Monte Cook is the new Wichita president and CEO of Commerce Bank.
A 22-year veteran of Commerce and native Wichitan, Cook assumes the role immediately, including oversight of the $20-billion-asset bank’s western Kansas markets.
Commerce said in a news release “Cook served as a key leader and guiding influence for the Wichita bank” after the death of long-time president and CEO John Clevenger in July.
Cook said Monday that he had worked under Clevenger for 20 years.
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”He was a remarkable leader … and I am very honored to follow in his footsteps,” Cook said.
Clevenger assembled a talented group of executives, Cook said, who are supportive of his promotion.
“We’ve got a great team here and we’re moving forward in a very positive way because of it,” Cook said.
And he intends to lead the bank in a similar way to Clevenger.
“My plan is to stay true to who we are, as John did, giving thoughtful consideration to our customers and community in all decision making,” Cook said.
He was most recently executive vice president of the bank, overseeing its retail banking operations in the Wichita and western Kansas markets, which include El Dorado, Hutchinson, Hays, Garden City and Manhattan.
Cook has 40 years of experience in banking.
“Monte’s commitment to his community, customers and colleagues, coupled with leadership abilities that inspire and unite our teams, make him the right person to execute Commerce Bank’s strategic priorities in our Wichita market,” Kevin Barth, president and COO of Commerce Bank, Kansas City Region, said in the release.
Marilyn Pauly, vice chairman of Commerce Bank-Wichita, had been serving as interim president and CEO.