First Missouri State Bank

Sunday, February 26, 2012
First Missouri State Bank

Year established: 2002

Product or services offered: Banking/Financial Services

Number of employees: 33

Location: 2 S. Mt. Auburn Rd., Cape Girardeau, Mo.; 800 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, Mo.; 1846 E. Jackson Blvd., Jackson, MO

Owner(s) and title(s): Steve Taylor, President and CEO Jay B. Knudtson, Executive Vice President

What is your vision for your business and/or your industry in 2012?

Steve Taylor, President & CEO

Steve Taylor, president and CEO: November will mark our 10-year anniversary as a bank. We've evolved over the years into something that I'm really proud of. 2012 will be a special year as we seek to expand our brand and go to the next level as a locally owned and operated community bank.

Who are some of the people, either historical or living, who have influenced your business philosophy, and how have they done so?

ST: I used to discuss the importance of delivering excellent customer service with an expert in customer service, the late Charlie Hutson. Charlie taught me the importance of doing what it takes to exceed a customer's expectations.

Give us an example or two of an idea that came to fruition in the last couple of years, and how has that helped your consumers or clients?

ST: We recently went through a re-branding process by updating our logo and color scheme. We updated everything from our bank letterhead to the exterior color of our buildings. We wanted to give our associates and customers something that they could be proud of.

Does your business have a mission statement? What is it?

ST: We are a community bank committed to providing high quality service to our customers, an excellent working environment for our employees, and are actively involved in the communities that we serve.

How do you encourage teamwork at your place of work?

ST: I think a primary component to team work is first respecting your teammates. Our people have all worked together for several years, both here and at previous banks. They know they can count on each other and are always willing to support each other.

What role does your business play in the betterment of the community?

ST: Our associates are involved in numerous causes throughout the community -- from Jay Knudtson's eight-year run as mayor of Cape Girardeau to Janet Esicar's involvement with Southeast Missouri State University to Geoff Parker's involvement with the Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

What do you think is the community's biggest asset from a business perspective?

ST: Without a doubt, the University, the two hospitals and the diverse retail environment we have in this county make us very different than any other community within a 100 mile radius.

Tell us about one or two businesses, colleagues or organizations you work with in the community, and how you have helped one another.

ST: Interestingly, we work very well with several of the other community banks in this area, whether it be sharing loans (participations), combining financial resources for charitable efforts or supporting new business ventures in our area.

How has technology changed your business in recent years? Was it difficult to adapt to the changing technology?

ST: It was first thought that changing technology and the cost to "keep up" would be the demise of community banks. Actually, a whole cottage industry of outsourced technology to support community banks has given us a level playing field with the megabanks as it relates to technology.

What are some lessons that you learned at a young age that still apply in your business philosophy today?

ST: Never take yourself too seriously.

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