First Missouri State Bank was the brain child 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 a 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 have both taken this belief to heart as Jay served as Mayor of Cape Girardeau from 2002-2010 and currently serves as a Board of Regent for Southeast Missouri State University, Chair-Elect for the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce and an Executive Officer for Southeast Health. Steve previously served as the Chairman of the Saint Francis Medical Center Foundation and currently serves as a Southeast Missouri State University Foundation Board Member and was recently appointed to the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
As we head into our second decade of operation, we have achieved many of the goals represented in our mission statement and look forward to reaching new heights as we strive to exceed our customers’ expectations.