Executive vice president South Shore Bank, Chicago

When David Shryock was promoted to vice president at South Shore Bank in 1987, he was praised for "extraordinary productivity" in drumming up commercial loans.

Five years later, Mr. Shryock's drive has propelled him to the top ranks of the Chicago bank that is held up by President-elect Bill Clinton as a model for community development.

"The phone is ringing off the hook from other places interested in forming development banks," says Mr. Shryock, who received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1981.

All that attention has occupied Mr. Shryock's superiors and left him with the task of making sure the bank runs smoothly while in the media spotlight.

But the work comes naturally to Mr. Shryock, who says he was charged with making loans the day he arrived in 1986.

"It's not that we have some magic in what we do, but we take very seriously the premise that there are good loan opportunities with minority borrowers," he says.

A sense of mission was not the only thing that drew Mr. Shryrock to the minority South Shore neighborhood and its lead bank: The 34-year-old saw untapped opportunity in a market that other Chicago banks chose to ignore.

"If McDonald's didn't have hamburger stands in minority areas, everyone would think the company was units," said the native of Hammond, Ind. "Bankers haven't yet caught on that lending to minorities is a good and profitable business."

Though some bankers might shun the kinds of loans Mr. Shyrock has made, South Shore;s return on average assets stands at a healthy 1% Nonperforming loans hover at a mere 0.9% of gross loans.

Mr. Shyrock joined the $215 million-asset bank after graduating from the Yale School of management. He worked his way through the ranks as a credit analyst, loan officer, and head of the commercial lending department. Last fall he was promoted to his present post.

One of the reasons he chose South Shore was the bank's meritocracy, which rewards lenders like Mr. Shryock with positions of authority.

And while Mr. Shryock concedes that community development banks on the order of South Shore are not a panacea to the disparities in lending patterns nationwide, he sees them as a good start.

"The industry has got to get more comfortable with lending to minorities," says Mr. Shryock, who is confident that change is in the offing. Studies such as the recent one by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which indicated continuing loan discrimination, "will tell a different story five years from now."

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