For this Johnson County family, life is spent on the go, chasing after new adventures.
Bonnie and Mike Maddox’s story could have begun when the pair was in first grade, living on 99th Terrace by Oak Park Mall, almost four decades ago…but it didn’t. Instead, divided by Quivira Road, the two attended different schools, and never meeting, soon moved out of state.
Thankfully, fate wasn’t quite finished with the duo. Instead, the two would find each other once again, a decade later at the University of Kansas. This time there would be no missing each other—after all, both are difficult to overlook. Bonnie, a beautiful, vivacious blonde lights up any room she enters. And Mike? Well, Mike stands above most crowds, which led to a successful career as a forward on the KU basketball team, including a win at the national championship in 1988.
The couple married upon graduating from KU and soon settled in Lawrence, where Mike practiced law for some six years. In 2000, he joined INTRUST Bank and entered the realm of banking. In the interim, the couple welcomed their first daughter, Jamie. And soon after, Bonnie decided to retire from her job in advertising to stay home.
Mike, meanwhile, took the helm at CrossFirst Bank, where he’s served as president and CEO since 2008. Much as he did on the basketball court, he relishes the action, sizing up new business opportunities for the bank, which surpassed the $1 billion mark in 2014.
That’s not to say that the Maddox move to CrossFirst Bank wasn’t without its own challenges. Only someone who excels under pressure opens up a new bank in the midst of a nation-wide financial faltering.
“We’re really proud of the bank, and what the company has grown into,” Mike says. “We took a leap of faith back in 2008 in the middle of the financial meltdown, which was definitely stressful.”
“CrossFirst and the incredible people involved with the bank brought us to Kansas City,” adds Bonnie. “It’s been a great decision from day one, really. Although, there was a little bit of panic at first.”
“When the financial markets are melting down, and we’re trying to start a new bank,” Mike begins…
“…All within the first month!” Bonnie finishes. “The venture sounded like a really good idea and then a very bad one, all within a matter of weeks. Everyone had to stop, readjust, and give it their all.”
“And thankfully, it’s worked out great,” Mike says. “It’s fun to see the bank grow and keep adding great people.”
Yet CrossFirst Bank is not the only place where people have been added. The Maddox family also grew since its Lawrence days, first with Sara, now 16, and Anderson, 14. Sara attends Shawnee Mission East, where she plays volleyball, and Anderson just finished up his final year at Indian Hills Middle School.
In fact, Jamie and Sara are born three years apart—to the day. Bonnie and Mike had to leave Jamie’s 3-year-old bowling party to rush to the hospital to have Sara.
“Jamie is a good sport about it and always says it’s the best gift she’s ever gotten,” Bonnie says, with a laugh.
Jamie, now 19, is finishing up a gap year spent in Spain before she starts at KU this fall. Before that, she graduated from Shawnee Mission East with an International Baccalaureate.
All the kids are involved in sports, thanks to the genetic mix from the Maddox side. Sara plays volleyball on an elite level; so much of the family’s time is spent traveling to tournaments. Meanwhile, Anderson plays baseball, football, and of course, basketball.
But the family also finds time to give back. In recent years, Bonnie served on the board at JDRF, a service organization committed to finding a cure for type-1 diabetes, a cause very special to the family since Sara’s diagnosis in 2010. “I’ve travelled to Washington D.C. with other parents to lobby congress to fund this important research for the last three years, though I stepped down from the board and lobbying this year because of all the travel for volleyball,” says Bonnie.
Dinners remain a favorite time for this busy crew, an important chance to reconnect and catch up. Mike’s specialty is to grill out as family and friends gather on the patio. And this next year will provide many adventures upon which they can soon reflect.
The two are headed to Dubai in March for a Global Leadership Conference through YPO, the Young Presidents’ Organization—a worldwide network of chief executives and business leaders. And as YPO’s Educational Chair, Mike plans all kinds of entertaining events for the organization, including a trip to the Grammy Awards in February.
For the Maddox family, be it in work or play, life is all about the adventure. And what an amazing adventure it’s been so far!