Our Story

First Missouri State Bank was the brainchild of Steve Taylor and Jay Knudtson. Steve, a native of Cape Girardeau and a graduate of Cape Central High School and Southeast Missouri State University began his banking career in Dallas, Texas in 1982. There he worked for the predecessors of JP Morgan Chase. Taylor served in various positions in credit, commercial lending, branch management and mortgage banking. Steve returned to Cape Girardeau in 1998 to serve as the Market President for Bank of America.

Jay Knudtson, a native of Minnesota, attended and played baseball for the University of Minnesota. He also graduated from the Colorado Graduate School of Banking. He began his banking career in 1989 with Fleet Mortgage Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Shortly after this Jay relocated to Cape Girardeau to open a branch for Fleet. In 1991, he joined Boatmen’s Bank where he served in various lending and management positions, rising to the rank of Senior Vice President.

It was after the Boatmen’s / Bank of America merger that Taylor and Knudtson forged their professional relationship. In 2002, with the desire to return to community banking they began working with Gaylon Lawrence, Sr. and Gaylon Lawrence, Jr. to establish a new bank based in Cape Girardeau with the focus of serving Cape Girardeau County. The Lawrence family who has other banking interests in Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee provided the capital and on November 12, 2002 First Missouri State Bank opened.

Both Steve and Jay believe that commitment to their community is an essential key to the success of any organization. They both have taken this belief to heart as Jay served as Mayor of Cape Girardeau from 2002-2010 and as a Board of Regent for Southeast Missouri State University. He also serves on the State of Missouri Banking and Savings and Loan Board. Steve previously served as the Chairman of the Saint Francis Medical Center Foundation and Missouri Bankers Association Board Member. He currently serves as a Southeast Missouri State University Foundation Board Member.

Mission Statement

We are a community bank committed to providing high quality service to our customers, an excellent working environment for our employees, and are actively involved in the communities that we serve.

Reputation Focused

To be considered by the community as a progressive, competitive, and sound local bank.

Core Values

Financially Responsible Lending

To have exemplary credit quality including quality loan underwriting, monitoring, and collections with minimal non-performing, non-earning assets and losses.

Highly Rated

To achieve satisfactory ratings from regulatory authorities.

Community Involved

To ensure the officers and employees of the bank are involved in causes and organizations for the betterment of our community.

Supportive of Senior Citizens

To provide a program of bank services and social activities for our customers age 55 and older.

Small Business Friendly

To provide credit and deposit products to support small business owners in our community.

Home Ownership Minded

To be the premier residential lending bank with new construction programs and permanent mortgage loans that support community growth and home ownership.

Challenging of Associates

Strive to maximize the potential of all associates for the betterment of the bank and the fulfillment of the associates.

Progressive and Visionary

To set goals that challenge the status quo and create an environment of strategic and productive planning.

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