Bank History

As of April 12, 2017

Adams Dairy Bank was founded on the cusp of the largest financial collapse in 70 years and built a strong foundation despite devastating economic times. In the early years for Adams Dairy Bank, the economic situation of the country and its citizens was shaky. Businesses and consumers tightened their budgets while reeling from the effects of the financial crisis. Banks struggled for stability and made cuts. Large and small banks alike started charging fees for services that had traditionally been provided for free. Many institutions sacrificed customer service to retain profits. Adams Dairy Bank, focused on providing an “udderly fun” banking experience. While other banks failed, Adams Dairy Bank added associates, served thousands of hot dogs to Blue Springs residents, and gave hundreds of service hours to the local community all while continually increasing profits. The bank’s reputation for individualized customer support and community service is unparalleled in the local Blue Springs area and a national rarity. However, this success did not come easily.

The Founding of Adams Dairy Bank

Adams Dairy Bank gained its Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) charter on January 3, 2008, but its story begins over a year before. At this time, Blue Springs was growing rapidly along the Missouri Highway 7 and Adams Dairy Bank Parkway corridors. The city’s development was in full swing and the construction of new shopping centers, neighborhoods, and restaurants was underway. What Blue Springs didn’t have was a true community bank. In fact, Blue Springs had relatively few banks at the time.

“There were two to three times the number of banking locations in Lee’s Summit as in Blue Springs. Lee’s Summit wasn’t that much bigger,” said David Chinnery, President, CEO and Founder. Blue Springs was heavily invested in its high schools, youth athletics, scouting, and community, but no bank existed to match those priorities.

“You used to see everyone in the parking lot of Blue Springs Bank before a Friday evening out. Blue Springs no longer had a place like that once Blue Springs Bank was acquired some 20 years ago,” remembered Brad Scott, former Board Chairman.

David recognized this void. A long-time area resident, he was deeply involved with Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, and other community organizations. David dreamed of creating a true relationship-based bank since the turn of the century, and the new area developments in Blue Springs provided a special opportunity. In late 2006, David met Stan Ricketts, President of Capital Bancorp Midwest and Chairman of two other banks. David discussed his idea for a true relationship-based bank in Blue Springs and Stan strongly supported the idea.

Capital Bancorp and the First Board (Late 2006)

David was Branch Manager at First Community Bank in Lee’s Summit when he met Stan. David, a natural leader, was deeply involved in the local community and excited to take on the challenges of being a bank President & CEO. Stan worked for Capital Bancorp, a bank holding company that specialized in creating and supporting local banks. By 2007, Capital Bancorp had helped over 40 community banks open their doors across the country.

Capital Bancorp provided backroom support (auditing, software, IT, payroll and other services) that allowed local bankers to focus on their customers and vision. David and prospective investors liked the idea of retaining full control of the customer experience while benefiting from Capital Bancorp’s support. The partnership provided a good mix of what Adams Dairy Bank values: modern technology and efficiency alongside traditional community banking.

Capital Bancorp agreed to provide the capital and support while David gathered a group of local directors. David searched for local directors that were committed to bringing Adams Dairy Bank to Blue Springs. He sought business leaders intimately involved with the community and local economy. The initial board included Craig Brandon, David Chinnery, William “Bill” Essmann, Gregory Jacobson, Cathy Lincoln, Craig Montgomery, Stan Ricketts, Brad Scott and William “Bill” Wrisinger.

Forming the Team (Early 2007)

David set out to form the Adams Dairy Bank team starting with his colleagues at First Community Bank. He immediately knew that Cheyanne Reed, a longtime friend and fellow banking associate, would be a strong asset for the new bank. Cheyanne was David’s first boss in his banking career and they continued working together for over a decade. Her banking experience, energy and integrity compelled David to identify her as a leading partner. She was hesitant at first, but David was persistent.

“You know David; he can be very convincing… I also never thought I would have an opportunity like this,” said Cheyanne. She joined the team in early 2007.

Duston Weisenborn was a junior at the University of Central Missouri (UCM) when he was recruited for the Adams Dairy Bank team. He worked at First Community Bank under David as a teller while studying finance at UCM. He was juggling 30-hour work weeks as a full-time student his junior year. As time went on, Duston’s role at First Community Bank expanded and he eventually became a loan officer.

David recognized Duston’s great personal skills and strong work ethic.

“I thought he was joking when he asked me to start a bank,” recalled Duston. David was not joking. “A few days before we left First Community, David came to me and asked if I wanted to leave to start a new bank. I said ‘yes.’ He said to go home and think about it. I walked away and came back five minutes later with a firm ‘yes.’” Duston helped form Adams Dairy Bank as a junior at UCM and became a founding member before graduation.

The day after David, Duston, and Cheyanne left First Community Bank, they entered the “war room” to start building Adams Dairy Bank.

The “War Room” (2007)

On February 21, 2007, David and Duston picked up a folding table and some chairs to furnish their new office and met Cheyanne at Summit Bank of Kansas City in Lee’s Summit. Summit Bank, another Capital Bancorp bank, offered a small room where the team could plan the future bank. That small room became known as the “war room,” and was where hundreds of decisions were made that still influence Adams Dairy Bank to this day.

The room was sparse. There was only one desk with a comfortable desk chair that were quickly claimed by Cheyanne. Duston and David shared the folding table and chairs. The walls were plastered with easel papers displaying potential loan customers, deposit customers, board members, and bank principles. The three of them shared a phone and communicated by post-it notes (dubbed “emails” by David) in the office.

Due to the constraints of the “war room,” meetings with potential customers and shareholders took place in various homes, restaurants and parking lots. Cheyanne remembered her visits to meet with shareholders fondly. “Some of my favorite memories are times from the earliest days. Selling bank stock and carrying a copy machine in my car, getting lost trying to find a customer’s home or workplace, eating chili with the guys at the firehouse, and walking into a fast food place feeling like I was going on a blind date. I always told the prospective shareholder I would be the one with a white orchid in my hair.”

When banking questions would arise, Duston would present them to his professors. “I was still a student at the time and would ask my professors really specific questions about banking while in class,” he recalled. Duston would leave UCM, change into work attire, and call David daily to figure out whom he needed to meet and what he needed to collect on his way to the office. The team was constantly on the move.

The Ultrax Months (January 2008 – April 2008)

As two FDIC approved banks could not reside in the same building, David began searching for alternative locations. Cathy Lincoln, a founding board Director, offered David and the team a room in the Ultrax Aerospace office/warehouse in Lee’s Summit. The team accepted and began moving in while awaiting FDIC approval. It was a busy holiday season for David, Cheyanne and Duston. The bank acquired a vault, coin-counting machine, server and other essentials needed to provide full service to customers.

Adams Dairy Bank received FDIC approval to open on January 3, 2008, and became a fully accredited bank. The “cash cow” was finally on the move. Fourteen million dollars of loans from longtime customers of David’s were immediately and officially transferred to Adams Dairy Bank. The bank was off to a quick start at its temporary office/warehouse location.

During the months in the office/warehouse at Ultrax Aerospace, the bank expanded quickly. The team would still visit customers off-site to accept deposits, sign loans and perform regular business. “We always offered to meet the customers elsewhere because we thought for sure they wouldn’t bank with us if they saw our temporary office/warehouse,” explained Duston. “One day a couple called us and they were at our office/warehouse. We came out to meet them, sure we wouldn’t get their business, but they listened to our ideas and we ended the day with two new customers.”

The final preparations for the official bank building on Adams Dairy Bank Parkway were completed in March 2008. The ATM and drive thru were built into the side of the building and the office layout was decided. Furniture and equipment were installed as the move-in date neared. On April 15, 2008, all systems were put in place and the official bank building opened. Adams Dairy Bank was now part of the growing corridor of Adams Dairy Bank Parkway.

Why Adams Dairy Bank Parkway?

Back when the bank was still a distant concept, the team spent hours searching Blue Springs for the best location. The location needed to be easily accessible to customers, have high visibility and be large enough to fit with the bank’s growth projections.

“As soon as I saw the empty land off I-70 and Adams Dairy Bank Parkway I liked it,” stated David. “When we ran the traffic and exposure numbers it just made sense.” The location allowed for easy access from I-70, Missouri 7 and Adams Dairy Bank Parkway. It was visible to potential customers and was a convenient location for a 24-hour ATM.

Capital Bancorp initially pushed for a more traditional location suited for commercial clients, but David and the board were convinced that the Adams Dairy Bank Parkway and Coronado Drive location represented a special opportunity to work with customers and interact with the community. By 2008, Adams Dairy Bank had a contract for leasing the east side of the building and began installing an ATM. The location was within a mile of new major shopping developments in Blue Springs. Once Adams Dairy Bank began operating near Adams Dairy Bank Parkway, the growth was immediate.

Growth on Adams Dairy Bank Parkway (March 2008 – April 2008)

The location was worth the wait. In March 2008, the month before the Adams Dairy Bank Parkway location opened, Adams Dairy Bank added only nine new accounts. The following month in April, the bank opened another 53. The location provided a huge boost to the bank and the “cash cow” entered a growth spurt. By November, six months after opening on Adams Dairy Bank Parkway, the bank had 525 accounts. Lending was growing particularly fast. Loan totals had doubled since the January opening. Almost all loans were made to local customers, citizens of Blue Springs and surrounding areas. Together with the bank’s growth, the team continued to grow as well.

Adams Dairy Bank wasn’t the only thing growing; Blue Springs was blossoming too. Money Magazine ranked the city as one of the “Top 100 Places to Live in the U.S.” Families flocked to the growing Kansas City suburb, lured by affordable housing and schools with stellar reputations for some of the highest math and reading scores in Missouri. Residents enjoyed an expansive city park system and low property taxes. Businesses opened in the area to meet the growing population’s needs.

The Early Years on Adams Dairy Bank Parkway (April 2008 – May 2009)

The 2008 financial crisis hit less than a year after the bank’s founding, a setback that would prove challenging for banks throughout the country. Hundreds of banks failed in the coming years and even the largest banks struggled to maintain solvency. The importance of conservative banking was brought into focus. The principles on which Adams Dairy Bank was founded were tested.

Stan Ricketts served as Chairman of the Board and, with the rest of the board and executive team, led the bank through the worst of the crisis. Adams Dairy Bank developed correspondences during this time to increase its lending ability and available funds. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Midwest Independent Bank, the United Bankers Bank and The Independent Bankers Bank were all added as correspondent banks and many remain important partners of Adams Dairy Bank today. (A correspondent bank increases lending capacity to borrowers and opportunities for a bank to expand relationships while mitigating regulatory concerns and risk.) The bank also received its Federal Reserve Intraday Credit Designation during the early years, which enabled it to borrow federal funds overnight. For his work with the community and the bank, David was nominated as the Blue Springs area’s Outstanding Business Person of the Year in 2008.

Community service has always been an important part of Adams Dairy Bank. Hot Dog Saturdays started in 2008 and Duston began giving bank tours to Boy and Girl Scout troops. Every Saturday from Labor Day to Memorial Day, Adams Dairy Bank served hot dogs to anyone who stopped by and asked for one. Since 2009, Adams Dairy has given away thousands of hot dogs to community members. On Saturdays in the fall and spring, the bank welcomed hundreds of Boy and Girl Scout visitors interested in learning how banks operate.

Through these early years Adams Dairy Bank focused on expanding its value to customers. The bank implemented Real Time Processing (RTP) in early 2009 to make budgeting and money tracking easier for customers as they faced their own personal economy-related issues. RTP updates customers’ available credit immediately after expenditures to make online banking more useful. This also increased security of accounts to counter identity theft and other dangers. New technologies to support customers were supplemented by new strategies to reach potential customers.

In 2008, Adams Dairy Bank hired EAG Advertising & Marketing to develop a marketing strategy for the Jackson and Lafayette County area. The bank, with EAG, began producing newsletters in Spring 2009. These newsletters included “David’s Two Cents,” an editorial by David in which he communicates the bank’s mission and goals and how the current economic environment affects the community. They also featured valued customer profiles, community event information and an overview of important happenings at the Bank.

In January 2009, Adams Dairy Bank had reached $30 million in loans and held more than 200 loans to local customers. The bank doubled in size since its opening and became a feature of the Blue Springs community. Stan Ricketts and Capital Bancorp were essential in this early and rapid growth, but it soon became apparent that full local ownership was necessary to achieve the level of community involvement Adams Dairy Bank desired. In May 2009, Stan left the board and Bill Wrisinger was elected as Chairman of the Board. A series of internal changes were initiated for Adams Dairy Bank to become a locally owned bank under Bill’s chairmanship.

Becoming a Fully Local Bank (May 2009 – October 2011)

Since the bank’s founding, Capital Bancorp was the bank’s majority shareholder. Capital Bancorp had been instrumental in the bank’s formation, but they were not locally based. David and the directors determined that buying out the holding company, becoming 100% locally owned, and partnering with local firms would enhance the bank’s integration into its community. “It became clear that we were better able to serve our customers if we ran everything in house,” explained David. “Full local ownership and full control of our backroom operations allowed us to better pursue our objective: personal relationships with customers and the community.”

The process of turning Adams Dairy Bank into a locally owned bank began in 2009 and came to a conclusion on August 30, 2010. The process was difficult and time consuming, but proved worthwhile. The bank’s fall newsletter announced that the bank was entirely locally owned and all profits would go straight back into the bank. Despite many changes behind the scenes the transition away from Capital Bancorp did not slow the bank’s growth and by mid-2010 the bank had more than 1,000 deposit accounts.

Bill’s chairmanship also oversaw many changes to the board and the Adams Dairy Bank team. Duston Weisenborn and Kevin Vogt assumed larger roles. Kevin became the Assistant Vice President & Controller and Duston became an Assistant Vice President in addition to his loan officer role. With the addition of new shareholders, participants in the buyout of Capital Bancorp became new board members.

Adams Dairy Bank welcomed Young Sexton and David Kim to the board of directors. Young, owner of WingGate Travel and a Kansas City area investor, shared her knowledge and experience of leading multiple companies in Kansas City. David, a Kansas City-based businessman and Harvard-educated attorney, provided important feedback on policies and decisions in a changing regulatory environment. Both have served as important advisors. Also key in the Capital Bancorp buyout, was a new investment from Carroll County Trust Company from Carrollton, Missouri.

In October 2011, Bill left the board – in Bill’s two years, the bank became fully locally owned, completely in control of its own processes and backroom procedures, and considerably more influential in Blue Springs.

Continued Growth & New Hurdles (2012-2015)

In October 2011, Brad Scott was elected as Chairman of the Board. Brad was the former regional director of the General Services Administration and was leading a very large lake development project in Milan, Missouri. By the end of October, Adams Dairy Bank had 250 current loans and was well on its way to 1,500 deposit accounts. Adams Dairy Bank customers, much like many of the board members, almost all resided in or near Eastern Jackson County. The vast majority of new account and lending customers were referrals from within the community who had taken notice of Adams Dairy Bank’s commitment and involvement in the community. This reputation had spread to other neighboring Kansas City areas like Clay and Johnson Counties.

This success sparked an interest in expanding the team to enhance customer service for the bank’s growing customer base. By June 2012, the bank was lending $40 million worth of loans to local customers. During this period, the bank’s regulator changed from the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Following these changes, Adams Dairy Bank made the strategic decision to convert to a Missouri State Chartered Bank, as these institutions fall more in line with Adams Dairy Bank’s locally focused mission and operations.

In September 2012, Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, appointed David to the Investment Advisory Committee made up of investment professionals and bankers from around the state. The appointment was a badge of industry-wide acceptance and gave him another opportunity to work with investment professionals in the area. “The banking and investment community benefits greatly from working closely with the Treasurer’s office and I appreciate the chance to be a part of that process,” stated David.  The position also allowed David to gather ideas to provide better service to customers and better profitability to shareholders.

2015 and Beyond

Cathy Lincoln was elected as Chairman of the Board in May 2015. Cathy, a founding Adams Dairy Bank board member, offered invaluable experience and knowledge of the bank. As a retired pharmaceutical representative, Cathy was familiar with small businesses. Additionally, she served as a key player in the growth and success of the business her husband founded, Ultrax Aerospace.

Adams Dairy Bank also welcomed back a founding associate, Duston Weisenborn, as Vice President & Chief Credit Officer. Duston’s return would again guide Adams Dairy Bank and facilitate the rapid growth.

The banking and business community continued to recognize Adams Dairy Bank for its achievements. Adams Dairy Bank earned its first 5-Star Rating from BauerFinancial. The highest possible rating that a bank is well capitalized, consistently profitable, and has a strong asset base. In August 2015, Ingram’s Magazine named Adams Dairy Bank KC’s 77th Fastest Growing Company.

Additionally, in 2015, Adams Dairy Bancshares, Inc. was formed as the holding company for Adams Dairy Bank. By the end of 2015, Adams Dairy Bank surpassed the $100,000,000 asset mark ahead of plan.

In March 2016 Adams Dairy Bank finalized the purchase of the entire building in which it occupied. This purchase further secured Adams Dairy Bank’s dedication to the Blue Springs community. Additionally, the purchase allowed for continued improvements, growth opportunities, and expansion.

Adams Dairy Bank continued to receive praise after earning, for the second year in a row, another a 5-Star Rating by BauerFinancial, Inc. Additionally, David Chinnery was selected as a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 award in the Central Midwest. This awards program recognized entrepreneurs who demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

2017 is off to a strong start for Adams Dairy Bank earning another 5-Star Rating by BauerFinancial, Inc. Growth projections remain high as the leadership continues to look forward to a strong future. Perhaps more importantly, Adams Dairy Bank is fulfilling its true mission to serve the community via relationship-banking.

According to a recent biennial customer satisfaction survey, customers overwhelmingly believe personal customer service and friendly bank associates are most important to them. And they ranked Adams Dairy Bank “excellent” when compared with other banks. For the 10 most important attributes customers seek in their bank, Adams Dairy Bank has earned an “excellent” rating.