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Kelly Stewart named vice-president at local Gateway First Bank

Kelly Stewart takes great pride in being a finance and lending professional, a field he’s worked in for over 27 years. He got his start at a bank in Alva, and over the years has become an expert in product development, perfection, cash flow, structure and risk. He’s been successful in his career by living by the golden rule in every aspect of his job, which is to treat others as you’d like to be treated.

Stewart was recently promoted to Vice President Senior Lending Officer for Banking Operations in Northwest Oklahoma, an area he’s served for more than 28 years.

“Kelly brings next level commitment to providing quality service to customers with years of financial institutions leadership experience,” said Loren Rieger, Market President for Northwest Oklahoma. “He and his team will no doubt deliver on Gateway’s commitment to being a better way to bank and further strengthen the local communities we serve and support.”

Stewart joined Gateway in 2019 when Gateway Mortgage merged with Farmers Exchange to form Gateway First Bank. He’s well versed in commercial and personal lending, loan portfolio management, customer service and customer retention. In his new role, he’ll oversee lending operations for the Cherokee branch and Northwest Oklahoma and will support efforts to bring in new bank client business while cultivating relationships with current customers.

As a proud husband of 28 years and father to seven children, many embarking on successful college careers in medicine and mechanics, Stewart understands the importance of teamwork and recognizes that good communication and guidance are crucial for his team to succeed. He values commitment, conviction, character, and attitude, qualities he knows are key to retaining current customers and developing new customer relationships. And he wants a team that stays poised to learn new things.

“Like with my own family, I believe in discipline and treating others fairly.  I’ve found success as a banking professional because I believe in keeping a positive team atmosphere that always stays ready to learn,” he said.  “Cherokee is a small, rural community and our business and reputation is only as good as the character we present. The little things go so far. But we have an incredible team, many who have worked in banking for many, many years who understand the value of service, honesty, and fair treatment. It’s how we stay competitive.”

Stewart and his team want to represent Gateway in the best possible way and ensure we maintain a high level of integrity with our customers.  Customers, especially those from smaller communities, appreciate the “extra mile” service efforts from our team in helping them reach their goals. It shows we truly care about the community and the needs of our customers.

The Northwest Oklahoma team (Cherokee, Helena, Nash, Tonkawa and Wakita) have over 100 years of lending experience between each location. The team understand the needs of our customers.  And they know how to get involved and make a difference in the lives of those who live and thrive in the community.   

“I’m thrilled to lead this team and make good on Gateway’s commitment to providing excellent service to the Cherokee community and Northwest Oklahoma. There’s so much opportunity to expand our financial footprint and I look forward to making great things happen with my team’s help,” Stewart said.

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