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Hawthorn Bank plans to invest around $600,000 in renovations to the top floor of its Springfield branch.
SBJ photo by Geoff Pickle
Hawthorn Bank plans to invest around $600,000 in renovations to the top floor of its Springfield branch.

Hawthorn adds Simmons employees to expand mortgage practice

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Jefferson City-based Hawthorn Bancshares Inc. (Nasdaq: HWBK) is expanding its mortgage practice by way of Springfield, and a $600,000 renovation project is part of the plans.

Clint Caffey, southwest region president for the Hawthorn Bank operator, said the company hired former employees of Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC) working in Springfield. Among them is Tim Brockhaus, who will lead Hawthorn Bank’s statewide efforts to expand its mortgage practice.

“We’re ramping up, and we’re going to be a real competitor in the market now,” Caffey said. “I’d say, probably in the last eight months, we’ve put a concerted effort into finding the right person and we just happened to find (him) here in Springfield.”

To accommodate the new employees and expanded mortgage plans, Caffey said Hawthorn Bank plans to conduct $600,000 in renovations to the top floor of the company’s Springfield branch, located at 321 W. Battlefield Road at the intersection with Campbell Avenue. The top floor has been vacant since Webster University shuttered its Springfield campus in 2015, Caffey said.

Hawthorn Bank hired Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective as project architect, and the company is out for bid for a general contractor, he said.

Brockhaus said he’s one of six former Simmons employees who joined Hawthorn Bank in Springfield. From Springfield, he’ll lead efforts to expand mortgage services in southwest Missouri, central Missouri, and the Kansas City and St. Louis markets.

“When I joined, we had five loan officers spread out through the Missouri market,” Brockhaus said, noting he started in November as senior vice president for Hawthorn Bank. “By mid- to late-2020, we’ll have some 20 to 23 loan officers.”

Brockhaus said the expanded Hawthorn Bank mortgage team plans to produce $120 million loans this year, with a 2021 goal of $200 million statewide.

“I liked that opportunity,” he said.

Brockhaus said the mortgage team in Springfield is negotiating a temporary location off of Battlefield Road until the renovated office at Hawthorn Bank’s branch is complete. The project is expected to wrap up on May 1, he said.

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