As an executive banker, Jim Oster (’81 Bus. Admin., Acc.) knows how to help people leverage money. He has spent years developing expertise in foreign-exchange trading and is KeyBank’s senior vice president and manager of foreign exchange sales for the Western United States. He has also seen firsthand how complacency can lead to heightened risk and/or unrealized opportunities. Whether managing financial risk or engaging in personal giving, Oster urges people to avoid complacency.
Oster leads by example: he and his wife Cindy (’81 Psych.) began investing in WSU as soon as they graduated. He also has served on the WSU Foundation’s Board of Trustees and is the Finance Advisory Board chairman on the Carson College’s National Board of Advisors. The couple invests in the Carson College Dean’s Excellence Fund, which supports the college’s highest priorities including the Carson Center for Student Success, curricula, technology, and facilities.
LEVERAGING MATCHING PROGRAMS
Oster maximizes his investment by taking advantage of KeyBank’s matching gift program that offers employees a 1:1 match ratio up to $2,000. In addition to the regular employee matching program, the bank provides additional matching when an employee serves on an eligible nonprofit board, such as the Carson College of Business National Board of Advisors.
“I appreciate that KeyBank is willing to leverage my financial contribution to WSU and also reward me for volunteering my time to the University and college,” says Oster. “I credit a lot of my personal and professional success to the learning opportunities I was given at WSU.”
Oster says taking advantage of an employer’s matching gift program leverages giving. “I liken matching gift programs to 401K matching,” he says. “To not take advantage of the matching is like leaving money on the table.”
INVESTING FOR FUTURE DIVIDENDS
Personally, Oster would like to see his investments help Carson College graduates to have the knowledge and skills to compete with any university in the world when it comes to job seeking, and once in those jobs, have success in advancing their careers. “My hope is that Carson College graduates appreciate the value of their WSU education and as such will give back with their treasure and time as I have,” he says.