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Arvest hires former chamber executive

Ryan Mooney brings decades of economic development experience to the bank

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 Ryan Mooney, a former longtime executive of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce who exited late last year, has a new job at Arvest Bank.

Mooney started during the first week of February as vice president of economic development-commercial banking for Arvest’s Springfield market, according to a news release. Most recently the chamber’s vice president of economic development, he left the organization in November after more than two decades.

“Moving to the private sector was a significant consideration for me,” Mooney said. “After 23 years of working in economic development, I felt like I wanted to look for new opportunities for my career but still focus on my passion for Springfield and utilize my expertise in helping companies access tools to grow and expand.”

Mooney additionally pointed to Arvest’s hiring late last year of fellow economic development professional Andrea Sitzes, former president and CEO of the Show Me Christian County organization.

“As she considered her decision to move to Arvest and when bank leaders approached me late last year, I was really excited to see their innovative approach to how they do business,” Mooney said. “They felt like my economic development approach to business growth and real estate projects would work well in commercial banking.”

A certified economic and community developer, Mooney will be responsible at Arvest for growing commercial banking relationships and using the bank’s products and services to help clients plan commercial real estate projects, according to the release. Economic development experience in commercial banking represents a “new and innovative approach for Arvest to incorporate economic development professionals and finance professionals,” according to Jason England, executive vice president and loan manager at Arvest Bank in Springfield.

“Ryan brings a valuable skill set and background in economic development with him, and he will be a wealth of knowledge for Springfield business owners,” England said in the release. “Arvest is committed to hiring excellent business professionals to serve our customers, and Ryan is another great addition to our commercial banking team.”

At the chamber, Mooney led economic development projects for the organization and the Springfield Business Development Corp., its economic development subsidiary. In June 2021, Mooney said the SBDC was a contributor to securing nine projects in 2020, according to past reporting. In total, the projects represent $288.9 million in new investment, producing 1,014 jobs and $40.5 million in payroll, he said at the time. Projects included developments by Convoy of Hope and The Kraft Heinz Co. (Nasdaq: KHC).

The Springfield chamber is continuing to search for a new senior vice president of economic development, a process that’s “proceeding on schedule,” said chamber spokesperson Jennifer McClure. The chamber hired St. Louis-based executive search firm Next Move Group LLC for the process.

When disclosing Mooney’s exit last year, the chamber additionally announced two interim appointments: Mary Lilly Smith as interim vice president of economic development and Jeff Seifried as interim senior project manager.

Smith retired last year from the city of Springfield after nearly 39 years, the past six of which were spent as its planning and development director. Before that, she was economic development director for the city for 16 years, according to past reporting.

Seifried was retained to help the chamber secure economic development projects. A former Springfield chamber staffer – with nearly eight years as manager of regional development – Seifried recently led the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB for five years and held the CEO role at Branson-based Connell Insurance Inc. for a year. Seifried’s Linked-In profile indicates he exited Connell Insurance in October and is now serving as a consultant.

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