Commerce Bank has been a great supporter of Central Exchange for many years with fantastic employee members and an informal partnership that benefited all. With a vision to further coordination efforts and make an impact on the community, Commerce Bank became a formal corporate partner several years ago.

“With our corporate partnership, we can be more strategic and have a more deliberate conversation,” says Shawna Wright, Commerce Bank Director of Talent Management. “We wanted to get more out of our participation with Central Exchange and be more coordinated.” Shawna has been with Commerce Bank for more than 20 years. From her initial role as a Benefits Assistant to leading in Talent Management, Shawna has evolved along with her organization. As a member of Central Exchange for many years, she’s also benefited from the programs and opportunities to network with others.

Offering opportunities to employees

Because Commerce Bank’s corporate partnership affords CX memberships to team members, the company has an application process for employees who want to be a part of our organization. For broader exposure to CX events, Commerce Bank also offers a separate small group of team members the opportunity to attend programs throughout the year.

“It’s good for our business to be involved in Central Exchange,” Shawna shares. “We’ve sponsored a program series to leverage our presence in the community.” In addition to getting team members involved, Commerce Bank also sees benefits in furthering relationships with Kansas City women leaders and entrepreneurs.

Learning at Midwest Leadership Summit

Shawna has attended the CX Midwest Leadership Summit, formerly Leadership Lyceum, for the last several years along with 20 other team members Commerce Bank sends to participate. “The program and the speakers at the conference are amazing,” Shawna exclaims. “They’re always very professional, inspiring and subject matter experts in various topics.”

With a variety of presenters and numerous breakout sessions, the Midwest Leadership Summit presents many learning opportunities for team members at Commerce Bank. “The information rings true to different people in different ways,” Shawna adds. “That’s really valuable to our associates that attend.”

Facilitating important conversations

One CX program that had a direct impact on Shawna was a Mental Health panel. “It was very intriguing and timely because I feel like it’s something that is significantly affecting members of the Kansas City community and across the nation,” Shawna says. “Not enough people are talking about the impact of mental health.”

From this program, Shawna took away valuable insights that she’s applied to the work she does now. “Working in talent management, it’s very applicable to the health and wellbeing of our team members,” Shawna comments, “but I think this program could be applied to anyone personally or professionally. ”

Aligned diversity and inclusion

With the shared goal of being a champion of women, Commerce Bank and Central Exchange are aligned in diversity and inclusion strategies. “We’ve found that our Central Exchange partnership is a really good opportunity to leverage our focus on women regarding development, leadership skills and networking,” Shawna notes. “Central Exchange is a perfect match and fills a gap to help us develop that group.”

In CX programming, Commerce Bank finds education that’s diverse enough to fit a lot of different personal development needs. “The programming is very well attended and beneficial,” Shawna says. “Central Exchange offers a more intimate and interactive experience. People actually get an opportunity to ask questions and talk about what they heard. That lends itself to further development.”

Team-Focused Culture

Central Exchange is proud to be in a partnership with Commerce Bank, an employer of choice in the Kansas City community. What sets them apart from other companies? The answer is surely the Commerce Bank culture. “We’ve been in business for 150 years,” Shawna shares, “But in the last 10 years, there’s been an amazing re-energizing of our culture. We are focused on our team members’ development to ensure that we are innovative, agile and prepared to face challenges that come our way.”

Shawna sees people thrive at Commerce Bank. “One of the primary reasons people tend to stay is because they see opportunities and continue to grow personally,” she says. “This focus and our culture is what tends to set us apart from other organizations.”

Thank you to Commerce Bank for their partnership with our community of empowered women. When we come together, the results are phenomenal. Join with the women of Kansas City and help us make a difference. Become a corporate partner of Central Exchange today.