Women to watch 2018: n ° 25, Patricia Kellerhals of Commerce Bank

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Executive Vice President, Head of Retail Banking, Commerce Bank

Patty Kellerhals has had her share of mentors and role models during her 41-year banking career, but few have influenced Commerce Bank’s retail banking director more than her own mother.

Kellerhals says her mother, Alice, was the center of her family and community and always raised her hand to organize events and take care of neighbors in need.

“She had a supporting personality and believed there was nothing she couldn’t face,” Kellerhals said in an interview posted to the Commerce blog earlier this year. “His typical response to any challenge was, ‘Well, let’s go.’ “

Kellerhals inherited that same fearless attitude and that’s why she’s been called upon for decades to lead big transformational projects in the now $ 24 billion asset bank.

From 1989, when Commerce first introduced personal computers to its branch offices, Kellerhals was tasked with teaching employees how to use them. Since then, she has overseen the launches and subsequent upgrades of all of the Kansas City, Missouri-based company’s online and mobile services for customers.

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In her current role, Kellerhals has been tasked with nothing less than reinventing the retail banking model of Commerce.

The effort was officially launched in 2014 and its primary goals were to generate new sources of revenue, boost customer and employee engagement, and use technology to improve efficiency and service delivery. At the start of the project, Kellerhals set a target of generating an additional $ 18.5 million in profits by 2018. She not only met the target a year ahead of schedule, but also nearly exceeded it. of $ 4 million.

Next step on Kellerhals’ base: develop a new strategy that defines the vision of five major consumer business sectors: retail, wealth management, payments, mortgages and small businesses. She is also overseeing the replacement of the bank’s 30-year-old core banking system.

Even while managing these various transformation projects, Kellerhals takes the time to engage with young employees and train the next generation of leaders. She recently sponsored a program called Banking on Millennials that allows employees in their 20s and 30s to share with senior leaders the financial challenges they face and come up with ideas on how banks could better serve them. She has also been the Executive Sponsor of a newly formed Women’s Resource Group whose mission is to create more networking and mentoring opportunities for aspiring women leaders.


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