Meet Our Business Banking Team
More than a banker
Our business banking experts are knowledgeable, experienced and ready to help you make right financial decisions for your business. Learn more about your local business banker and their commitments to the community.
Ben RobertsonOriginally from Scotland, Ben made the move to Kentucky in 2000 to pursue his education. Ben specializes in small business banking and helping customers find solutions to utilize equity from their business. In his spare time, Ben spends his time coaching soccer.
Jeff RickettsJeff joined the Forcht Bank Team in 2009 and is a Kentucky native with 25 years of lending history. As Director of the Secondary Market Lending Division for Forcht until 2019, he was responsible for all residential lending aspects through KHC, RHS, FHA, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. As a Commercial VP now with Forcht Bank, Jeff focuses on commercial banking and community development efforts. Jeff has served on various community and civil boards, and is a current board member for non-profit- REACH (Resources, Education & Assistance for Community Housing). Outside of work Jeff enjoys playing golf and spending time with his two kids, Alex & Lily.
Jason StueckerJason Stuecker joined the Forcht Bank team in 2012. A Louisville native, he earned his bachelor degree from the University of Kentucky and a MBA from Bellarmine. As the Louisville Market President, he oversees the commercial banking, retail banking, and community development efforts. He is a current member of Leadership Louisville Center and graduate of their two signature leadership programs - Ignite Louisville (2011) and Leadership Louisville (May 2015). His board involvement includes the March of Dimes, Catholic Charities, Fairdale Business Association and Trinity High School. Jason was recognized as one of 20 people to know in Finance by Business First and also recognized in 2014 Forty under 40. He is married to Adrea Stuecker, CPA, and has two children, Hampton and Hadley. In his spare time he enjoys working out (2 times Iron Horse Champion), reading and activities in the outdoors.
John AustinLife is a marathon, not a sprint. John embodies this both professionally and personally. With 30+ years of experience in the banking industry, specifically specializing in commercial lending and business development, John is a veteran in helping businesses achieve long term financial growth through smart and strategic financial planning. Locally, John stays in touch with his community by volunteering on several committees and most recently serving on the Board of Directors of Bluegrass Care Navigators. Outside of work, you might catch John at your local park as he enjoys staying active by working out, hiking, and running.
Kyle NewmanKyle Newman, Commercial Banker, initially joined Forcht Bank in 2013 and has contributed to the bank in numerous roles. While Mr. Newman is a proud graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, KY, his heart lies with his native region of Northern Kentucky. Outside of work, Kyle’s passion is adventure. Whether he’s exploring local parks or traveling around the country to ski, he loves exploring the outdoors. Locally, Kyle is a leader in a variety of groups. He is an active member of Leadership NKY, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, and the Varsity Boys Soccer Coach at Campbell County High School. Kyle resides in Alexandria with his wife Stephanie, and their two dogs, Avery & Harper.
Barbourville, Corbin, London, Williamsburg
Mike SharpeAfter graduating from Williamsburg High School and Cumberland College, Mike went directly into community banking on a local level in 1993. Mike has a great family with a wife and two children in college, a son at the University of Tennessee and a daughter at Western Kentucky University. Over the past twenty-eight years he has served in leadership positions with many community organizations.
Larry ForesterLarry is native of South Carolina and is a Pikeville College Graduate. His banking career started with completing a management trainee program through a large Kentucky community bank. From there he was able to take advantage of opportunities that allowed him to move up in his banking career. He is a graduate of the Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking, and serves on the following committees and boards: Chair Lexington Fayette County Planning Commission, Executive Board member Minority Business Affairs for the Commerce Lexington, Treasurer of Lexington Community Land Trust Board, University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information board, and University of Pikeville Board of Trustee. Outside of working Larry enjoys coaching sports with his two young boys Levi and Landon.
Houston HallWhen Houston first entered into banking, about 20 years ago, one of his mentors told him “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. At the time, Houston says that sounded pretty good to him since he didn’t know much, but what he did know was his focus on helping others so he adopted that motto. Now even today, as he knows a bit more, that motto still holds true! His clients know he cares and they also know he's available to them 24/7. So even when he's riding his bike, hitting the links, or having fun at Keeneland, his clients know they can get hold of him and count on him looking out for their best interest!
Craig HouchensCraig has been a part of the Grant County community for more than 50 years and has served on various community and civil boards over the 30 years with Forcht Bank. He enjoys spending time in the Grant County communities, local schools and active in recreational and school youth sports. Mr. Houchens is a 1990 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelors Degree in Finance and a 1997 graduate at Louisiana State University Masters in Banking. He resides on Dry Ridge, Kentucky with his wife and twin boys.
Neal WhiteWhen Neal first got into banking, nearly 25 years ago, he quickly learned that banking is a relationship business. It’s a personal business and it’s all personal relationships, if you’re lucky enough to tie one to the other. That still holds true today as he has been fortunate enough to build so many throughout his career. His clients know that he cares about their business and is available for them 24/7. So even when he’s hitting the links, coaching youth sports, or enjoying a good Kentucky bourbon, his clients know he will be there for them.
Greg NiesenGreg has been in banking for 31 years and for 16 of those years he owned and lead a community bank. This experience, along with being a Certified Public Accountant, gives him a unique perspective on how to serve his client base. Greg's goal is to add value to each banking relationship developed and exceed expectations with responsiveness.
Ryan KerchiefRyan has been in the banking and finance industry for over 20 years with a speciality in commercial real estate financing. Business customers can enjoy his veteran experience and his attention detail when serving clients. Even when Ryan is out kayaking, fishing, or barbecuing, his clients know they can count on him 24/7. Mr. Kerchief is a proud graduate of Indiana State University and has a great family with his wife and 4 children.
Ryan PaxtonRyan has enjoyed a 20 year career in banking, the majority of which has been spent serving business clients in Treasury Management and Commercial Lending. At Forcht Bank he will continue serving the business community as a Commercial Lender. He and his wife reside in Louisville and are the proud parents of two children Allison and William. Ryan enjoys music, golfing and hiking.
Scott PittsA Frankfort native, Scott earned his bachelor degree in Finance from the University of Kentucky. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial service industry in central Kentucky. He and his wife, Melissa, currently reside in Lexington with one son, Matthew. Scott has served on the board for ITN Bluegrass and the Living Arts and Science Center. In his spare time, Scott enjoys spending time with his family and doing outside activites. He coached for the Lexington Youth Soccer Association for 12 seasons and the YMCA Youth Soccer for 4 seasons.