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Former Regent Bank president joins Guaranty

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Last edited 1:59 p.m., April 20, 2020

Two years after launching a Springfield office for Regent Bank, Craig Dunn this month left the Oklahoma-based company to take a position at Guaranty Federal Bancshares Inc. (Nasdaq: GFED).

Dunn joined the Guaranty Bank operator as executive vice president and chief commercial banking officer, a newly renamed position at the company, said spokesman Ryan Bowling. He started on Monday.

Dunn succeeds Charley Puls, the previous chief lending officer who was "terminated effective Jan. 25, 2019," according to a Guaranty Bank proxy filing made this month with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Puls' LinkedIn profile indicates he's worked since March 2019 as director of commercial sales for St. Louis Bank.

At Guaranty Bank, Dunn oversees management of the company's commercial banking and corporate service lines of business, according to a news release provided this morning to Springfield Business Journal.

“Craig has an extensive background in community bank management and commercial lending and will be an excellent addition to our executive team,” Guaranty Bank President and CEO Shaun Burke said in the release. “He is a proven leader, has impeccable character, is actively involved in the community and has a great knowledge of our market.”

Regent Bank Chairman and CEO Sean Kouplen this morning said the company is conducting a search for Dunn’s successor as the Springfield market leader. He said a decision should be made within 10 days.

“We have some really great internal candidates. We have been approached by some really impressive external candidates,” Kouplen said. “We really miss Craig. He's become a very dear friend of mine, but he obviously viewed that as a great opportunity at Guaranty. We wish him the very best.”

Dunn previously worked for Bear State Bank, and with other former employees there, he started a loan production office in Springfield for Regent Bank in early 2018. A full-service branch opened later that year.

Dunn exited Bear State Bank as Arvest Bank worked to close on its $391 million purchase of the company.

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