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This Commerce team member’s family influence is present every day in his work.

As a child of Vietnamese immigrants, Joey Bui experiences his family’s influence on him every day in his role as a senior supervisor of remittance processing at Commerce Bank. “It plays a huge role in how I relate to people,” he says. “Everybody has their own story and their own background — where they came from, the journey they’ve taken in life — and it’s all meaningful. When I keep in mind that everyone I encounter has their own history, it’s very humbling.”

Bui’s parents emigrated to the U.S. with his three eldest siblings. He was born in Kansas City and has called it home his entire life. “I’m the youngest of eight, so we have a big family, and I’m very grateful for that,” he says. “People come and go in your life, but family is always there. They’re the people you really need to focus on, because they’ll be there for you, no matter what.”

Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrated in May every year in the U.S., has special meaning to Bui as a first-generation American. “There’s a lot of history to acknowledge,” he says. “The Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have come to this country have really helped to shape our society. And they represent so many different cultures — Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino. Each of those cultures is very different from the others. Celebrating them helps us all understand these different backgrounds and ethnicities and what makes them unique.”

Bui’s teammates say the influence his family has had on him is always apparent. “Joey’s heritage shows in his work every day,” says Gabrielle Smith, a deposit operations supervisor who has worked alongside Bui for three years.

“His values and his passion to understand others and other cultures are all very apparent. He shows so much respect for everyone. You can see the influence of his family and how he was raised in the way he presents himself to the team. He’s a natural, empathetic leader. He’s great with people in a way you don’t see all that often.”
One of the ways Bui demonstrated his leadership early in his Commerce career took place when he was originally hired in 2019. “When I started in this department, I asked to start from the bottom up,” he recalls. “I wanted to really learn everything possible about the work we do. I’m very glad I did, because I draw from that experience every day. It helps that people know I’ve done the work they’re doing.”

It didn’t take long for Bui to move into a more senior role in his department, which processes mail for hundreds of Commerce’s business customers. “The mail we receive on behalf of our clients is mostly payments and correspondence, such as insurance claims for customers in the medical field,” he explains. “We organize it, process incoming payments, scan everything, and transmit the data over to the customer.” Bui’s role is to oversee the entire process, manage any issues that crop up, and identify opportunities for efficiencies.

“My role is really unique, because there are so many moving parts,” Bui says. “It’s challenging, but rewarding at the same time. I’m always learning something new, and I get to work with many different departments within the bank.”

Once he became initially interested in pursuing a career at Commerce, he was quickly sold on the company’s culture. “There’s a real focus on having a great work/life balance here, which really appealed to me,” he says. “I also really enjoy coaching and mentoring others — a skill I developed in my previous positions in commission sales — and I knew I’d get to apply those skills here.”

Once he joined the bank, Bui was impressed by the way Commerce keeps its culture front and center. “A lot of companies like to talk about culture, and maybe it gets discussed in a meeting, but afterward everyone just goes and does their own thing, and that’s it,” he says. “It’s different here. Commerce recognizes that people are what really matters.”
Smith says Bui represents the Commerce culture well. “He lives it,” she says. “He works hard to keep it in the forefront with our team. He shows appreciation for people’s work in real time, and team members really enjoy working with him and trust him. He is also the first to raise his hand to work on complex projects — he’s shown he’s willing to tackle big challenges.”

The lessons Bui’s family taught him are also present in the way he brings the Commerce culture to life. “I learned to be respectful of others and never step on anybody else to get ahead,” he says. “And if I see somebody struggling, I check in with them and see if there’s anything I can do to help. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life.”

As Bui notes, it all boils down to simply being kind. “My parents have always said, ‘You’re never too important to be kind to somebody’,” he says. “I never forget that. I always take it to heart, and I’ll say the same thing to others now.”

Smith says these attributes help make him great to work with. “He’s always got a positive outlook,” she says. “Even if your own mood is a little down, he’ll bring you back up. He keeps things light while working hard, and he maintains the morale of the whole department. He’s a great listener, too. He takes the time to hear someone before he responds, and he has a lot of empathy for others.”

She also appreciates that Bui is a good sounding board for her ideas. “I can bounce things off of him, and he’ll always give thoughtful feedback,” she notes, adding that she frequently consults him on decision making because of his technical expertise and willingness to collaborate.

“Basically,” she says, “I think he’s pretty awesome.”

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