CLAY COUNTY — If Northlanders bank at KCB Bank, last week the name changed to Academy Bank.

Paul Holewinski, president and CEO of Academy Bank, said the bank has been looking for ways to grow in Kansas City. Academy bought a bank in Johnson County three years ago which expanded the overall reach.

“We started looking for opportunities north of the river,” he said. “This merger now gives us 25 banking centers. From a cultural standpoint, we are family owned and have a long tradition of community banking. It’s a natural fit as KCB is similar. Simply put, it gives us some additional presence in the Northland bringing in new relationships and a chance for growth.”

Along with the two Kearney branches, there is a branch in Liberty, Gladstone and one in Bonner Springs, Kansas.

Holewinski said there will be very little change initially.

“The front-line folks, those associates that people come in and see, they will be there. The vast majority of employees will stay,” he said. “The product set will change for the better. This includes those options people seek such as a robust money market account. We are big adopters of technology.”

Academy Bank was one of the first in the Kansas City area to have interactive teller machines. This is where a live associate can interact with a customer by video.

“We will begin to deploy more of these,” he said. “We will have seven-days-a-week banking.”

Holewinski said Academy Bank leadership is committed to the community.

“Community involvement is key to forming relationships,” he said. “We are active supporters and we will take our lead from the KCB associates as to where we need to be involved. We are excited to be part of the Northland and to gain a more significant presence. We are focused on people, growth and see the merger as a good marriage with our organization.”

In addition to Smart ATM and mobile services for both personal and business clients, the merger gives all Academy Bank clients access to 25 locations across the metro. Academy Bank recently opened new retail banking centers in Overland Park, Kansas and in the Crossroads Arts District in downtown Kansas City. The bank also plans to open a retail banking center in Lenexa, Kansas next year.

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at or 389-6630.

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