Northwestern College welcomes business leader in residence

Northwestern College’s Center for Innovation and Leadership welcomes Todd Boote as its first business leader in residence. Boote, leadership development officer at Peoples Bank, will be involved in a variety of the center’s activities this semester.

“We are very excited to have Todd serve in this role,” says Erica Vonk, the center’s director. “He has a long history of making businesses and organizations better because of his ability to see people through a different lens and motivate them to work together for the common good.”

Boote, a resident of Lester, Iowa, has been part of Peoples Bank’s leadership team since 2018. His role involves collaborating with others to promote the bank’s culture, achieve financial goals, and make strategic decisions that lead to growth for the bank and the communities it serves. He previously was a founding partner, director for business development and controller for Bion Companies, a start-up serving the fuel ethanol industry that grew from $10,000 in sales in its first year of operation to a staff of seven and more than $1 million in sales.

With more than a decade of experience in the banking industry, Boote also has experience as a leadership consultant with Mindset LLC; a discipleship trainer, coach and board member for Primary Ministries; and a personal trainer with CPM Fitness. He has been involved with launching several businesses and nonprofit ministries. Boote is a graduate of Augustana University and is in his second year of studies in the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is also completing a Certificate of Executive Leadership.

In his role at Northwestern, Boote will speak in classes; conduct training with organizations served by the center; be involved with the Accelerate Siouxland leadership development program; and participate in Innovation Sandbox, a campus laboratory that enables students and organizational leaders to engage in collaborative brainstorming, inventing and problem-solving.

“I’m excited to be part of the foundation of the Center for Innovation and Leadership,” says Boote. “I believe God has given me the gift of being able to draw out from people what they’re good at and help them use that to better themselves, their company and the kingdom of God. I’m looking forward to building some great relationships and empowering people to make a difference.”

Al Vermeer, CEO of Peoples Bank, is an enthusiastic supporter of Boote’s role at the center. “Peoples Bank is honored to partner with Northwestern College in this innovative program,” he says. “Todd will be a great mentor for the students and community members.”

The Center for Innovation and Leadership is in its first year, seeking to connect students’ ingenuity and organizational leaders’ insight to create shared opportunities that serve Christ’s kingdom and the common good. The center invests in communities, organizations and initiatives through collaborative, innovative, Christ-centered leadership development and problem-solving services and opportunities. For more information, visit