronger, together.”

Preston is an Associate Trust Officer in our Manhattan office, serving personal trust, investment management, and institutional clients.