Cover Stories

Make a Mark: M1 Bank

A ribbon cutting is always an exciting experience. It’s the start of something new and a celebration of future success. When M1 Bank cut the ribbon to open its new Clayton branch, it also brought its mission to St. Louis. The bank is dedicated to providing a personalized, boutique banking experience and serving the community through purpose driven projects.

“The ribbon cutting really was a cornerstone moment for our growth and history,” says Stephanie Bahn Poteet, marketing and community outreach director. Clayton’s mayor, Harold Sanger, lent a hand (and his giant ceremonial scissors) to the proceedings, which made for a fun, special moment. Tim Ezell from Fox 2 and The Thread also attended and spoke with Bahn Poteet and her husband, bank founder and chairman Ken Poteet, before the event.

Ezell reached out after learning about the bank’s work to establish a permanent North County facility for L.I.F.E. Arts, a nonprofit founded by recording artist Brian Owens that provides artistic resources, mentoring and opportunities to local youth. Malena Smith, a graduate of the program, performed at the ribbon-cutting event. “We were honored to have such a success story to help us celebrate,” Bahn Poteet says. She adds that The Thread is a great fit for M1 Bank’s purpose-driven mission. “Tim Ezell believes there is a greater purpose to his work, and he wants to shine a light on St. Louis,” she notes. “It’s similar to our vision. Ken wanted to take the success he had previously established in banking and turn it into something that will have a lasting impact.”

As a national brand, M1 Bank is dedicated to meeting needs for affordable housing and alternative energy. McLane Poteet, director and chief credit officer, says the bank helps finance development of solar farms. “It’s an important piece of our mission of stewardship,” he explains. “By financing renewable energy initiatives, we know we’re having a positive impact and contributing to something larger than ourselves.”

The bank also is helping to establish a new headquarters for the National Women’s Hall of Fame (NWHF), the oldest membership organization dedicated to honoring the achievements of American women. The new facility will be in Seneca Falls, New York, and includes a museum that showcases the stories of its more than 250 inductees. Corey Poteet, director and senior vice president of M1 Bank, says the project is exciting because it will be housed in the Seneca Falls Knitting Mill, which has ties to the women’s suffrage and abolitionist movements and is on the National Register of Historic Places. “We couldn’t be more proud to be associated with NWHF and champion an organization that celebrates women and their achievements,” he adds.

M1 Bank is equally dedicated to serving locally. “St. Louis always has been a gateway city, and it has a pioneer spirit,” Bahn Poteet says. “We’re in a position to be a shining light to the nation as a whole.” Local foundations and causes championed by the Poteets and the bank include the Kaufman Fund, The Little Bit Foundation, The Jewish Federation and Anthropedia Foundation. “We’re more than just a banking institution,” Bahn Poteet explains. “Our hearts are not only in providing excellent service, but also using our platform to improve the lives of the less fortunate and creating lasting change.”

M1 Bank’s Clayton branch is at 112 S. Hanley Road, and the Des Peres location is scheduled to open in early 2019. Pictured on the cover: Founder and chairman Ken Poteet. Marketing and community outreach director Stephanie Bahn Poteet, Fox 2’s Tim Ezell. For more information, call 314.721.2265 or visit

Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo courtesy of M1 Bank

Pictured above: Ken Poteet, Mayor Harold Sanger and Stephanie Bahn Poteet cut the ribbon on M1 Bank’s Clayton branch.