Kappes retires from National Bank of CommerceAfter serving for 37 years at National Bank of Commerce, Larry L. Kappes, president and chief executive officer of the bank and NATCOM Bancshares Inc., its parent company, announced his retirement earlier this year. He began his current leadership role in 2002. Kappes’ last day of serving in that capacity is Dec. 31.
After serving for 37 years at National Bank of Commerce, Larry L. Kappes, president and chief executive officer of the bank and NATCOM Bancshares Inc., its parent company, announced his retirement earlier this year. He began his current leadership role in 2002. Kappes’ last day of serving in that capacity is Dec. 31.
Succeeding Kappes is Joseph M. Konradt who has been hired as chief executive officer of the bank and NATCOM Bancshares, Inc. He starts Nov. 30, 2009.
Konradt joins National Bank of Commerce from Liberty Bank in West Des Moines, Iowa, where he served as executive vice president, community banking with responsibility for 34 retail branches.
Joseph J. Till III, chairman of the board, called Kappes an “outstanding leader” who has guided the bank through some historic events.
“Larry’s retirement comes on the heels of the economic crisis, which the bank weathered with no interruption in services or products while maintaining its strong philosophy of helping the area’s communities in which we are located,” Till said. “That is a testament to Larry’s expertise.”
Changes for National Bank of Commerce during Kappes’ years of service included opening the first bank drive-through in Superior, acquiring offices in Solon Springs and Poplar, expanding the bank into Minnesota with offices in Duluth and Hermantown, acquiring Community Bank, adding digital banking with internet and cell phone technology, and growing the bank’s total assets to over $570 million.
“I know the next generation of officers will lead the bank in the same style that the bank has prided itself on over the years,” Kappes said. “I will leave knowing that National Bank of Commerce will continue to be the premier employer and lending institution in northeastern Wisconsin and northwestern Minnesota.”
Joining the bank in 1972, Kappes rose quickly through the ranks, attaining the positions of assistant cashier in 1974, assistant vice president in 1977, and vice president in 1980. He was named senior vice president/senior loan officer in 1996 and executive vice president/senior loan officer two years later.
Kappes was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2000 and interim president in 2002.
Till also expressed confidence in the bank’s new leader, Konradt.
“We are very fortunate to have Joe, with his vast breadth of experience, joining us as we evolve,” he said. “As a community bank with a rock solid core philosophy, we never faltered during the economic decline. Under Joe’s leadership, we will continue that philosophy as we progress to meet the near and long distance future needs of businesses and consumers.”
Maintaining the small bank feel while growing with needed services and products as the country moves forward is important to Konradt.
“I have worked in banks ranging from $70 million to $3.25 billion, and I am happy to be joining an organization where we’re big enough to meet our customer’s every banking need, yet not too big to still know everyone with whom we work,” he said.
Prior to his role as executive vice president, community banking, Konradt served as executive vice president, retail banking at Liberty Bank for two years. Before joining Liberty Bank, Konradt was president, retail banking for Guaranty Bank in Milwaukee, with responsibility for over 60 branches in Wisconsin and Illinois.
His 20-plus years with First Federal Capital Bank (now Associated Bank) in La Crosse, Wis., culminated with the position of executive vice president, community banking group.