Topeka Business Hall of Fame: John Dicus
Shelley Jensen | Photographer
His wall of windows inside the Capitol Federal Building offers a bird's eye view of the revitalization taking place right under his nose.
John grew up in the banking business, watching his grandfather and father build a legacy. While it was assumed John would follow in their footsteps, grandfather and father didn’t exactly agree on the details.
His father encouraged him to spread his wings and get some banking experience in other places before putting down roots at Capitol Federal in Topeka. His grandfather, on the other hand, already had his name on an office the day after he graduated with his business degree from the University of Kansas.
John chose to meet them in the middle and gained some extra experience earning his master’s degree before joining the bank in 1985. He worked his way up through the ranks, holding positions on the savings side as a branch manager and on the lending side as an appraiser before taking on an executive role.
“I did pretty much everything except be a teller,” John said. “Which is probably a good thing because I might have gotten fired early on.”
Unlike many third generation CEOs, John didn’t feel a need to put his own “mark” on the company.
“I didn’t need to venture out and do things differently,” John said. “I wanted to continue to grow the bank in the same safe and sound manner that my father and grandfather had laid out before me.”
That being said, John has left an indelible mark on the business by streamlining the transition from private to publicly held company and putting the company on the path toward significant growth.
Even though the passing of the baton happened during that pivotal time, John says his father still played an integral role behind the scenes, happy to let John be the face of the future for Capitol Federal.
“My dad had been with the company for 40 years and he embraced the idea of stepping back and letting me take the lead,” John said.
The conversion to a publicly held entity enabled the creation of the Capitol Federal Foundation, which has funded numerous development projects, educational initiatives and charitable organizations within the community.
“It is nice to be able to look back and see that we have made a difference in this community,” John said.
Even with his impressive resume, John is humbled by the honor of being inducted into the Topeka Business Hall of Fame.
“When I look at this year’s group of laureates, I see that we all have something in common,” John said. “We all believe in Topeka, and we are all doing our part to make our community even stronger.”