Leading the Way in Finance: Lead Bank in Kansas City

Written by Natalie Christie McGovern  /  Photos by Jami Marshall

Lead Bank is a cut above the rest in the financial industry of the Kansas City community. A recipient of the prestigious 2018 Mr. K Award for showcasing business growth and sustainability, positive company culture, and a record for giving back to the community, Lead Bank is proud to be the only bank in the country led by women


For 90 years it has served as an independent commercial bank dedicated to delivering smart financial solutions for business owners, managers, their families, and communities. With a new flagship location in Kansas City’s KC Crossroads District, a new era of banking is being introduced to clients.

CEO Joshua Rowland—a former commercial litigator—took over operations in 2005. With a redirection in branding in 2010 and a mission to serve both the rural and suburban communities, Lead Bank has paved the way for best banking services and created a focus on helping minorities and women with their financial needs. A third location was opened in 2015 in the Crossroads District with this innovative approach at the forefront. “This location was purposely designed to unite the expertise, experience, and technology with the people behind the inspired businesses taking Kansas City into tomorrow,” says Rowland.


Lead Bank reflects its overall ambition to help clients and communities, and is recognized as an innovator in the financial industry through a national online banking and lending presence. Their venture credit business has established them as key influencers in venture capital and technology in Kansas. Technology is paramount, and is harnessed for the wider community so it is readily accessible for public use.

Lead Bank works with clients one on one to help them succeed financially. At the Crossroads branch, Lead Bank provides interactive workstations and video conferencing to help local business owners succeed. “We recognize that only by viewing others with compassion, openness, and imagination are we able to achieve the understanding needed to be a dependable partner in the success of Kansas City,” says Rowland. “Only by being nimble in our actions can we break out of complacency to embark on innovations that will create and inspire success.”

Lead Bank’s vision has spread to other projects as well. Kansas City has around $1 billion in city contracts, but only 10 percent of local contractors bid on the projects. This is due to a lack of funding to bid and complete the projects. Because of this problem, Lead Bank has created a Civic Contractor Funding Program. Through this program, they have provided $18 million in credit for local contractors, $6.6 million in credit for other related contracts, and $875,000 for the KC Single Terminal Airport Project.

The KC Single Terminal Airport Project selected Lead Bank to provide financing to disadvantaged women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses. Lead Bank also supports community initiatives such as Edgemoor’s Pay Without Delay program, which helps minority businesses, women-owned businesses, small local businesses, and veteran-owned subcontractors get paid within 14 days of submitting invoices. 

Small businesses often miss out on bid opportunities because of lack of capital. This airport funding plan, which was created for small businesses that include women- and minority-owned firms, will provide the opportunity to be a part of bettering Kansas City. 

Lead Bank also prides itself in putting forth philanthropic efforts by supporting the arts and organizations in KC such as the KC Symphony Happy Hour Concert Series and the Kansas City Art Institute Lead Emerging Artist Program (LEAP). Humanitarian efforts are also crucial in the culture Lead Bank cultivates. Lead Bank’s staff finds ways to become actively involved in the community by serving more than 35 organizations. Community efforts are focused on the wellbeing of women and children in crisis through organizations such as MOSCA Women’s Employment Network, The Child Protection Center, CASA, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. In addition, they extend knowledge to small business owners and startups.

“By keeping our promise to take time to hear about our clients’ goals and needs, we are able to help them meet those goals,” explains Rowland. “As a community bank, it’s our responsibility to do the right thing.”

Lead Bank • www.lead.bank • 866.845.9545

Kansas City / 1801 Main St., Kansas City, MO • Lee’s Summit / 9019 MO-7, Lee’s Summit, MO • Garden City / 200 N. 3rd St., Garden City, MO

Suzanne Steiner