By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
Commerce Bank has billions of dollars in assets, but it’s never gotten away from its community bank approach, says Matthew Gomric, the Southern Illinois market president.
“When you think of Commerce Bank you think of our culture and the commitment to the community. Although we are publicly traded, we very much take the community bank approach,” said Gomric, a Belleville native.
Gomric joined Commerce Bank in 2016. Right away he appreciated Commerce’s collaborative nature, both internally and with clients. Gomric credits the vision and the culture to a strong foundation over the 154-year history of the bank, its seasoned leaders and its new president and CEO, John Kemper, who took the new role in August 2018.
“Commerce has a strong emphasis on culture and investing in their team of professionals as well as investing in technology in the payments, wealth advice, data science and core banking systems. Commerce Bank has a proven track record of working with customers to develop tailored solutions to help them succeed now and in the future,” Gomric said.
Investing in people and technology is constant for the bank but innovation is more key than ever.
“We talk about innovation through a spectrum of three categories – incremental, significant to breakthrough innovations,” Gomric said. “Whether you’re a market president, a personal banker or an administrative assistant, our team members come to work every day to demonstrate how Commerce continuously innovates to help solve complex financial challenges, so our customers can focus on what matters most.”
Ideas are often implemented based on feedback.
“It’s an organization that’s very open to ideas to do things better, to do things differently and to do different things,” he said.
Commerce Bank has dual regional headquarters in Kansas City and in St. Louis. The St. Louis market executives have strong ties to Southern Illinois. Bob Holmes, chairman and CEO of St. Louis/Eastern Region, and Tom Harmon, president of St. Louis, and Darryl Collins, retail market director of St. Louis all have a connection to Southern Illinois.
“When you’re born and raised in Southern Illinois, or live in Southern Illinois, you’ve got familiarity with all the different towns, the civic leaders,” Gomric said. “You know the terrain.”
A number of Commerce executives, he noted, we’re at last month’s Art on the Square in Belleville, one of the town’s biggest annual events.
Gomric, 45, was born and raised in Belleville. His family goes back generations in the community. His family recognizes the importance of giving back to the community, both civically and by volunteering, he said.
Many years ago, right after he graduated college, Gomric was a coach who helped start the football program at McKendree University in Lebanon. Gomric said it seemed like he was “calling and driving to every high school in Illinois” to find young men interested in a startup program.
“That allowed me to get out and market myself, get to know the lay of the land and obviously get to know a lot of different people,” he said.
Gomric started his bank career with Mercantile Bank of St. Louis in 1998, where he completed an executive credit training program. He spent 19 years as a credit analyst and commercial banker in Southwestern Illinois before the move to Commerce.
With 22 years in banking, Gomric just celebrated his third year with Commerce Bank. The Southern Illinois market president focuses on a large footprint in Illinois, from Springfield all the way south to Cairo, and all the way to the Indiana and Kentucky borders. Gomric said his commitment to serving the community has fostered business banking relationships throughout Southwestern Illinois at Commerce’s branches in Belleville, Shiloh and Columbia.
“Our performance (in Illinois) reflects the strength of the region and is based upon loan and deposit growth, fee income and internal referrals bringing in our product partners,” Gomric said. The latter refers to services the bank can provide in the way of trusts, treasury management, payment solutions, mortgages and business services.
Gomric is rooted in the community and serves as a member of the Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois, Mid America Workforce Investment Board 24, Executive Board of Southwest Madison County Chamber, the foundation board for Southwestern Illinois College and ARCHVIEW Development Corp. He is also a graduate of the leadership program of Southwest Madison County.
By DENNIS GRUBAUGH