Name:  Mike Montana

In Town:  Mike is Branch Manager at the North Kansas Expressway Empire Bank in Springfield, Mo. Mike has been with Empire for almost two years. He deals with customer issues, new accounts, loan applications and investments. Mike spent 27 years in the Marine Corps, wrapping us his military career as an E-9 or Master Gunnery Sergeant.

In the Country:  “We raise Arabian horses to show and to sell. We own six. We like to keep it down to our stallion and four mares. We have another colt at home and we have to decide whether to geld him or not since nothing is selling.”
Mike says he does the 'manual labor' and his wife does everything from English to halter to western to pleasure riding at shows. Their 5-year-old stallion has finished 2nd in every show entered. Despite this success, breeding has not been successful yet. “He’s still a little anxious. He was trained last year and we’ll train him again this year.” But Mike said he doesn’t plan to breed this year, but rather skip a year due to market conditions. The Montana's farm consists of 50 acres near Stockton Lake, in Fair Play, Mo.

Family:  His wife, Jo’Ann, is also a banker; with Bank Of America in Springfield, Mo.

How has the economy affected things in town?
“Empire Bank is a conservative bank but we don’t have major loan issues; we are the same as before. We are getting more commercial loans because a lot of the bigger banks have stopped lending.”

What are your plans for in the country?
“I plan to do an endurance race; The Tevis Cup, which is 100 miles in 24 hours. Arabians, that’s what they are – long distance riders.”
Mike and Jo’Ann do horse rescues and would like to get into dog rescue as well.
By Vince Crunk

Melissa FullerMissouri Town & CountryMissouriName:  Mike MontanaIn Town:  Mike is Branch Manager at the North Kansas Expressway Empire Bank in Springfield, Mo. Mike has been with Empire for almost two years. He deals with customer issues, new accounts, loan applications and investments. Mike spent 27 years in the Marine Corps, wrapping us his military...The Ozarks' most read farm newspaper, reaching more than 58,000 readers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma