Central Bank celebrates 70th Anniversary

Abby Hoover
Managing Editor


Central Bank of Kansas City (CBKC) hosted a customer appreciation event in celebration of its 70th anniversary at its Northeast location at 2301 Independence Blvd.


Customers and community members enjoyed the free event, complete with yard games, giveaways, Frutopia popsicles and the Humdinger Food Truck.


“We usually have a Customer Appreciation Day once a year and, you know, with COVID, things kind of stopped,” said Sarah Cousineau, Vice President of Marketing and Community Outreach. “We just wanted to have a celebration. We got a new logo, a new refresh of our brand, and we want to celebrate 70 years.”


Steven Giles, President and CEO of CBKC, said it’s incredible for the community to have the commitment of an organization, especially a financial institution like his bank, for that long. They’re one of very few locally-owned banks located on the Avenue.


“While many others bailed, we stayed right here, and I certainly want us to continue to “ Giles said. “We were talking last night – we had a 70th reception for the employees – and I said, ‘I’m not going to be here, but I plan on the bank being here another 70 years, serving the Northeast, and really all the neighborhoods as a Community Development Financial Institution.’ We serve a lot of the lower income census tracts in the region, and that’s been our focus for the last 22 years – really, the last 70 years, but formally the last 22 years – and would love to continue doing that in the future.”


CBKC is a commercially-focused bank. On the lending side, they’re solely focused on small business and commercial real estate transactions.


“It’s hard for banks our size to compete on the consumer mortgage front and credit card front because those are dominated by the big banks, and so we really have to just focus and support the community, the small businesses that are in it,” Giles said. “In addition, we’re really focused on three things, providing healthy food solutions in food deserts, we provide financing for projects that are going to provide jobs in the communities that we serve, and then we’re really focused on community services and supporting charters.”


They’ve financed a number of charter schools, and healthcare operations at the former Truman Medical Center – now University Health – and those providing social services, other health care services, and education for the community.


“It is a great accomplishment, not many folks can say they’ve been in a community for 70 years,” said former bank president Bill Dana, a current board member. “It’s one of those things that you look back and say, ‘Where’d the time go?’ because it just flew by.”


Dana has been with the bank for 30 years, and is very proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish this much, and he’s glad to celebrate with the community.


“It’s so fun, you know, I’m just a board member now since I’ve officially retired, but Steve Giles and all the team, essentially created this environment so we could celebrate 70 years,” Dana said.


Many of Central Bank’s customers are local to the Northeast, but it was important for the whole community to feel welcome at the celebration.


“Central Bank was one of the founding members of the Chamber of Commerce, and is just a great community stakeholder,” said Bobbi Baker-Hughes, CEO of the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. “They’re big supporters of everyone and everything that continues to try to build up the Northeast area.”


Central Bank of Kansas City was chartered as a state banking corporation in 1950, opening its first branch at 3030 Truman Road back in March of 1951. It was easy for their customers to find them, as they couldn’t miss the rotating Central Bank sign featuring a clock on one side, and the slogan “Time to Save” on the other.


In the 1960s, Central Bank became a city’s family-owned bank when the Tuteras gained a majority share of the bank’s holding company, further putting down roots in the Kansas City community.


In 1975, the bank moved to a larger home on Independence Avenue, which still serves its Northeast Kansas City clients today.


Since 1998, Central Bank of Kansas City has been a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The CDFI fund is a U.S. Treasury initiative to increase economic opportunity and promote community development investments for underserved populations and in distressed communities in the United States. As a CDFI, we believe in investing fully into our community.

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