By Peggy Schulz
Cristoper Flowers is an Internal Auditor/Compliance Officer at North Milwaukee State Bank. In February 2013, he will celebrate six years with the bank. Prior to North Milwaukee State Bank, Flowers worked at Mount Castle Corporation as its Financial Comptroller.
The bank is proud to proclaim itself a community-based and faith-based banking service. And Flowers is equally proud to be associated with an institution of its caliber.
“That offers me an opportunity to work closely with my community and to provide good, strong leadership in my role at the bank,” he says.
Flowers says working with accounting and finance has always been his interest. “It’s just my natural desire for numbers,” he says. “The business aspect, applying my love of numbers to a career position, was reinforced by Chip Martin, my high school business and computer teacher.”
Flowers graduated from Wauwatosa West High School. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Grambling State University in 1999. Grambling is a historic black four-year university in Grambling, Louisiana.
Flowers is single, and has a 12-year-old daughter. “My daughter wants to get into banking,” he says. “She’s wonderful with her numbers; she’s in advanced math in school.”
Perhaps it’s his daughter who motivates Flowers, at least in part, to devote much of his spare time to working with young people through his church, Christ the King Baptist Church, where he is involved as youth usher supervisor.
Flowers says that most of his community outreach is through his church. “The church was integral in my growth and my even being here today,” he says. “It was a big part of my success, my pastor, and the men at my church.”
Flowers is especially grateful to the Rev. John McNickers, Sr., pastor at Christ the King, for inspiring him to pursue an advanced degree and then give back to the community.
And, just as Flowers was encouraged to follow the career he’s in now by a caring high school teacher, Chip Martin, and the Rev. McNickers, so, too, does Flowers see his own role as a mentor for young people as being critical.
“I would encourage young people to find a career in something that they’re passionate about,” Flowers says. He encourages all young people just starting out to “make a career out of the things you love. That almost guarantees success.”
Flowers notes it was his commitment to the city and to the people who supported and encouraged him as a teen that brought him back from school in Louisiana. “I had an idea in my head that I wanted to come back, make a difference, create a positive aspect for young black men here in Milwaukee,” Flowers says. “Not only create that atmosphere, but also reach out and embrace the young black males who are coming up.”
By sharing the gifts he received from two important men in his youth with young black men just beginning their own life paths, Cristoper Flowers well deserves the 2013 Black Excellence Award for Corporate Trailblazers.