Orvin T. Kimbrough becomes region’s only Black bank CEO
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 10/4/2018, 9:32 a.m.
Orvin T. Kimbrough is leaving the United Way of Greater St. Louis, where he is president and CEO, to lead Midwest BankCentre (and its holding company, Midwest BankCentre Inc.) as CEO, effective February 1, 2019, reports the St. L. American. He will remain a member of the bank board, on which he has served since 2015, and stay in his current role with United Way until then. Kimbrough becomes the region’s only African-American bank CEO. In a release, the bank said his appointment “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.” Midwest BankCentre CEO and Chairman Jim Watson stated, “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.” 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. “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.” 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.