Charles Warner said he would continue the bank's tradition of presidents with strong ties to the community.
A week ago, Charles Warner didn't have an inkling he'd be sitting where he is this morning.
But if his weekend went according to plan, Warner got moved into his new office over the weekend.
It's the office of the president at Mercantile Bank of Lawrence.
``I was really surprised,'' he said Friday, two days after learning he would succeed John Elmore as head of the bank. ``I don't sit around and think about jobs that aren't open.''
Mercantile Bancorporation Inc. announced Friday that Elmore, who had been president and chief executive for the past 10 years, was moving to St. Louis as head of Mercantile Credit Corp. Inc. and that Warner would succeed him in Lawrence.
Warner is no stranger to the city. He joined the bank -- then First National Bank of Lawrence -- in 1988 as head of the trust department.
Most recently, he had been senior vice president and trust officer and manager of Lawrence Trust and Investment Services.
He is a graduate of Kansas University and also served as vice president of operations and treasurer for Centron Production Inc. of Lawrence.
He said Friday he would continue the bank's tradition of presidents with strong ties to the community.
``The president of this bank has always done that, and that won't change,'' Warner said. ``I have a lot of ties with the community. This reinforces that.''
He is a member of the board of trustees for the Cottonwood Foundation, a training facility for mentally retarded adults; a board member and past board president of the Seem-to-Be Players children's theater company; a member of Rotary International in Lawrence; and a past commissioner of the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission. Warner also has been an active volunteer and deacon at Plymouth Congregational Church.
Mercantile's leading role in Lawrence and Douglas County economic development also will continue, he said.
With eight locations and 17 ATM outlets, Mercantile is the city's largest bank.
Mercantile Bancorporation Inc. is a $30 billion multi-bank holding company headquartered in St. Louis.