Midwest BankCentre in Lemay, Mo., has appointed a new chief executive for its bank.

James Watson, the bank's president, will become CEO on Oct. 1, the $1.1 billion-asset company said Thursday. He will succeed Ronald Barnes, who will remain the bank's chairman, and president and vice chairman of parent company, Midwest BankCentre.

Watson will handle the bank's day-to-day operations; Barnes will focus on special projects, such as community development and acquisitions.

Watson, 60, and Barnes, 64, have worked together for 30 years, the last decade at Midwest and the previous 20 years at Mark Twain Bank in St. Louis. Watson joined Midwest in 2000 and Barnes in 2003; they were appointed to their current posts in 2006.

"Watson's leadership abilities have been well-tested over the last several years," Barnes said in a press release. "He has honed his exceptional customer service approach, developed an outstanding team of both experienced and young leaders, and ably tackled the regulatory challenges imposed on community banks during the last five years."

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