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Stevan Savich: Banking on success

Stevan Savich parlays his college experience into a career with the Federal Reserve


Stevan Savich
Bank examiner and certified trust auditor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Hometown: Hammond, Indiana

Current city: Crown Point, Indiana

School: Bachelor’s degree in economics, University of Indianapolis (known then as Indiana Central University), 1980 

Sport: Football                                       

Fun fact: A racing fan, Savich has driven NASCAR and IndyCar racecars on high-speed oval tracks, but he says he has never broken par on a golf course despite 40 years of trying.

Stevan Savich’s days as a student-athlete didn’t just lead to a college degree. They led him smiling all the way to the bank.

Born in Chicago and raised in Hammond, Indiana, Savich grew up in a community of blue-collar families where kids always gathered to play street games.

“My father was a master mechanic at a power plant on Lake Michigan; my mother held a variety of jobs, including store clerk, accountant and cook,” Savich said. “I learned my work ethic from watching my parents go to work every day on time and never calling in sick. We weren’t rich, but my sister and I were never hungry, always had clean clothes, and we took a two-week driving vacation across America every summer.”

Savich enjoyed an active childhood, swimming at the municipal pool and playing pickup games of football and basketball with other kids in the neighborhood.

“I was the only kid I know who was cut from the Little League baseball team,” he said, laughing. “I still can’t throw a ball, yet that experience motivated me to excel at other sports.”

From an early age, Savich had thoughts of becoming a lawyer, a stockbroker or a chef. The long nights and weekend hours that accompany the restaurant business dissuaded his cooking ambitions, so he turned his attention to business.  He graduated from Indiana Central University (now University of Indianapolis) in 1980 with an associate degree in paralegal studies and a bachelor’s in economics.  He also played Division II football, continuing a love of the sport that stemmed from being part of championship teams in grade school and high school.

“Besides my parents, my greatest mentor was my high school football coach, Nick Voris,” said Savich, who attended Clark. “He’s an amazing coach who can motivate anyone just by looking at them. I also really enjoyed learning how to long-snap a football in grade school, which I did throughout my high school and college career.”

A scholarship recipient, Savich realized he earned the opportunity to attend college without worrying about finances and student loans, and found the Division II school atmosphere a perfect blend of athletics and academics.  Along with his 1975 football teammates, Savich was inducted into the UIndy Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.

“Being on winning teams was an added benefit not many athletes get to experience,” he said. “Preparation is the key to playing well, whether it’s how you wear your uniform, knowing the playbook or finishing every play. Those same standards are necessary in your career.”

After graduation, Savich ventured north for his first interview at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago after applying for a job there at a friend’s suggestion. He was offered a job as an assistant bank examiner, and has been part of the organization ever since.

“The Fed is a tremendous place to work,” he said. “My job responsibilities have allowed me to travel the world and work with both small community and large global banks. My experience as an athlete prepared me for the bank boardroom, since playing sports gives you confidence to perform in front of a crowd.”

Savich has served as a bank examiner and certified trust auditor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for the past 36 years, winning the President’s Award for Excellence in 2000.

“Success is based on always remembering your goal and working toward it every day,” he said.

To today’s class of student-athletes, Savich offers these valuable words of wisdom:

“Being able to participate in college sports is something that will help you for the rest of your life, but earning your degree allows you to live your life.”

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