Stint at Tech Firm Opens Community Banker's Eyes

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Robin Robeson found at least two big benefits to taking a detour in her banking career a few years ago for a management role with a software company. Working in an unregulated industry for a change was fun, and she developed an appreciation for all that software she took for granted as a banking executive.

"I was a user of it, but I was never really much involved in the strategy, and I can't say that I understood all the technology behind what we were using. And now I do. I look at things with a different set of eyes."

Those eyes will now be on the day-to-day operations of Guaranty Federal Bancshares (GFED) in Springfield, Mo., where she started as chief operating officer on July 30.

Robeson previously spent 10 years with The Commerce Trust Co., also in Springfield, before temporarily leaving the industry for a COO-type role with Duck Creek Technologies, which was sold to Accenture in2011.

Guaranty Federal has nine branches and about $650 million of assets. The Treasury Department recently failed to sell shares that it owns in the company from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, saying the bids it received at auction were too low. Guaranty Federal received $17 million in funds under Tarp in January 2009.

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