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Monte McNew got somewhat of a late start in the banking business.
“I was 34 when I went into banking,” says McNew, now CEO of Guaranty Bank. “I was a bit of a serial entrepreneur and had owned different businesses over the years.
“I actually got into banking in the beginning because I wanted to learn about different businesses and to understand and see what kind of business I wanted to go into next,” he says, before what he describes as getting hooked on banking. “It was so interesting to learn about different companies and how they need banks and their relationships with banks.”
McNew’s entrepreneurial beginnings included a role as partner in a legal software firm and ownership in a local book retail chain, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
After stepping over into the banking industry, McNew rose right up the ladder. Most recently, he was named CEO of Guaranty Bank in April 2022, when Springfield First Community Bank’s parent company, QCR Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: QCRH), acquired Guaranty for $152 million. The banks merged under the longer-standing Guaranty Bank brand, and it now ranks as the fourth largest bank in the area, with $1.3 billion in local deposits, according to SBJ list research.
Prior to the acquisition, McNew served as CEO of SFC, where he worked for eight years and held roles as president and executive vice president. He started his banking career as credit analyst at Great Southern Bank, where after six months he moved into a lender role before being named as vice president.
He says his entrepreneurial experiences have served him well with bank customers.
“I have actually been on the other side of the table,” he says. “I understand the fears and motivation behind people that are in business.”
McNew credits mentors who believed in him over the years, which was vital in transitions to different roles but especially when he moved to SFC from Great Southern.
“Making that leap was a scary time for me, but the board that (SFC) had at the time trusted me a lot,” he recalls, pointing to Noel Boyd and Brent Davis, in particular, as big influences on him.
“They allowed a guy who didn’t have a tremendous banking background to come on board,” he says. “They saw a lot in me, my work ethic, my understanding of business and just dealing with people. I owe those two guys everything, because it ultimately led to this point.”
In an effort to provide flexibility to their workers, some area businesses are beginning to offer four-day workweeks.
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