Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois: Banking and Finance
Harland “Skip” Ferry, Market President, Commerce Bank – Metro East Region
By KERRY L. SMITH
Few bankers across Southwestern Illinois haven’t come in contact with Harlan “Skip” Ferry, market president of Commerce Bank’s Metro East region. With 40 years of banking industry experience and a lifetime resident here, Ferry’s devotion to what he does and to whom he serves is clear.
“We have remained committed to supporting our communities where we live and work,” said Ferry, who is celebrating seven years at Commerce.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois is a vivid example of the bank’s mission to support area nonprofits with employee volunteer effort as well as corporate financial support.
Belleville’s three high schools are also examples of Commerce’s support to the community. Each year, says Ferry, the bank awards a $2,000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior from each school and continues to provide $2,000 per year for all four years.
“It’s nice, quiet support of our young people and their education beyond high school at a college or vocational school,” Ferry said.
Commerce Bank’s Community Service Award recognizes outstanding volunteers in the bank’s service area for their generous service to the Metro East. A special grant is awarded to the nonprofit agency of the honoree’s choice.
On the business side of things, Commerce’s five branch locations — two in Belleville and one each in Edwardsville, Shiloh and Columbia — remain focused on products and services that manifest the bank’s mission to “ask, listen and solve.” Its diverse offerings to business clientele include an electronic payment management program known as ControlPay AP Payments. Ferry says the service, which is available to Commerce’s business customers, can be used as a purchasing card to manage travel and entertainment expenses and automate their accounts payable department. ControlPay AP works with the business’ existing accounting system and can provide a monthly revenue share associated with the volume of each client.
Another business-specific service for which Commerce Bank sees increasing demand is equipment financing. Municipalities also call upon the bank regularly, Ferry says, to structure tax-exempt and taxable equipment leases. “We’re privileged to count cities, counties, school districts and fire districts among our regular Metro East clients,” he said.
A graduate of Illinois State University, Ferry is a lifelong Metro East resident.