Rob Fulp, a prominent Springfield banker and community booster, has joined Great Southern Bank as regional managing director of commercial lending for markets in Springfield, southwest Missouri and Arkansas.
Fulp, 65, is coming off a two-year retirement from the banking industry. His career has spanned more than 40 years in the Springfield market. He last served as president and CEO for 10 years at Springfield First Community Bank, now Guaranty Bank, until his retirement in 2021.
In a press release April 5, Great Southern President and CEO Joe Turner said, “We are excited that Rob has joined the Great Southern team. Rob is an excellent banker and we have long respected his work in the Springfield market. It is nice to call Rob a teammate, instead of a friendly competitor. Great Southern and our customers will greatly benefit from Rob’s leadership and expertise.”
In the press release, Fulp said: “Being away from the industry for two years definitely underscored that my passion for banking and serving customers runs deep. I’m more than ready to get back to work and appreciate the encouragement of others in helping make this decision. Working for a locally headquartered institution with a strong community focus was a priority. Great Southern, along with its strength and scope, made this a great fit for the next phase of my banking career.”
An Aurora native and graduate of Missouri State University, Fulp has been working part time since mid-2001 as an executive in residence in MSU’s College of Business, along with some other work as a financial adviser.
He also has been busy as board chairman of CoxHealth Systems, leading the board last spring in selecting Max Buetow as the new president and CEO.
Buetow credited Fulp’s leadership and mentorship as “one of the key reasons I feel like I’ve been able to get up to speed as quickly as I have.” In an interview with the Springfield Daily Citizen, Buetow said that Fulp “personally and professionally poured himself into me” and that they continue to meet for breakfast every other week.
“I’ve been working off Rob Fulp’s community reputation … since Day 1 in this position,” Buetow said, adding he particularly admires the “personal characteristics that Rob has in the way that he seeks to serve others.”
Clif Smart, president of MSU, which has a close relationship with Great Southern (including naming rights for the 11,000-seat campus arena), said he was especially “happy for my friend Rob. This is great for him, the university and Great Southern Bank. I look forward to growing our partnership as we all work to make our community an even better place.”
Fulp’s support of local civic and charitable activities spans decades. He is or has previously served as a board member of the Springfield-Branson National Airport, trustee of the Missouri State University Foundation, executive advisory board chairman of the Missouri State University College of Business, advisory board committee member of the Every Child Promise and board trustee of the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks.
Honors and accolades include the State of Missouri’s Missourian Award, the Missouri Governor’s Silent Hero Award and the Missouri State University Golden Bear Award.
Great Southern, based in Springfield, has total assets of $5.7 billion and offers a broad range of banking services to commercial and consumer customers. The company operates 91 retail banking centers in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Arkansas and Nebraska, and commercial loan production offices in Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Omaha, Nebraska; Phoenix and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Great Southern Bancorp is a public company and its common stock (ticker: GSBC) is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
The company is regularly rated among the top banks in the country. It ranked No. 9 among U.S. banks on the 2022 Forbes annual list of the World’s Best Banks. In 2021, Great Southern was the No. 1 U.S. bank and No. 2 overall.
Editor’s note: Great Southern Bank is one of the founding donors and sponsors of the Springfield Daily Citizen. Thomas J. Carlson, founder and chairman of the Daily Citizen board, has been a director of the Great Southern Board since 2001.