Central News

Build Versus Remodel

By Katy Koch Campbell

Guthrie County State Bank in Guthrie Center, Iowa, population 1,507, worked with TurnKey Associates in Waterloo, Iowa, for a year examining ways it could remodel and stay in place downtown. Instead, they turned over their space to city hall and moved to a lot they owned across the street and built entirely new. While it was important to blend in with a flat-front building, one goal was to create a completely energy- efficient building of high-insulated concrete. To enhance customer service a pod system was installed instead of a teller line. Fully accessible on all sides, a customer at the “cash bar” can look over transactions with a concierge while a cash recycler counts the money.


Solar Initiative a Differentiator for Iowa Bank

By Liz Wheeler

The best ideas in banking are often greener than its stock-and-trade currency. So it is at central Iowa’s Peoples Bank, where “clean and green” are on display from rooftop to parking lot, thanks to a recent investment to convert the nine-bank subsidiary of Green Circle Investments to 100 percent solar energy.


New Bank Revitalizes Abandoned Downtown Space, Retiring Banker’s Career

By Katy Koch Campbell

Alan Baldwin was all set to retire from a 30-year banking career in Pacific, Mo., when he found a unique opportunity with a competitor bank. A little more than a year later, Baldwin found himself re-energized in the role of executive vice president of First State Community Bank, headquartered in Farmington, Mo., greeting customers and giving tours of the historical décor featured in the bank’s newly-opened branch following a complete $1.5 million renovation of a former grocery store in the heart of downtown.


Playing to the Home Crowd

By Alaina Webster

To celebrate the opening of its new 4,214 square foot flagship Kansas City branch (and to introduce current and potential customers to its newest ITM technology) in September Academy Bank took part in a long-standing Crossroads tradition: First Fridays. 

Occurring on the first Friday of each month, the event brings together the district’s arts organizations, galleries, studios and other local businesses, many of which open their doors to thousands of residents and visitors. There is often live entertainment throughout the neighborhood, and attendees are able to frequent some of the many eating and drinking establishments that make their home here. For Academy, it seemed like the perfect venue to shine a spot-light on its sleek, modern new office.

The bank shares the space with a WeWork office, and there’s a cafe across a small courtyard on the building’s east side that serves brews from local coffee brand The Roasterie. The “Pitch Room,” a small meeting space the bank shares with WeWork, contains a colorful assortment of low, comfortable tables and chairs, but also contains a foosball table. There’s a more traditional conference room near the branch’s main entrance, and the third floor is home to a large gathering area that leads out onto a rooftop terrace overlooking the Kansas City skyline. All of these features are available for use by the community, said Academy President and CEO Paul Holewinski. 

“The vision for this location was to become a community asset for the Crossroads,” Holewinski said. “We want businesses, not for profits, individuals to come see us, to leverage what we have here and hopefully make their lives better or their ability to host seamless meetings, to truly think of us as a community asset.

“If somewhere down the road they have a reason to call us about a product or service, then great,” he continued. “But really the vision of our location is as a community asset.” The Kansas City community is built into the building itself as well, Holewinski shared. The bank very consciously did its best to partner with local vendors and suppliers when designing the space, and the city’s distinctive skyline is depicted on sliding wooden panels that can be moved across the bank’s south windows to allow more or less light in as the day progresses. 

Academy also forged a new partnership with regional arts council ArtsKC, joining the council’s “Now Showing” program. The branch will display rotating works by local artists throughout the year. Artwork will be prominently displayed in the bank’s community spaces. A display in the bank’s main lobby also highlights a local Crossroads business of the week.

Getting Paid to Create (and Have) Fun

By Jim Murez

Every bank has a CFO, but it’s likely that only one has a CFnO – a chief fun officer.

That’s Sarah Trapp’s title at First National Bank of Syracuse, Kan., and, yes, her job is all about fun.

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