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Newspaper with tablet on wooden table

Newspaper with tablet on wooden table


Headshots of Joe Thomas, Mike Smith, Michelle Merkel, Terri Roberts, Hadley DeFraia, Yvonne Duesterhaus and Gerald Jump Janes


Chief Executive Officer Joe Thomas is celebrating 25 years with HOMEBANK. In addition to his role as CEO at HOMEBANK, he serves as director for Home Bank of California in San Diego, CA, as well as vice president of the Webb Company. A Monroe City native, Thomas started in the banking industry in 1984 as a loan officer at Citizens Bank of Edina. He accepted the position of executive vice president of Palmyra State Bank in 1995. Under his leadership, Bank of Quincy was founded in 1999 then merged with Palmyra State Bank in 2015 into HOMEBANK. Thomas also orchestrated the bank’s expansions to Canton, Centralia, Mexico, and St. Louis.

Mike Smith is celebrating 20 years at HOMEBANK. With seven years of banking and finance experience, Smith started with the bank in 2000 as a mortgage and consumer lender. He was promoted to senior vice president in 2015, and he added commercial real estate and business loans to his areas of expertise in 2017.

Michelle Merkel is celebrating 20 years with the bank. Born and raised in Palmyra, Merkel has a deep sense of pride in her community and she is well known for her volunteer work, having previously served as president of the board and a tireless volunteer for the Palmyra Chamber of Commerce. Merkel started at Palmyra State Bank in 2000 as a loan clerk and has since moved to the loan servicing department. She also organizes special events for the Palmyra branch.

Terri Roberts is also celebrating 20 years with the bank. She started as a teller at Palmyra State Bank in 2000 and served as assistant branch manager at the bank’s West Quincy location for two years before returning to Palmyra to serve in the Document Imaging Department. In 2008, she accepted additional responsibility as the bank’s security officer. Roberts was promoted to assistant vice president in 2015 and to vice president in 2019.

Hadley DeFraia is celebrating 10 years with HOMEBANK. DeFraia started as a Customer Service Representative in 2010. She was progressively given more duties and her success led her to the Internet Banking Department and her current position as director of digital & payment strategies. She was promoted to senior vice president in 2020.

Yvonne Duesterhaus is celebrating 10 years with the bank. Duesterhaus brought a secretarial degree from Gem City College, banking experience and human resources experience to her position in 2010. She is a customer service representative in the drive-up lane at the 12th and Broadway HOMEBANK.  She also oversees supply inventory for the 12th Street branch.

Gerald ‘Jump’ Janes is celebrating 10 years with HOMEBANK. Janes is the custodian for the Palmyra location, working overnight to clean and perform small repair work.  In 2020, Janes has been instrumental in keeping the bank staff and customers healthy with his extra sanitation efforts.

Congratulations to all!



HOMEBANK in Lake St. Louis, MO


HOMEBANK Chief Executive Officer Joe Thomas is pleased to announce the opening of the ninth HOMEBANK branch in the Lake St. Louis, MO, area at 2813 West Terra Lane in O’Fallon.

“We already have a nice customer base near this growing area, and we look forward to better serving those clients as well as developing new relationships,” says Thomas. “We have already secured nearby property for a new building, and we have a strong team in place to ensure our growth in this area.”

Tej Ghosh, formerly of Quincy, IL, is the branch’s Community Bank President. He came to HOMEBANK in 2019, after seven years as general manager of Townsquare Media and the Lewis County Press. As GM at both locations, he oversaw all aspects of the operations with a focus on revenue generation, key client accounts and strong community partnerships. Tej has a bachelor’s degree in math and economics from Lake Forest College and he studied abroad at Oxford University.

Jennifer Begley of O’Fallon, who has more than 20 years of banking experience, is the Branch Manager. She has extensive experience in administration and efficient daily operation while actively promoting a sales and service culture.

According to its website, Lake St. Louis is a “planned community,” developed initially in 1966 as a private weekend recreational lake community. Located between two major highways, leaders today envision a High-Tech Corridor along Highway 40/61 (soon to be I-64), priming Lake Saint Louis as a desirable Commercial and Business area.



Front of Mexico branch

HOMEBANK opened its eighth banking resource center in Mexico, MO, at 2977 S. Clark Street, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Community Bank President Mary Dickey opened the drive-through and lobby at 8 a.m. with the assistance of Assistant Vice President Halie Meyer, Customer Service Representative Cynthia Myers and a number of HOMEBANK upper management team members. We look forward to meeting our new neighbors in Mexico.



Katie Smith has been promoted to Assistant Vice President at HOMEBANK. She started with HOMEBANK in March of 2017 as a Customer Service Representative and was promoted to a Business Banker within her first year. She became the Business Banking Officer for the Central MO Market in early 2020 and added the responsibilities of Market Branch Lead for the Centralia and Mexico, MO, branches in April.

A graduate of Monroe City High School, Smith is studying finance at Columbia College. She and her husband live in Center, MO.


New look coming to HOMEBANK internet banking


HOMEBANK is excited to announce that our new Internet Banking “look” is coming Sept. 30! The new Internet Banking will have the same user interface of the Mobile App along with keeping the features of the current internet banking. Once you are logged in the ‘Menu’ bar will always be accessible on the left-hand side of the page. Exciting new features include:

• Adding, Editing, and Sending Payments to your P2P Payees
• Viewing Mobile Deposit History
• Adding Notes and Images (ex. receipts) to Transactions
• Push Notifications
• Mortgage Periodic Statements
• Notices for Checking, NSF & Loans
• Transaction Disputes
• Card Travel Notifications
• Reporting Debit Card Lost or Stolen
• eBills as a PDF for Participating Payees

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please feel free to reach out to HOMEBANK’s Digital Banking Team by calling (855) 577-2001, emailing or sending a chat message via our website or digital banking.


HOMEBANK employees make check presentation to Mandy Gosik, president of the Lewis County Food Pantry


HOMEBANK recently donated $250 to the Lewis County Food Pantry, as part of the pantry’s Nichols Foundation matching grant initiative. Above, HOMEBANK Loan Officer Larraleigh Hetzler, left, and HOMEBANK Branch Lead Nikki Brinkman, right, present the check to Food Pantry Board President Mandy Gosik, center. HOMEBANK, member FDIC, is located in the Canton Shopping Center.