Douglas County Bank's new president hadn't planned on returning to Lawrence for work, but it turns out the city's healthy growth, vibrant culture and solid business community were impossible to turn down.
Besides, the move from Manhattan is sure to cut down on his commute to Kansas University basketball games.
"I really feel almost like a part of the community by virtue of being there so frequently over the past 30 years," said Ted Haggart, who will assume the bank's top job April 16. "I would've only considered a change in one very attractive set of circumstances, and that's exactly what came along."
As the bank's new president and chief executive officer, the KU graduate will be leaving the home of Kansas State University for an office at the edge of downtown Lawrence. He has been community bank president and CEO of Commerce Bank in Manhattan for nearly 12 years.
Douglas County Bank has five locations in Lawrence, one in Eudora, 60 employees overall and $168 million in assets. Haggart takes over for Bob Georgeson, who retired in January after leading Lawrence's second-largest bank since 1993.
Ross Beach, the bank's co-owner, said Haggart's KU ties added to the bank leader's already-strong rmAlso welcome was Haggart's commitment to community organizations: current chairman of the Mercy Health Center's board of trustees; chairman of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, 1998-99; and president of the Manhattan Rotary Club, 1997-98.
"We thought he would fit the community," Beach said.
In addition to heading Commerce's three branches in Manhattan with a combined 50 employees and $145 million in assets Haggart also serves as a member of the board of directors for the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp. and MidAmerica Commercialization Corp., two economic-development efforts.
Haggart hopes to build on such work in Lawrence.
"The ability of the university to leverage technology into community enterprises is very promising for the university and the community, in terms of employment, income and opportunities," he said.