By Kathleen Swift

Jonathan Dawson is vice president and branch manager of the Zora branch of SMB. A native of Webb City, he graduated from Missouri Southern State University and earned a Masters of Business Administration from Missouri State University.

“I came to banking from a family business that had operated since the 1950s. We were in furniture production, and although we sold the business, I still bleed sawdust,” said Dawson.

“I had always worked in sales, and I’m a people person,” remarked Dawson. “I like to take care of customers, so banking was a good fit for me.”

Dawson has been in banking for 14 years and with SMB for five years.

“Our branch at Zora is highly driven by customer service, and we have a great group of people. I am proud to work with them.”

Dawson’s commitment to service is seen through his involvement in Webb City beyond his work. He has been a member of the Webb City Chamber of Commerce for many years and served as its president in 2016. Incidentally, he holds the record for the number of ribbon cuttings attended.

Dawson has served on the Webb City R-7 Foundation Board of Directors and works with the Webb City Cares program through its MUSCLE (Men Using Support, Compassion and Love to Encourage) program.

“As a part of the MUSCLE program, Will Roderique and I are at Mark Twain school every Thursday to greet students as they arrive. It gives us a chance to serve as male role models. They know there will be two men there every Thursday they can talk to,” said Dawson.

Supporting education is important to Dawson. He initiated an effort to found a chapter of the Four State Friends of the National Rifle Association Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation responsible for raising donations for youth shooting sports and safety courses. Over the last 16 years, over $250,000 has been raised with over $150,000 in grants returned to local school districts.

“In the past, we have given grants for equipment to the archery programs at Webb City, Carl Junction, Carthage and Joplin. We were able to provide new air rifles for the Webb City ROTC, and there will be additional grants made this school year.

“Half of the money we raise stays in Missouri. We also have a really cool program called School Shield, which assesses a school for safety needs. Once the assessment is complete, the school may apply for a grant to implement the safety plan.”

Dawson has also been a longstanding member of the Carl Junction/Webb City Rotary Club, serving in the past as president. He led the club in coordinating the 9/11 First Responders Recognition held every year on 9/11 in Webb City. All area first responders are provided lunch along with a thank you from the community for their service.

“I grew up with parents who were very involved in the community. They believed in doing whatever they could to help make the community a better place, and I hope I am carrying on that model.”

Dawson and his wife, Andrea, have been married for 24 years and have two children. Their son, Spencer, is a music major at Missouri Southern State University, and their daughter, Loran, is a business major at Pittsburg State University. Together with his family, Dawson loves doing anything outdoors. He kayaks, hikes and participates in tough mudders contests.

“Tough mudders is a 10-to-12-obstacle course through mud. For me, it’s a lot of fun.”

Whether running through mud, greeting students before school, working to raise funds for the community or working with customers at SMB, Dawson is always ready to do his best to be of service.