Orvin T. Kimbrough, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis, has been elected by the board of directors as CEO of Midwest BankCentre and its holding company, Midwest BankCentre, Inc. He will remain a member of the bank board, on which he has served since 2015. The appointment is effective Feb. 1, 2019. Kimbrough will stay in his current role with United Way until then.
Midwest BankCentre CEO and Chairman Jim Watson will continue in his current role until Kimbrough joins the bank, and then serve full-time as executive chairman of Midwest BankCentre while remaining vice chairman of Midwest BankCentre, Inc. Dale Oberkfell continues as president and chief financial officer of Midwest BankCentre.
Kimbrough, 43, joins Midwest BankCentre after a nearly 20-year career leading entrepreneurial, community-focused nonprofit organizations. As president and CEO since 2013 of United Way of Greater St. Louis, it has advanced from the fifth to the third-largest United Way in the country, generating more than $82.5 million annually in private and public funding to create social impact. It is among the region’s leading nonprofits.
Kimbrough guided the organization through refreshing its mission and vision to inspire a new charitable solution strategy, achieving more than 43 percent growth in net assets. His team drove innovation that delivered customized philanthropy services to corporate and community clients, simplified outcome measures across more than 160 local nonprofits, and accelerated innovation to generate and invest resources into building community and helping more people. As co-chair of United Way Worldwide’s strategy committee team, Kimbrough also championed a successful digital transformation, which is redesigning the 40-country, 1,800-member network to better compete for support.
“Orv’s lifelong passion for the United Way’s mission, which is helping people live their best possible lives, connects deeply with our community banking focus of helping our community rise together,” said Watson. “Through our bank’s volunteer and leadership engagement in United Way, we’ve witnessed Orv’s talent for strategically building relationships and teams through integration, collaboration and alignment. The successful digital transformation he led at United Way parallels the revolution now underway in banking to serve customers in ways that best suit their needs across all platforms.”
“We believe Orv’s leadership will help us seize opportunities to serve more customers in new ways while achieving greater diversification and collaboration among our team members and in our community partnerships,” added Philip Stupp, chairman of Midwest BankCentre, Inc. “Orv is an energetic and seasoned leader who, coupled with our outstanding team, will take our bank and our community-building efforts to the next level.”
“The St. Louis region is at a critical crossroads,” Kimbrough said. “United Way will forever be a part of my life. I am excited to join Midwest BankCentre, which has demonstrated the depth of its commitment to community at every level. I look forward to working with the bank’s outstanding team to fulfill and advance its demonstrated commitment to financial success for all citizens in the region.”
Kimbrough’s entrepreneurial approach has been shaped by his educational background in social work, business and theology. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. He earned his master’s degree in business administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Kimbrough also graduated from Aquinas Institute of Theology with a master of arts in theology. He currently serves as adjunct professor in Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work, designing a post-graduate course on teams and leadership.
“We are deeply grateful to Orv for his decade of service and leadership with United Way of Greater St. Louis,” said Rich McClure, board chair of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “Orv has made a lasting impact in the St. Louis region during his time with United Way. As CEO, he led the community through five successful campaigns, raising more than $370 million to help others live their best possible lives. In addition, Orv has guided the organization through a strategic transformation in how United Way engages with stakeholders and supports our community. United Way’s board and staff remain focused and committed to the important work of our agencies and partners, and we look forward to continuing a strong relationship with Orv in his new role with Midwest BankCentre.”
According to McClure, United Way has convened a search committee of the board to conduct a national search for Kimbrough’s successor. The committee expects to have a president and CEO named and in place before Kimbrough’s departure.
The appointment of Kimbrough, who will become the region’s only African-American bank CEO, affirms the transformation begun by Midwest BankCentre in 2011, when it enlarged its vision of service to the community. About the same time, the bank entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, which expired in mid-2016. The bank committed to open a bank branch in an area of St. Louis populated primarily by African-American citizens; invest in a special financing program to expand loans to St. Louis area neighborhoods with majority African-American residents; allocate funding for consumer financial education and credit repair; and expand marketing.
Those goals nurtured a resolve and concerted effort internally to openly explore how to create lasting, viable and profitable change that would express the full power of the bank’s focus on Rising Together™. “As a direct result, we transformed our culture and perspective in ways that enable us to be an even stronger partner to clients and communities, now and in the future. Our geographic reach has extended to include neighborhoods overlooked or shunned by our competitors. We’ve opened full-service branches in Pagedale and at Friendly Temple in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood and acquired a location on North Broadway in the near north riverfront area north of downtown St. Louis,” Watson said. “Our efforts have spurred economic development and vitality, changed the trajectory of lives for generations by removing barriers and building opportunities, and forged relationships that led us to our new CEO. We are grateful for the inspiration and for the difference it has made in the bank we’ve become for our community. With Orv joining our team, even greater contributions are yet to come.”
About Midwest BankCentre
Midwest BankCentre has been part of St. Louis community banking since 1906. It employs a staff of about 280 working at 19 bank locations in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and St. Charles County. In April 2015, it acquired Southern Commercial Bank, formed in 1891. In July 2016, it purchased Bremen Bank & Trust Co., founded in 1868. It ranks among St. Louis’ largest locally owned banks with assets of about $1.9 billion and deposits of $1.4 billion.
About United Way of Greater St. Louis
United Way of Greater St. Louis serves 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois.