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2020 Trusted Advisers Banker: Scott McDonald

Central Bank of the Ozarks

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In a career that spans over two decades in the banking industry, Scott McDonald is focused on helping clients make potentially life-changing decisions.

McDonald’s work at Central Bank of the Ozarks is forward thinking for clients, whether it’s answering their financial questions related to buying a new home, purchasing equipment for their business or providing advice on investments. That focus has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which time he says his adviser role took a sudden turn.

“Being a trusted adviser has taken on an entirely new meaning in 2020,” he says. “In today’s economic environment and climate, my clients are navigating the waters of trying to keep their business open, make payroll, make their mortgage payments and pay necessary bills. I continue to look at their future needs and how they can not only meet their goals, but exceed them.”

McDonald has served since 2007 as Central Bank’s community president in Christian County, where he manages a $54 million loan portfolio for over 250 clients. The market he oversees incorporates five Central Bank branches in Nixa, Ozark and Highlandville, and its deposits have grown nearly 10% since 2017 to $193 million in 2019.

One notable new resource for businesses that emerged this spring was the Paycheck Protection Program, established through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. McDonald says the program, implemented by the U.S. Small Business Administration, has been particularly meaningful for him helping clients secure loans.

“Whether it be through an SBA PPP loan for their businesses, reconfiguring a loan or an investment, I try to keep them safe in the present and successful in their future,” he says. “To date, Central Bank has helped over 1,200 businesses obtain these loans, and because of this effort, over 14,000 employees of those businesses have been positively impacted.”

Before joining Central Bank, McDonald worked as a vice president and commercial lender for nearly two years at Metropolitan National Bank, prior to two subsequent acquisitions by Bear State Bank and Arvest Bank. He started his banking career in 1996 as a vice president and loan officer for the former Peoples Bank of the Ozarks.

Aside from banking, McDonald has placed a priority on serving his community in the education field. A 1990 Nixa High School graduate, he’s spent the past 12 years as a board member of the Nixa Education Foundation. Additionally, he’s a 12-year member of the Nixa Board of Education, serving the last 10 years as president.

After graduating high school, McDonald earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Missouri State University, followed by an MBA from Webster University. He also is a graduate of the Missouri Bankers Association School of Lending.

Local economic growth is another passion for McDonald, as he’s assumed a leadership role with Show Me Christian County, a nonprofit focused on business attraction, workforce development, and business retention and expansion. He’s served as chair of the organization’s board of directors since its 2017 formation.

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