Computers are essential in the 21st century of banking, increasing the customer's access to information. And the number of regulations has changed, too.
"There are so many more today," said Adams, noting when he began in banking, the government was introducing the Truth-In-Lending Act. "There is a whole lot more to contend with to ensure we are in compliance with how the government requires us to operate."
In Sikeston itself, Adams has watched the banking business evolve. When he took his first job as a bank computer programmer, the community had only three banks with the largest having about $17 million in assets. Today, he continued, the banking market in Sikeston is an estimated $700-800 million.
But in the nearly four decades of being involved in the banking business, there is one thing that hasn't changed. "For me, banking is still a people business," said Adams.
As the new senior vice president at First Midwest Bank's Sikeston branch, Adams intends to use his experience in the business to assist the Sikeston branch in building its commercial loan portfolio.
"This is a very dynamic banking company," said Adams. "There is a tremendous amount of talent in the bank and the holding company."
In announcing Adams' appointment to the bank Jan. 10, Steve Millington, president, also noted the experience Adams will bring to the company.
"We are very happy to have a banker of Rick's caliber joining the team here at First Midwest," said Millington. "His experience and ability make him one of the top banking talents in Southeast Missouri."
With more than 37 years of experience as a banker in Sikeston, Adams most recently served as president of First State Bank and Trust Co. A graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Adam is a graduate of the Graduate School of Commercial Lending at the University of Oklahoma and the Graduate Management Program at Vanderbilt University.
As a senior vice president with the Sikeston's First Midwest Bank, Adams said he will draw on his experience in banking and the Sikeston community to ensure success for his clients.
"I've seen lots of businesses that have been successful and I can lend that experience back to the client/borrower," he said.
Working with commercial loan customers he said it is also important to provide continuity. '"It is important to know the history of the business, the management. By having broad experience with a business you can bring that in to build a strong operation for the client and to develop trust which is important to the long-term viability of a business," he said.
While he is working with the branch banking facility, the new senior vice president emphasized the bank is a southeast Missouri holding company and all the decisions about loans are made locally.
A former president of the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sikeston Jaycees, Adams was appointed to the Missouri Ethics Commission by Gov. Mel Carnahan. Currently he is a member of the Sikeston R-6 Board of Education, Adams previously served as president of the board.
As for his community, Adams foresees an improving economy and looks forward to what it will bring.
"I think we can see by the construction in the community, that Sikeston is growing," said Adams. "When you enhance the commercial market with that comes other small businesses emerging around the growth and opportunity."
First Midwest Bank is located at 630 N. Main St.