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Two execs step down at Metropolitan National

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Metropolitan National Bank’s top executive and a vice president no longer work for the Springfield financial institution.

Sterling Huff, bank president and CEO since March 2010, and Janet Weber, vice president of private banking and marketing  and employed since early 2008, each ceased employment this month, holding company President and CEO John Paul VanDiggelen confirmed to Springfield Business Journal last week.

VanDiggelen, who was appointed interim president and CEO by the bank’s board, would not say under what circumstances the two recently left.

VanDiggelen said he would serve in the interim until directors of the bank’s holding company, Springfield-based Marshfield Investment Co., select a permanent replacement.

“We appreciate the leadership provided by Mr. Huff and wish him success in his future work,” VanDiggelen said. “The bank’s associates and our customers should not be affected by this change, and our goal is to continue to provide superior customer service in the communities we serve.”

Neither Huff nor Weber returned calls for comment.

VanDiggelen declined to say whether the executives’ exits were connected.

During Huff’s tenure, Metropolitan National Bank lost roughly 10 percent of its total assets, dropping to $498.9 million from $555.1 million between June 30, 2010, and June 30, 2011, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

VanDiggelen acknowledged the declines but said asset totals did not factor into Huff’s exit.

VanDiggelen said the search for a permanent replacement for Huff would not be limited to internal candidates, but he declined to say how long he expected the search for a new president and CEO to take.

“We plan to initiate a thorough search for this position, and really have no timeline,” he said. “But it is obviously a priority for us right now.”

He said it was undetermined whether the bank would replace Weber’s position, which was responsible for growing loans and deposits, marketing and cross-selling bank services, and assisting high net-worth clients.

“We are re-evaluating that role at this time,” VanDiggelen said.

In October, SBJ reported that Metropolitan National Bank had slipped one spot to No. 9 in deposit market share in the Springfield metropolitan statistical area, with 3.45 percent of the area’s deposits.

After four years as Metropolitan National’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Huff was promoted March 31, 2010, to succeed 35-year veteran Dave Tooley in the bank’s top post.

At the time, Tooley was retiring, but six months later he returned to the market to open a loan production office for Poplar Bluff-based Southern Bank (Nasdaq: SMBC) at 4650 S. National Ave., Ste. C-7. This month, Southern Bank appointed Tooley to the Southern Missouri Bancorp Board of Directors.

Metropolitan National Bank operates 12 banking centers though a six-county region in southwest Missouri.[[In-content Ad]]

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