mobank News Archive

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December Artboards Explore Concepts of Past and Future

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The latest additions to the "artboards" atop mobank's Crossroads branch explore memories of the past and concepts of the future.

Artist Jerry Kunkel says his images, titled Memories Are…, play with ideas of fact and fiction, past and present, the nature of memory, and the veracity of photographic representation.

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With the two billboards, Kunkel says he has "created a narrative in which I refer to and relocate a specific location." The left billboard shows a postcard image within an image of the same location. They are exactly the same, as though no time has passed, remaining "the way we remember it and might wish it remain forever." On the right billboard, however, the message side of the postcard is presented against a changed location, with a gate now obstructing the bucolic path. Kunkel invites the viewer "to fill in the blanks, conjure a short response, and consider what may have transpired."

Adolfo Martinez's offering is a more playful one. His work We are Not in Kansas Anymore came from an earlier series titled Los Rovatos.

"In the original Los Rovatos, the robots are speaking Spanish and are wearing some 'bling,' but for the billboard images I changed the background to a Kansas City skyline, with the ‘rovatos' beaming down from outer space," Martinez said. The works feature robots pulled from pop culture: Robby the Robot, from the movie "Forbidden Planet," Gort from "The Day the Earth Stood Still," and robots from "Lost in Space," "March of the Robots," Fritz Lang's "Metropolis, " and a B- movie called "Robot Monster." While injecting a sense of humor and fantasy into the downtown landscape, this lineup of visitors from different eras and planets offers a poignant portrait of changing cultural portrayals of the futuristic "other."

Kunkel and Martinez are the 13th and 14th artists to be represented on the display. The artboards first debuted with the opening of the Crossroads branch in 2008, and rotate about once each quarter to feature a new display of local artists' works.

As part of the building renovation by Helix Architecture + Design, mobank donated the billboards on the roof of its Crossroads branch to the "Art through Architecture" (AtA) program. AtA is a partnership between Charlotte Street Foundation and the American Institute of Architects Kansas City.

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Daring to be Different

Friday, November 12, 2010

mobank's unique approach to branch design, focused on "the juxtaposition of performance and funkiness," was the topic of a recent feature in the Kansas City Business Journal.

The article, written by contributing writer Tammy Worth and published Nov. 12, 2010, showcased the partnership approach to branch design that called for extensive interaction among bank staff and professionals from mobank customer Helix Architecture + Design.

Helix principal Kathleen Kelly described a process that included three workshops with bank staff – minus the top leadership – to develop a "cultural and physical" design approach for the downtown, Crossroads and Brookside branches.

President and CEO Grant Burcham told the publication that his goal for all three buildings was that each represent Missouri Bank, be comfortable for customers, and have a finger on the pulse of their respective communities.

"In our industry, it is easy to default to traditional teller lines and bulletproof glass, but that is not very customer-friendly," Burcham told the reporter. "We came in with an open mind as it relates to the branch, and we knew … what felt good and didn't feel good."

Read the entire article at

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RPS II: A New Champion Reigns in the Crossroads

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Banks and fun, two roads that don't normally cross, but in Kansas City's Crossroad District, banking and fun go hand in hand… in hand.

And there were plenty of those hands on hand for mobank's 2nd annual Rock. Paper. Scissors. tournament.

After holding their own tournaments, winners from 28 Kansas City companies faced off to find the best of the best during October's First Friday.

It came down to Allison Clarke from Meers Advertising and Charlie Barnard of Foot Traffic, with Barnard taking home the prized trophy belt.

It may sound unusual for a bank to bring an arts community together like this but Mary Wetzel, of Mary Wetzel Initiatives believes mobank isn't really your typical bank. "No other bank would be able to pull Rock. Paper. Scissors. off. This was just good, clean fun!"

President and CEO of mobank, Grant Burcham believes it is important to bring a community together. "We only have branches where we have a strong sense of community. It's only fitting that in the Crossroads neighborhood we do something different and fun."

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mobank visits with Border Star students about financial literacy

Friday, October 22, 2010

Brookside branch manager Jeff Curran is expecting big things from the next generation of mobank customers - the 4th, 5th and 6th-grade students he recently met with at Border Star Montessori School.

Jeff went to Border Star in September to teach kids about banking, business and personal finance. He soon realized the kids already had a strong foundation in the basics.

"I was really just blown away by these kids," Jeff recalled. "They knew about building a budget, having a business plan … I thought we would be covering the basics and we ended up talking about responsible use of credit cards."

Jeff's visit was not a one-time event, but a kickoff for a deep, long-term relationship between mobank and Border Star. As a partner in this special educational program called Border Star Garden, in which kids explore careers as a means of "planting seeds for the future," mobank is participating in a student-run mobank "branch" being set up in the school. Students have the opportunity to set up real bank accounts with a specific goal in mind.

The Border Star Savings accounts are designed to help the students save for a fifth-grade trip to New York City to participate in the national Model Montessori United Nations forum.

Border Star Garden is sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Division of Diversity, Access & Equity, and the United Services Community Action Agency. Here's how the program's website describes its purpose:

"Working with students in grades 4-6 "Planting Seeds" weaves together themes of financial literacy, small business development, creative writing, and critical thinking all centered on the student run and maintained urban garden. Upper Elementary students will have the opportunity to create their own businesses, with unique marketing, logos and sales ideas generated by the students' research and production in raised garden beds."

"At the core of the "Planting Seeds for the Future" project is the goal of eliminating poverty and the belief that teaching young students to be financially literate is a giant step toward that goal."

Jeff's presentation to the students focused on three primary concepts of money management: spending, saving and sharing. He brought in special "banks" for the students and explained the concept behind them. Each "bank" has three compartments - one for spending, one for saving and one for sharing. Jeff talked with the students about dividing the money they earn among the three categories, and setting priorities for each one.

"Teaching children about finances in grade school is a great idea. It helps them to become financially responsible at a young age," Jeff said. "These kids are going to have real experience in business and get an idea of what it takes to be successful. It could spark something that will make them think seriously about running a business for their future."

To learn more, visit the Border Star Garden blog:

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Brookside Branch Campus

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Customers using the drive-through lane at mobank's Brookside branch got a little extra attention one day in September.

Literally "little" - as in fifth-grade students greeting them and helping to run their transactions.

Carson and Julia were the special guests at the branch that day, learning the ropes at the hands of the grown-ups while preparing to take on the role of "tellers" in the special mobank "branch" opening in their elementary school, Border Star Montessori.

Their visit, and the school-based branch, are all part of a special career-oriented educational program at the school called Border Star Garden, in which kids explore careers as a means of "planting seeds for the future." Kids choose a line of business that interests them, shadow adult professionals in the workplace the way Carson and Julia did at mobank, and then set up school-based businesses.

Carson and Julia met with Grant Burcham, president and CEO of mobank, and a former Border Star student. They also spent time with branch staffers JaNelle and Shatoya, learning how to conduct transactions and use coin-counting equipment. They finished the day by posing for photos with Grant in front of the vault.

"Customers were excited about working with the little helpers," said branch manager Jeff Curran. "Carson and Julia were very interested and eager. They loved working with the transactions and being behind the counter, and they really got a kick out of using the coin machine. They had a really good time."

As a partner with Border Star, Missouri Bank is offering a special children's savings account, titled the Border Star Savings account. The account is designed to help the students save for a fifth-grade trip to New York City to participate in the national Model Montessori United Nations forum. Carson and Julia will receive their fellow students' savings account deposits at their in-school branch, and then the deposits will be processed at the Brookside location.

It may be awhile before we see 11-year-old tellers in the branch again. We have a feeling, though, that we'll be seeing and hearing plenty from the graduates of Border Star Garden for many years to come.

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There's a New Game in Town

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A centuries-old, uniquely North American sport is the new game in town.

The game is lacrosse, which traces its roots to pre-Columbus Native American tribes, and mobank is supporting an organization trying to promote local interest and participation in the sport - one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.

mobank is sponsoring KC Orange Elite Lacrosse, a new organization offering instructional leagues for multiple age groups, as well as high-level competition, coaching and exposure for the most gifted local lacrosse players.

The instructional leagues offer opportunities for young people of all skill levels to have fun, learn the game and develop their abilities. KC Orange also will maintain boys' and girls' traveling teams in various age groups that will compete in major national-level tournaments. KC Orange is organized and led by several highly successful local lacrosse coaches and is committed to developing the sport in the Kansas City area.

"Lacrosse is a great game for fitness and fun, and KC Orange is creating an opportunity for young people to experience the fun of lacrosse," said Grant Burcham, president and CEO of mobank. "And, you can say, we're fond of supporting start-ups," Burcham added.

For more information about KC Orange Elite Lacrosse, visit or send an e-mail to

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RPS II: The Revenge of Edward Scissorfist

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nicolas Cage has "The Rock." Michael Keaton has "The Paper." Johnny Depp has "Edward Scissorhands."

For the second year in a row, mobank has all three.

The great Crossroads Rock. Paper. Scissors. Throwdown Tournament returns to mobank's Crossroads branch for another First Friday night of raucous revelry on Oct. 1.

Contestants will emerge from tournaments held at their own companies and will compete with winners from other Crossroads companies. Refreshments will be served, music will play, crowds will cheer and a champion will be crowned.

"Last year's tournament was big fun," said Laura Lynch, president of Lynchpin Ideas LLC, one of the 2009 contestants. "Sure, RPS is a goofy game - that's the point! With absolutely nothing at stake, it was a competition that brought people together. It was like that old children's story, 'Stone Soup.' It became what everyone brought to it, and the enthusiasm and creativity was amazing. I can't wait to do it again."

Neither can we. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m., Oct. 1, at mobank's Crossroads branch, 125 Southwest Boulevard. Be there.

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The Reality of Art

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Television viewers across the country recently learned what we at mobank have known for a long time: Peregrine Honig is nobody's "next great artist." Her gifts, and the impact of her work, are already well recognized.

Yes, mobank customer Peregrine made it to the final three on the Bravo network reality TV competition "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist." And yes, the panel of judges chose someone else to "win" the competition. But we agree with judge Jerry Saltz, who during the Aug. 11 finale broadcast said "Peregrine is not an artist who is about winning or losing. That is why it is OK that she did not win. She and her work are about living a life in art."

Peregrine, 33, is well known locally as co-owner of Birdies Lingerie and Swim Boutique in the Crossroads district. But she has also been, as described by The Kansas City Star, "an accomplished and energetic presence on the local art scene for more than a decade." She was recently honored by The Kansas City Artists Coalition "for bringing excitement and awareness to arts in Kansas City" by her participation in the show.

We're proud of Peregrine, and proud that she has chosen to be part of our mobank community. Her comment on the show about her approach to her work strikes a chord with many of us in that community:

"I want my work to make people reflect on themselves, to take a deep step back and think about who they are and where they stand in the world. Art is the closest thing to the human spirit."

Hear from Peregrine about her history, her love for Kansas City, and her passion for art:

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mobank Supports Rising Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The 2010 Just for Starters competition, sponsored in part by mobank, was held July 15 at the Kauffman Foundation. The KC Roundtable event allowed young entrepreneurs to present their business idea to a group of judges. The goal? Find the savviest young entrepreneurs in Kansas City.

Each competitor had three minutes to present their best business ideas and then answered rapid-fire questions from the five judges. The audience tweeted their comments and questions through a live Twitter feed and ultimately decided the winner through an audience clap-o-meter rating.

"It was a fun opportunity to hear the fresh ideas that are beginning to take flight in our community," said Grant Burcham, mobank's president and CEO, who served as a panel judge. Other judges included Ron Kane (entrepreneur), Sam Meers (marketing expert), Grisel Wiley (angel investor) and Mark Allen (entrepreneur).

Intefy was named the winner, and five other young entrepreneurs were finalists: Centric Projects,, the Pocket Shocker, Chat Taxi and Demand Launch. Watch for them as they begin their new business ventures in our city.

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July 2010 Artboards Now Featuring Photography

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New works will debut on the "artboards" atop mobank's Crossroads branch in time for the July First Friday event.

Both of the featured artists work in a variety of media but are showing photography in this exhibit.

Anne Lindberg is a longtime customer of mobank as co-owner of Derek Porter Studio. One of her pieces is owned by the bank and is on display in the downtown branch; it is the large-format line drawing against the green wall.

For the new artboard installation, she selected a pair of images, titled once a day 59 and 62, presenting two views of luminous curtains photographed in the interior of her home, at dusk. They are part of a series of photographs Lindberg takes daily of her surroundings, creating an intimate, cumulative mapping of personal space and a record of private observations.

"I wanted to lift these subtle, private images up into the public realm of the urban billboard ... transporting viewers to a different time of day, place and mood," said Lindberg.

Paul Shortt is an interdisciplinary artist who works in the mediums of drawing, photography, video and performance. Shortt's pair of images are from a larger body of recent work titled Nimby's, which feature yard signs he has made by hand and installed in undeveloped lots, empty houses, and along roadsides.

"By hand-making the signs and text, I'm throwing into question the authority of signs, while giving the locations an authority and presence to be interpreted by the viewer," Shortt said.

Lindberg and Shortt are the 11th and 12th artists to be represented on the rotating artboard display at 125 Southwest Boulevard. The artboards first debuted with the opening of the Crossroads branch in 2008, and rotate about once each quarter to feature a new display of local artists' works.

As part of the building renovation by Helix Architecture + Design, mobank donated the billboards on the roof of its Crossroads branch to the "Art through Architecture" (AtA) program. AtA is a partnership between Charlotte Street Foundation and the American Institute of Architects - Kansas City. Kate Hackman, associate director of the Charlotte Street Foundation, serves as the project's curator.

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She Got It Started - At mobank

Friday, June 25, 2010

When a local television news crew wanted to film a story about Mary Pinizzotto and her "Freebox Everyday Dance Project," she needed an ideal venue for her daily public performance. So, she called mobank.

Within hours, Mary and several members of the Crossroads Branch staff were dancing in the aisles at the branch as the cameras rolled, capturing Mary's one-woman crusade to change people's lives by promoting freestyle public dancing.

In Mary's daily blog, she says, "I got a call this morning from Fox News asking if they could drop in on my dance today... I had no plan and had to quickly get one going. I called my friend Amanda who works at my bank, Missouri Bank. They have a beautiful branch in the Crossroads that looks nothing like a real bank. It is a real bank, but everything they do is geared toward creative people. She got permission for us to dance there, joined me and even helped me persuade the other employees, Cynthia, Jeri, Melvis and Heather, to join us. They were reluctant at first, but the music got the best of them! Thanks, girls, for getting down with me! How cool is my bank to support this crazy project? I think very!"

Mary and her husband, Mark Gardiner, live in a Crossroads District loft. She launched the Freebox Everyday Dance Project in late 2009. She's a former competitive ballroom dancer, but her current dances are more free form. Her goal - inspire everyone to dance, whether they know any specific steps or not.

Every day she posts a new video of one of her public dances.

"From bikers I met in the middle of the highway in Utah, to a covertly filmed group Viennese Waltz in Wal-Mart, I've danced with all kinds of people in all kinds of situations," she writes. According to an article in The Kansas City Star, "on Easter Sunday, she convinced strangers to bunny hop on the Country Club Plaza. On Memorial Day, she performed at the Liberty Memorial."

Mary is driven by a simple philosophy we find hard to argue with, "If more people danced every day, the world would be a much happier place!"

Mary's blog showing the mobank dance:

Article about Mary appearing in The Kansas City Star

Mary's home page:

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Recognition Unsought but Well Earned

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No clever gimmicks. No in-house competitions. No arm-twisting.

At mobank, that's business as usual.

In this case, it was success in the bank's annual employee United Way campaign. mobank employees have participated in the annual campaign for decades, but the 2009 campaign was different - not in style, but in results.

For the first time, mobank earned the Circle of Caring award from the United Way of Greater Kansas City, recognizing a level of support "above and beyond the call of duty," based on both financial contributions and active involvement.

This happened without gimmicks or incentives beyond a few drink coupons from QuikTrip. The bank simply posted on its intranet the essential information about community needs and how United Way addresses those needs. They let the facts speak for themselves.

"We take comfort in knowing that United Way touches so many people throughout our metropolitan area - families, friends and co-workers, as well as our customers and their families," said Sharon Martin, AVP Human Resources of mobank and United Way Company Coordinator. "United Way bridges gaps in services and supports local agencies that get results."

After the Circle of Caring Award was announced, Grant Burcham, president and CEO of mobank, thanked employees for their efforts and their generosity.

"As our community, and our nation, struggled with a persistent recession, a lot of individuals and organizations had to sacrifice philanthropy. While others pulled back, mobank people stepped up," he said. "Our people really are special and different."

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Recognition for LEED-Certified Crossroads Branch

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

mobank's Crossroads branch continues to garner attention as one of Kansas City's signature "green" buildings, and as a showcase for restoring old structures to make them environmentally friendly.

The branch at 125 Southwest Boulevard was the final stop on a June 4 Green Roof Tour organized by the Environmental Excellence Business Network (EEBN), an affiliate of Bridging the Gap.

Tour participants visited the branch to see and hear about the restoration of the almost century-old building and its sustainability features.

Other stops on the tour included Cosentino's Market in the Power & Light District, the Kansas City Library at 14 W. 10th St., and the 909 Walnut Complex, which includes condominiums and an office tower. Participants in the self-guided walking tour then headed to an EEBN social on the green roof of Barkley at 1740 Main St.

mobank's Crossroads branch recently won the "Green" Project of the Year award from the Kansas City Chapter of The Associated General Contractors of America.

That award came on the heels of the branch's celebrated certification as a Gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) award-winner - only the fourth building in Kansas City to qualify for the gold-level designation.

"We're honored to be included in EEBN's latest showcase," said Grant Burcham, president and CEO of mobank. "It was a great opportunity for us to meet people in our community who share a vision of what can be accomplished by business owners, architects and contractors who want to improve their communities."

The EEBN is a network of people who share a common goal: making sustainable business decisions that protect natural resources and make good business sense.

Green roofs are an important part of efforts to make buildings more sustainable. They provide significant help for urban storm water runoff in an environmentally friendly way.

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Brookside Branch Beautifies Southtown

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Southtown Council has selected mobank's new Brookside branch as one of the 2010 Annual Southtown Beautification Award recipients. The theme this year was "Extreme Makeover".

Like mobank's Crossroads branch, the Brookside branch involved a major makeover of an older building devoted to cars, not banking - in this case, the former Star Motors building. The branch's drive-through incorporated the original design of the building, going directly through the old service garage. One major change: drive-through and walk-in customers can see each other through an all-glass wall. The other side of the drive-through features the "DREAM" wall art installation by local artist Archie Scott Gobber.

"We want all of our branch buildings to be authentic, positive additions to their communities," said Grant Burcham, president and CEO of mobank. "We appreciate the recognition from the Southtown Council and the great work by our architect and construction partners, Helix and HarenLaughlin, as well as by Archie Scott Gobber."

Jack Kammerer, CFO of mobank, accepted the award on mobank's behalf at the annual Southtown Awards Dinner May 11 at Benjamin Ranch.

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mobank Named Finalist for Ethics in Business Award

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

mobank was named a finalist in the 2010 Heart of America Ethics in Business award program.

The award program is presented by the Midwest Christian Counseling Center in collaboration with Baker University's School of Professional and Graduate Studies. It honors businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and community leaders that stand apart in their dedication to incorporate social responsibility in their employment practices, civic activities, environmental concern, and ethical conduct.

"This recognition is special, because we were nominated by one of our customers," said Grant Burcham, president and CEO of mobank. "For us, doing business in an ethical manner is at the core of who we are and how we make a positive difference as part of this community."

The Heart of America Ethics in Business Awards annual event was held May 6 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center. McCownGordon Construction, a mobank customer, was named the winner in the small, for-profit business category.

"Congratulations to our friends at McCownGordon, another organization that knows how to be the difference," Burcham said.

To learn more about the Heart of America Ethics in Business Awards program, visit

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mobank Crossroads Branch Earns Green Building Award

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

mobank's commitment to environmental stewardship continues to gain recognition. The bank's Crossroads branch recently won the "Green" Project of the Year award from the Kansas City Chapter of The Associated General Contractors of America.

The award was presented to the building's contractor, AGC member HarenLaughlin Construction, during a gala event at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Journalist and talk show host Steve Kraske served as master of ceremonies.

The award citation noted that the branch required a major overhaul for its conversion from a dilapidated 1920s mechanic's garage to only the fourth building in Kansas City to qualify for a Gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. It also noted that the building used reclaimed barn timbers, pine flooring and brick; that it employed window and door frames made from used vinegar vats; and that 75 percent of the materials that left the site were diverted from landfills by salvaging or recycling.

"We were particularly gratified that the award judges also noted that the design and construction helped enable our Crossroads branch to become a community gathering place. That was the most meaningful part to us," said Grant Burcham, president and CEO of mobank. "Our congratulations and thanks to HarenLaughlin for their fine work on this project."

Two projects by the JE Dunn Construction Company were named finalists in the category: the Kansas City Power & Light Headquarters Renovation, and Dunn's new corporate headquarters.

View this link to read the entire story featured in the May-June 2010 Modern Builder article.

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mobank Celebrates KC Chamber's Top 10 Small Businesses

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

mobank enjoyed playing a central role in the annual recognition of the region's Top 10 Small Businesses, a celebration sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

To honor the nominees, mobank hosted the annual dinner in the lobby of the downtown location at 1044 Main St. on April 8. The bank, recognized as a Top 10 Small Business and the Mr. K Award winner in 1999, has hosted the dinner ever since.

Three mobank customers were among the top 10 honorees: Bishop-McCann, The Purple Guys, and The Roasterie. Two other mobank customers were involved in the dinner: Catering by Lon Lane's Inspired Occasions and floral arrangements by Studio Dan Meiners.

The Chamber's Small Business Celebration is the largest of its kind in the country. It began 24 years ago as Small Business Week and has grown to three months of activities. This year, there were nearly 1,500 nominations that resulted in 119 formal applications. Rounding out the Top 10 were Athletic & Rehabilitation Center, ColorMark, Inc., Global Medical Direct, Greenleaf Construction Co., Inc., Magic Touch Cleaning, Inc., P/Strada, LLC and Straub Construction Company, Inc.

"We were pleased to host this celebration once again, and offer our congratulations to all ten outstanding companies," Burcham said. "We are an entrepreneurial small business that specializes in helping other entrepreneurs, so this event has a lot of meaning for us."

The celebration ends with the annual awards luncheon May 19 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center, where one of the Top Ten companies will be named winner of the Mr. K Award, named after famed Kansas City entrepreneur Ewing Kauffman. Details and ticket information are available at

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mobank's 1st Annual Pace for the Place

Friday, April 30, 2010

mobank and its customers, friends and neighbors celebrated their new Brookside branch by raising nearly $3,000 for The Children's Place with a festive fund-raising walk.

About 130 people gathered on a bright, sun washed Saturday morning for the first annual Pace for the Place, a 2.5-mile stroll along the Trolley Track Trail. They enjoyed a pancake breakfast from Chris Cakes and Roasterie Coffee, along with a beautiful spring day; but the real purpose of the gathering was to make a difference for children in need.

"The walk was great fun today," said Roxane Hill, vice president of development for The Children's Place. "It was wonderful seeing the community pull together. And, it was good to have Missouri Bank partner with The Children's Place. It takes everyone in the community to help us do what we do - healing the youngest survivors of abuse, neglect and trauma."

As a newcomer to Brookside, mobank wanted to make a difference for this vital local resource. George Satterlee, chief administrative officer of mobank, serves on the board of directors of The Children's Place.

"We are a community bank, and our people are passionate about the citizenship role that entails," Satterlee said. "We like to have a good time as much as anybody, but a good time that has a positive impact on people is what really motivates us."

In addition to the walk and the breakfast, participants also had an opportunity to check out mobank's newest branch, including the glass-walled drive-through and "dream" wall. The circular walk began and ended at the branch, 7 W. 62nd Terrace, directly across the street from the Brookside market.

Satterlee expressed gratitude to the community for the great turnout. "What's really special about being a community-based bank is being part of a caring community like this one," Satterlee said.

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mobank Walks for Kids

Monday, March 29, 2010

On April 17, 2010, neighbors of mobank's Brookside branch will stroll through the heart of the Brookside neighborhood to raise money for The Children's Place. The fundraiser, started by mobank, is called Pace for the Place.

Since 1978, The Children's Place has been committed to meeting the developmental and mental health needs of the very youngest victims of child abuse, neglect and trauma. mobank wants to make a difference for this vital local resource.

"Having just opened a new branch in Brookside, we decided to focus on what we could do to make a positive difference in the community to make it stronger and more successful," said Grant Burcham, president and CEO of mobank. "So rather than throwing ourselves a traditional, boring grand opening event, we thought this could be a great way to get to know our new neighbors and be a part of a fun and exciting community event."

All Brookside residents are welcome to attend; and even if they can't be part of the walk, they are welcome to enjoy Chris Cakes pancakes and Roasterie coffee on mobank. They can also check out the new Brookside branch, including the glass-walled drive-through and the "DREAM" wall.

The 2.5-mile walk through the center of the Brookside community begins and ends at mobank, 7 W. 62nd Terrace, directly across the street from the Brookside Market. Start time is 8:30 a.m., Saturday, April 17. Entry fee is $25 for adults and kids are free. Complete details and sign-up are available here.

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mobank Opens New Branch in Brookside

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Missouri Bank opened a new branch, its fourth location, in the Brookside neighborhood on Monday, March 1. Located at 7 W. 62nd Terr., Kansas City, Mo., the Brookside branch occupies the former Star Motors building. The bank drive-through is in the old car garage, from which customers will see the bank through an all-glass wall.

"We look forward to being a good neighbor in the Brookside area, a community whose retail and commercial business we've long served at our other branches," said Missouri Bank president and CEO, Grant Burcham. "We want to positively impact the community and support Brookside's local businesses."

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Brookside Branch "DREAM" Art Installation Earns "Gold Level" Recognition

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

mobank, along with BKS Real Estate and Helix Architecture + Design, received a "Gold Level" Art Achievement award from Art through Architecture (AtA) for the "DREAM" wall art at the bank's new Brookside branch. The "DREAM" wall artist is Kansas Citian and mobank customer, Archie Scott Gobber.

AtA is a partnership between the American Institute of Architects - Kansas City and the Charlotte Street Foundation. The "Gold Level" award is AtA's highest level of "Art Achievement" to recognize new architectural projects that allocate a certain percentage of the construction budget toward collecting or commissioning artwork or including artists on design teams.

Gobber received this commission, funded by mobank and BKS Real Estate. Clients and architects first selected finalists from AtA's curated database of artists and then reviewed Gobber's proposal for the Brookside branch project. He worked with Helix and HarenLaughlin Construction to integrate the "DREAM" wall into the design and construction.

For more information and photos, please visit:

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Crossroads Branch to Debut New "Artboards" in March

Tuesday, February 18, 2010

Coinciding again with First Friday in the Crossroads Arts District, mobank will unveil new "artboards" atop its Crossroads branch roof. Kansas City artists Michael Sinclair and Allan Winkler are the artists whose works are featured in the new "artboards," a Missouri Bank Art Through Architecture (AtA) project.

Sinclair's east-facing images are photos taken at Blue Valley Park and Loose Park in Kansas City. These images are part of a larger body of work in which Sinclair focused on local, urban parks.

Winkler's west-facing billboards will feature his "Community Meeting" paper-cut, black-and-white works.

Stop by to see these new "artboards" that will be on display until June 2010.

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mobank Hosts "25 Under 25" Pre-Gala Dinner

Tuesday, February 18, 2010

For the third year in a row, Missouri Bank hosted the "25 Under 25" pre-gala recognition dinner at the bank's downtown location. Steve Metzler, of Metzler Bros. Insurance, co-sponsored the event with mobank.

The annual Kansas City Small Business Monthly awards honor 25 area small businesses that are outstanding in financial stability, community involvement, company vision and other criteria.

Missouri Bank customers were part of the celebration - Lon Lane with Inspired Creations catered the event, Dan Meiners of Studio Dan Meiners did the floral and décor, and John McDonald of Boulevard Brewing Co. was the featured keynote speaker.

"We are proud of our customers - Aurora Plastic and Hand Surgery, Lon Lane's Inspired Occasions and Travois - who were honored as a '25 Under 25' business," said mobank president and CEO, Grant Burcham. "It's always fun for us to congratulate our customers' success and celebrate their business achievements with them."

For more information about the awards, please visit

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mobank's 1st Annual Rock. Paper. Scissors. Tournament!

Monday, October 26, 2009

mobank hosted its first Rock. Paper. Scissors. Throwdown Tournament on First Friday, Oct. 2, 2009 at the Crossroads branch. David Morris Photography's Cara Dunsmoor was the overall champion! Phil Kinen emceed the event, co-sponsored by the Crossroads Community Association, which featured more than 25 Crossroads-area business representatives. Each Rock. Paper. Scissors. participant was the winner of his or her company's own contest. Acoustic guitarist and singer, Sean McNown entertained the crowd of spectators, along with The Roasterie, which served hot coffee from its cool, retro RV for the chilly First Friday. Check out Missouri Bank's Facebook Page for more details on participating businesses and photos from the event.

Cara at the Bat

The outlook was uncertain for the last 28 that day
Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament was the game they came to play

They gathered at the Crossroads branch of their Missouri Bank
With steely eyes and faces grim, to show 'twas no mere prank

Pale Ale was quaffed to steady nerves and bolster player's spines
While Sean McNown of grand renown played folky guitar lines

Champions all were they when the fateful day began
The winners of the prelim rounds within their workplace clan

But only one would get to claim the shining winner's belt
So, carefully they countered the "hand" opponents dealt

One by one the valiant climbed into the ring to vie
But then threw scissors against rock, and had to say goodbye

The music played, the beer did flow, the noise reached fever pitch
All crowded 'round to see who would emerge without a glitch

SMG came oh-so-close but fell just short of glory
Their run was strong and proud, the end a wee bit gory

At day's end one competitor stood tall above the rest
Of all KC's RPS champs, Cara Dunsmoor was the best

A festive time was had by all as Dunsmoor they did hail
To be a part of next year's games, just respond to this e-mail

Crossroads Branch Marks First Year of “Artboards” with New Exhibit

Monday, October 26, 2009

On Friday, Oct. 2, mobank displayed the fourth installment of “artboards” on the roof of its branch at 125 Southwest Blvd. The artboards first debuted with the opening of Missouri Bank's new Crossroads branch in fall 2008. The artboards rotate about once each quarter to feature a new display of local artists' works.

Currently on the west-facing boards are May Tveit's “Color Field” featuring mirror photographs of brightly-colored hay bales on the beach. Tveit attended the Rhode Island School of Design and Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, and she is currently a resident artist at Review Studios.

On the east-facing boards are Grant Miller's work from his recent acrylic-on-wood paintings. Miller's installation depicts the information overload we constantly experience in an array of mediums. Miller attended the Kansas City Art Institute and Washington University and is now represented by Byron Cohen Gallery. Both artists boast an impressive list of solo exhibitions and honors, which you can read more about here:

As part of the building renovation by Helix Architecture + Design, mobank donated the billboards on the roof of its Crossroads branch to the “Art through Architecture” (AtA) program. AtA is a partnership between Charlotte Street Foundation and the American Institute of Architects – Kansas City. Kate Hackman, associate director of the Charlotte Street Foundation, serves as the project's curator.

To read about one of this installment's artists recently featured in The Kansas City Star, please visit

mobank in the Media

Friday, September 25, 2009

Earlier this year, Missouri Bank’s Crossroads branch created a Facebook page to foster an online community. mobank wanted its customers, prospects and community organizations, many of which already have a presence on Facebook, to be able to connect with the bank and each other.

“mobank never wants technology to replace face-to-face customer relationships,” said Grant Burcham, Missouri Bank president and CEO. “We hope our Facebook page, which has been a blast, is one way we can enhance these relationships.”

Facebook and other social media have changed the way people communicate, even in the banking and finance industry. Facebook is the third most popular Web site on the Internet, and it’s adding more than 700,000 new members each day.

Recently, an article for featured mobank’s Facebook page in the article, “5 Ways Banks are Using Social Media.” Mashable, “The Social Media Guide,” is one of the top three most popular blogs with more than 5 million monthly page views. In addition, Mashable founder and blogger Pete Cashmore tweeted a link to the story through his @mashable Twitter profile, which reaches 1.5 million followers.

Thank you to everyone who has become “a fan” of Missouri Bank on Facebook! To read “5 Ways Banks are Using Social Media” and comments posted to the article, please visit In addition to mobank, the article also cites social media examples from Wachovia and Bank of America.

A Strategy You Can Bank On

Monday, April 20, 2009

This story appears as written by Cindy Hoedel of The Kansas City Star, with permission from the The Star.

Grant Burcham is president of Missouri Bank. When his family bought the bank at 910 Walnut in 1984, it was worth $13 million.  Today, the value has grown to nearly $400 million. A Crossroads coffeehouse his bank helped finance was the venue for this conversation.

What was Missouri Bank like when your family bought it in 1984?

It had no parking, no drive through, no ATMs. We quickly learned there were a lot of barriers to getting new business.  We weren't convenient. You made a deposit, you got a parking ticket. It really drove home for us the importance of differentiation and just plain and simple great service. It's all the little things. It's not rocket science by any means.

View this link to read the entire story featured in the April 19th Star Magazine article.

Missouri Bank Coming to Brookside

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In early 2010, Missouri Bank will open its fourth branch location at 7 W. 62nd Terrace in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Mo. The full-service branch will occupy the former Star Motors Ltd. building and will have two drive-through lanes that actually go right through the building. Initial plans include a lobby with floor-to-ceiling glass on one side, so drivers will be able to see mobank's lobby through its glass walls.

East Facade

East Façade

East Facade

North Façade

“Brookside is a great urban neighborhood and a place where we've wanted to have a location for a long time,” said President and CEO Grant Burcham. “We're not a huge branching bank and are very deliberate about where we want to go. We've identified certain areas in Kansas City that fit well with our brand and demographic. We like the sense of community in Brookside and want to be a part of it.”

The new branch will open in early 2010.

Missouri Bank Debuts New “Artboards”

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In conjunction with February's First Friday, Missouri Bank debuted its second set of “Artboards” on the rooftop of its Crossroads branch at 125 Southwest Blvd. The exhibit features local artists Archie Scott Gobber (east-facing) and Miki Baird (west-facing).

Gobber's images illustrate the buzzword that pervaded the recent presidential election, while capitalizing on the nature of the billboard itself as something temporary, to be replaced in the near future.

Miki Baird's “Urban Deposit” draws upon her interest in “litter and trash – the kind of things we all leave behind.” For this piece, Baird walked around the Crossroads area photographing plastic bottles, cups, and discarded wrappers, then combined dozens of small images to create a larger pattern.

mobank donated the billboards atop its newest branch building to the “Art through Architecture” (AtA) program. AtA is a partnership between Charlotte Street Foundation and the American Institute of Architects – Kansas City. They support local artists by encouraging and assisting architects to incorporate art into their projects. Kate Hackman, associate director of the Charlotte Street Foundation, serves as the project's curator.

Designed by Helix Architecture + Design, mobank's Crossroads branch was the first Kansas City area building to earn Gold-Level Art Achievement recognition through AtA. mobank's “Artboards” will feature a new artist, typically launching on a First Friday, every four months.

October 2008 – Crossroads Branch is Open for Business

Friday, September 5, 2008

Open for business in October 2008, the new Crossroads Branch is complete. This bank is like none other in the region. Highlights include:

  • Two original Jesse Small sculptures
  • Custom-designed furniture by el dorado
  • A customer-friendly workplace offering wireless access
  • Cutting-edge technology with no teller windows to come between the mobanker and the customer

“It's exciting to invest further in the Crossroads District,” said President and CEO Grant Burcham. “We've supported Crossroad's businesses for decades and enjoyed having a branch there. Now we put down deeper roots and helped preserve the neighborhood's character and integrity by renovating an existing building with a new sustainable design.”

The building is being submitted for Leadership in Energy and Environmentally Designed (LEED) Silver-certified. “It's been quite a journey and learning experience working to attain this certification,” said Julie Ladage, chief operating officer. “From reusing timber and pavers, to planning a rooftop garden, which will absorb rainwater, improve air quality and beautify the view for people in surrounding buildings - we truly want to do our part to further enhance this great, historic district.”

mobank will open the Crossroads branch for selected First Fridays

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September 2008 – Missouri Bank's Brand Recognized as One of the Best in the Nation

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bancography Brand Value Index recently named Missouri Bank the 7th Best Bank Brand in the country. No other small bank in Kansas City made the list. “Considering there are more than 8,000 banks under $500 million in assets in the country, we are flattered and humbled to receive this recognition,” said President and CEO Grant Burcham.

Bancography is an independent brand consulting company that developed the Brand Value Index to calculate the value of an institution's brand and rank institutions among their peers.

In calculating brand value, Bancography quantifies the proportion of each bank's value that is attributable to intangible factors that make up their brand. These factors include the bank's reputation, service quality, image and market awareness. The brand value index identifies institutions that produce financial results beyond what their capital base, market conditions and competitive environments predict.

Missouri Bank customers, from small business owners to local artists and acclaimed chefs – seem to agree with Bancography. In a recent customer satisfaction survey, Missouri Bank's clients described the bank as friendly, professional and – you got it, fun!

“We invented the brand by simply being ourselves. We believe in knowing customers on a personal level to build honest, sincere partnerships. That's the heart of Missouri Bank,” said Grant Burcham. “It's they way we treat our customers and each other. Our brand is merely a reflection of that philosophy, not something we've come up with in the marketing department.”

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March 2008 –'S Corp' Status a Long-Term Move for Missouri Bank

Friday, March 7, 2008

Missouri Bank was one of many banks that converted to S corporation legal status in 1997 following a regulatory shift in the industry. The new legislation allowed certain banks to be taxed through Subchapter S of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code.

These banks became subject to only one level of taxation; so when gains were realized by shareholders, they were taxed as partnerships and able to avoid double federal taxation at the corporate level.

Missouri Bank's President and CEO Grant Burcham said the bank's S corporation election was a long-term decision. “We're trying to be a good steward for our customers and shareholders.”

Operating as an S corporation is beneficial on many levels. Because of the tax savings, the bank has more capital to work with, allowing assets to be funneled into the community.

To discourage immediate bank sales, Congress created a 10-year time period during which if a bank was sold, it would expose it to a built-in tax on any gains. As that 10-year period draws to a close, many have speculated it would spur an onslaught of bank acquisitions. However, analysts now think that concern for the national economy will keep acquisitions low this year.

We don't have an exit strategy where having the 10 years run out would be beneficial,” Burcham said. “It's a much longer time horizon. We didn't look at this solely as a tax-favored investment. We see it as a way to help customers realize dreams and to provide opportunities for great folks who have a passion for their careers.”

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