2018 Newsmakers: Dawn Dauer

Thursday, August 23, 2018
Dawn Dauer, chief banking officer at The Bank of Missouri and member of Old Town Cape, talks with Marla Mills, executive director of Old Town Cape, and Emilie Stephens, president of Old Town Cape, in downtown Cape Girardeau.
Photograph by Fred Lynch

Dawn Dauer, chief banking officer at The Bank of Missouri, is all about partnerships. Willing to spend her SBA lending experience in the service of Old Town Cape, she has created a relationship beneficial to both parties, as well as to the community of Cape Girardeau.

Dauer’s interest in history and building relationships with people initially led her to join Old Town Cape’s vitality committee. Dauer next served in several board positions before becoming president of the organization from 2016 to 2018.

As president, Dauer’s banking expertise and understanding of corporate structure helped her create a succession plan for Old Town Cape. She also helped see the downtown farmer’s market become a viable event for the downtown, putting more value behind sponsorship to view it as partnership. She was also involved in helping with a Leadership Cape Farm to Fork dinner.

Although her term as president is finished, Dauer still serves on the Old Town Cape board.

“I’m very fortunate that I have an employer that believes in the building of partnerships and relationship and community involvement,” Dauer says. “They are very good at telling us to get active with something you have a passion for. That, to me, was the open door to find what I do have a passion for.”

At The Bank of Missouri, Dauer leads by listening to her coworkers and clients. She makes herself accessible to employees by giving out her cell phone number and sharing her Outlook calendar. As someone who has worked in most positions at a bank since high school, Dauer often knows how to help employees develop their talents.

Through listening to her employees’ needs, Dauer has contributed to a better work/life balance solution for employees by implementing a new pay and time off system that does not demarcate between sick days and vacation days. She has also shifted the focus of employee training away from a checklist to focus instead on developing employees and helping them map out their career paths.

Dauer says she enjoys connecting people with resources to grow Cape Girardeau.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community,” Dauer says. “So the vision that Old Town Cape has in connections with that small business owner, it goes hand in hand … If you have a thriving downtown area, that is one of those draws that makes people feel like, ‘Wow, there is something going on in that community.’ I know the people who serve on the board with me at Old Town Cape, they all have that vision. It’s all about connecting. It’s definitely a two-way street.”