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Sara Foster Announces Her Retirement After 35 Years and Commerce Bank Shares Her Successors

Sara FosterST. LOUIS – March 25, 2022 – After 35 years of remarkable service at Commerce Bank, Sara Foster, executive vice president of talent management and corporate administration, will retire at the end of April. Foster leads Commerce’s talent and corporate administration areas and has been a member of the executive management committee since 1999. In her role, Foster has overseen all functions related to talent management and manages the Company’s non-credit risk efforts.

Foster is passionate about people. Her efforts are reflected in Commerce’s recognition as a Best Mid-Size Employer by Forbes. She has been a catalyst for the development of mentoring and employee engagement programs at Commerce. Foster has been a consistent and forceful voice in shaping Commerce’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts over many years. Her leadership contributions extend to the community as well. Foster serves on the board of the Normandy Schools Collaborative, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, and The Chancellor’s Council at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. These are only a few examples of the impact she has had at Commerce and in the St. Louis community over the last 35 years.

Reflecting on her career, Foster said, “I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished at Commerce, and I will cherish the relationships built with this team. My journey is the Commerce story – work hard, learn the business, accept stretch assignments, and you’ll have opportunities to grow with the bank.”

“Sara will be greatly missed, but her legacy will be felt for years to come,” said John Kemper, president and chief executive officer. “I am grateful for her friendship and for her extraordinary contributions to our team and our culture over her 35-year career with Commerce. As she’s done in so many cases with others, Sara took a disciplined approach to her own succession planning. In Kim Jakovich and Tom Noack, we have two exceptional leaders who will help guide the bank to continued success.”

Kim Jakovich will be promoted to senior vice president of Commerce Bancshares, Inc. She will assume Foster’s responsibilities for overseeing talent management and will join the Bank’s executive management committee. Jakovich joined Commerce in August 2000 and currently leads Commerce Bank’s Total Rewards team which includes compensation, benefits, systems, and payroll. As part of this transition, Shawna Wright will take on an expanded role and be responsible for the oversight of all talent management consultants across our footprint. Wright has been with Commerce for 24 years and is currently director of talent management for our west region.

Tom Noack will be promoted to senior vice president of Commerce Bancshares, Inc. He will assume Foster’s responsibilities for legal, risk management, audit, and flight operations. Noack joined Commerce in 1984 and currently serves as general counsel. He will also join the executive management committee. Peggy Rowe will be promoted to general counsel and corporate secretary for Commerce Bancshares, Inc. and assume Noack’s responsibilities. Rowe has been with Commerce for 28 years and currently serves as deputy general counsel.

“These plans have been in the works for some time,” Kemper shared, “and I think our intentional approach to succession planning will allow Commerce to build on our momentum and grow well into the future.”

About Commerce Bank

With $36.7 billion in assets1, Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) is a registered bank holding company offering a full line of banking services, including payment solutions, investment management and securities brokerage. Commerce Bank, a subsidiary of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., leverages more than 150 years of proven strength and experience to help individuals and businesses solve financial challenges. In addition to offering payment solutions across the U.S., Commerce Bank currently operates full-service banking facilities across the Midwest including the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas, Springfield, Central Missouri, Central Illinois, Wichita, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Denver. It also maintains commercial offices in Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati, Nashville, Des Moines, Indianapolis, and Grand Rapids. Commerce delivers high-touch service and sophisticated financial solutions at regional branches, commercial offices, ATMs, online, mobile and through a 24/7 customer service line. Learn more at


1As of December 31, 2021