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Springfield, MO

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Retired vice president of Empire Bank, who now works part-time on a daily basis for the bank. Empire operates 14 facilities and 17 ATMs in Greene, Christian, Polk and Webster counties. Empire Bank's main location is at 1800 S. Glenstone. Empire Bank has its 15th facility under construction at Chesterfield Village, which is scheduled to be opened in spring of 1998. Tucker's professional affiliations include Ozark Area Bankers and Missouri Bankers Association. He is president of the Ozark Empire Chapter of the American Institute of Banking.

Age: 66.

No. of years in Springfield/area: Came to Springfield in 1955 from Cassville, his hometown.

Education: Graduate of Cassville High School. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Air Force for four years, with service in the Korean War. Later, he returned to Springfield and attended Draughan's Business University prior to going to work at Empire Bank.

Early career: He has been with Empire Bank since the bank opened its doors in 1956. He saw the bank grow from $1 million in assets to its current $480 million in total assets. Today, Empire Bank provides a complete line of financial products including trusts, insurance and full-service brokerage. Empire employs more than 250 people. Tucker gained experience in all areas of the bank before being promoted to vice president in charge of operations. He was a bookkeeper, and said he used to post debits and credits by hand; now all of that is done by computer. He also served as teller, head teller and loan officer, and handled new accounts and marketing. "When the bank was small, we had only a few employees. Everyone pitched in, and I really got to know practically everything there was to know in banking," Tucker said. He was the first facility manager of Empire Bank's Glen Isle location. The Glen Isle location was the first expansion of Empire Bank. "At that time in banking, a bank could have one principal location and then, at least 1,000 yards from that, could have a facility where you could accept deposits, make change and pay on checks," Tucker said. Now, he added, branches can perform the full range of banking activities. In 1971 and 1972, he was president of First City Bank of Springfield, which was owned by Empire Bank stockholders. Tucker also taught banking for the local American Institute of Banking chapter from 1947 to 1990 and had close to 2,000 people in his classes who would later go on to become prominent in banking themselves. During his tenure as an instructor, Tucker used five updated versions of the textbook for the entry-level banking course he taught.

Current projects: Tucker's ongoing project is to coordinate bank services for large corporate customers of Empire Bank.

Management philosophy: "To treat all people with respect and give service like you would expect when you go to their business." He is especially pleased to have worked with the fourth generation of Empire Bank customers.

Spare-time pursuits: Spending time with his grandchildren, and following Lady Bears and SMSU men's basketball.

Family data: Tucker and his wife Shirley, who works at Gillenwaters Developers Inc., have two children: Bryan Tucker and Karen Brown. Both children live in Springfield. The Tuckers have three grandchildren.

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