Member News: November 2021

Member News is a monthly blog post dedicated to sharing Chamber members’ upcoming events or major news. If you have something to share, email the Chamber’s Director of Communications and Marketing, Caitlin Ferguson, at caitlin@comochamber.com.

Austin Hawkins

First Midwest Bank is pleased to announce Austin Hawkins has assumed the position of Mortgage Loan Officer in the Columbia, Missouri market.

“I am excited to join the First Midwest family and to serve the mortgage needs of our customers,” said Hawkins. “Having relocated from California, I think Columbia is a wonderful community, and I look forward to helping others make their dream home a reality here.”

Hawkins joins First Midwest Bank with 15 years of experience in Sales and Customer Service and 5+ years of experience in the mortgage industry.

“I am looking forward to expanding our team here at First Midwest in Columbia with the addition of Austin. His background in customer service combined with his mortgage experience makes him a great fit for this position,” said Wes Parks, Community Bank President at First Midwest in Columbia.


In the month of October, Assistance League of Mid-Missouri celebrates the 25th anniversary of Operation School Bell® philanthropic program. The program provides new clothing for Columbia Public School elementary students identified by school personnel. Studies show that youngsters achieve at higher academic levels, experience greater self-esteem, and attend school more regularly when they feel good about their appearance.

Assistance League members select new clothing items from a shopping list prepared by parents. Items include four tops, two pants, socks, underwear, and a warm coat. In addition, each child receives gloves and a scarf (many hand-knitted) and a hygiene kit.

Since its inception in 1996, Operation School Bell has dressed over 27,000 students with a budget of $2,442,000. More than 45,000 hours have been given by volunteers to administer the program which is one of the 120 programs in the National Assistance League organization.

From its beginning in 1992, the Assistance League chapter has given more than $5.7 million to the community in goods and services. Volunteers have donated over 810 thousand hours serving more than 186 thousand people in our community.


On October 8, honored members of the Columbia community gathered to celebrate Monarch Title Company’s 20 years in business at the downtown Columbia office. CEO and President, Chuck Bowman, former Mizzou football Coach Gary Pinkel, and State Senator Sandy Crawford were all in attendance. 

The event kicked off with a ribbon cutting celebrating the recent change in ownership. Chuck and Pam Bowman became owners in January 2020. Following the ribbon cutting, State Senator Sandy Crawford presented the Senate Resolution making October 7th Monarch Title Anniversary Day. However, her attendance and relationship with Monarch Title Company means so much more to the future of the title insurance industry.

In 2020 Senator Crawford played an integral role in passing HB1655, also known as the Remote Online Notarization Bill. She wasn’t alone in advocating for this bill. Together with Chuck and Pam Bowman as well as support from House Representative Hannah Kelly and other MLTA advocates, the bill was passed into law in May 2020.

Remote Online Notarization allows for official documents to be signed by a notary in an audio-visual call with the signee. The person requesting the notarization has to show proof of identity virtually. 

Thanks to Remote Online Notarization, Monarch has had two long-distance closings and are looking forward to more. “We’re proud to not only be in the industry for 20 years, but to be innovators in it,” said Bowman.


Alisha Moreland
Angela Gillette

The Callaway Bank is proud to announce the promotion of two members of its team, Alisha Moreland and Angela Gillette, to Assistant Vice President.

Moreland joined The Callaway Bank in the spring of 2020 as Marketing Manager, where her creative marketing and communication skills along with her extensive bank acumen provided significant support to the Marketing team.

As Core Banking Manager, Gillette oversees the Bank’s primary software system, enhancements and applications while providing technical/operating support to people throughout the Bank.

Please join The Callaway Bank in congratulating these two standout employees on their achievements!


The Callaway Bank recently committed $25,000 to support the Ranken Technical College project in the Southern Boone area. “We fully support the overall goal of preparing people with necessary skills to be successful,” stated President & CEO Kim Barnes at the check presentation in Ashland. “As an independent community leader, it is crucial that we do our part to bring such opportunities to the central Missouri area.”

This facility, once completed, will spur job creation, and attract private investment to southern Boone County, as the school will graduate more than 140 job-ready individuals each year. Ranken is a private technical college based in St. Louis, Missouri. It offers programs in five main divisions: Automotive, Electrical, Construction, Information Technology, and Manufacturing. The school currently has a student body consisting of approximately 2,300 students. 

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300 S Providence Rd
PO Box 1016
Columbia, Mo 65205