Two banking competitors are joining forces to bring their more than combined 50 years of lending experience under the same roof.
Blake Jorgensen, former vice president of Great Southern Bank, has joined the staff of Ottawa-based Kansas State Bank as executive vice president and a member of the bank’s board of directors. Jorgensen, Ottawa mayor, said his first day on the new job will be Monday.
Roger Maxwell, Kansas State Bank president, said he was excited about having his former “friendly competitor” join the bank’s team.
He said Jorgensen has a proven track record within the Ottawa banking community and has been a strong civic leader, serving three terms on the city commission as well as three terms as mayor.
“Blake has been an active local lender for over 26 years, and he is deeply involved in the community,” Maxwell said. “He will make a great addition to our strong and experienced local team.”
After Great Southern Bank, Springfield, Mo., acquired Teambank in 2009, Jorgensen said his role with the large, regional bank evolved. Afterward, Jorgensen said he was ready to make a change. So when loan officer Joe Goedert recently left Kansas State Bank, 236 N. Main St., Ottawa, to accept a position with a bank in the Wichita area, Jorgensen said the opening presented an opportunity he wanted to explore.
“I’ve had offers in other communities, but I wanted to stay in Ottawa,” Jorgensen said.
Jorgensen’s name quickly rose to the top of the list of potential banking executives to fill the opening, Maxwell said.
The two bankers said one of the appealing aspects of Kansas State Bank is that all lending decisions are made locally, not by an executive or board in another location.
“I think a community is only as good as its banks are,” Jorgensen said.
He said a community that is progressive, prosperous and poised for growth cannot achieve that level of success without the backing of solid financial institutions.
Jorgensen said he was looking forward to working for Kansas State Bank, which he said has established deep roots in the community.
Kansas State Bank, founded in 1917, has more than $90 million in assets, according to a KSB news release.
In his role, Jorgensen will be responsible for commercial, residential and consumer lending, including customer relationship management and community development.
“Blake brings great depth and leadership to the KSB team, and we are excited to welcome him aboard,” Joseph McLiney, chairman of the board, said in a news release.
In addition to his three terms as a city commissioner and mayor, Jorgensen has served as vice chair of the Ottawa Planning Commission and as a member of the governing body of the League of Kansas Municipalities. He is a member and lector at Sacred Heart Church and a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
Jorgensen is a charter member of the Ottawa Main Street Association, past board member of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Franklin County Development Council.
He said one of his goals would be to get more involved in Franklin County Development Council, join local service organizations and help customers meet their needs financially.
Jorgensen and his wife, Kelly, live in Ottawa and have three daughters.