40 Under 40 The Class of 2013

Jeremy Leap

Vice President of Commercial Lending, Country Bank, age 32

That’s a virtue Jeremy Leap says he lacked while growing up in Johnstown, Pa., and one he didn’t acquire until it became necessary. And it didn’t happen while attending the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School and then the academy itself, or when he left to complete his quest for a degree in Business Management at the University of Pittsburgh.
No, Leap found patience through … bodybuilding, a pursuit inspired by his brother, Ryan, who discovered it earlier, and one that would eventually become a passion and outlet for his competitive nature; he placed second in the novice division at the 2008 Northeast Classic Men’s Amateur Bodybuilding Championship, and sixth in the same event in 2011.
“Competitive bodybuilding teaches you patience, and it was a cool kind of lesson, especially for what I do — commercial lending,” he noted. “Nothing comes quick, nothing comes easy … it always takes time.”
Through patience and commitment, Leap has risen quickly in the local banking sector, moving from commercial credit analyst to vice president of Commercial Lending at People’s United Bank. (He was in that position when nominated for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2013, but recently took that same title with Country Bank in Ware.)
In addition to his professional accomplishments, he has also been active in the community, especially with the group Rick’s Place, which provides a space for children under 18 and their families to receive bereavement support; it was created in memory of Rick Thorpe, who lost his life in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Joining that board was poignant for Leap, whose best friend in fourth grade lost his father, a firefighter, in a blaze — a breaking story that was played over and over on the local news.
“All of a sudden, Richie was a different person, and there was no real outlet for him,” Leap recalled, adding that Rick’s Place now provides that outlet for kids and families who have suffered a similar loss.
Leap has also been involved with the Rotary Club of Springfield, Friends of the Homeless, the United Way Day of Caring, and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield and its Young Professionals Cup dodgeball tournament — all of which benefit from his patient determination.

— Elizabeth Taras