A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty

Chad R. Kirkenmeier, Age 38

Vice President, Private Client Team Leader, Commerce Bank

Chad R. Kirkenmeier

“Chad exemplifies the traits of a leader every day through the shadow he casts. He is among the top in his position at Commerce Bank,” said his nominator. “He often exceeds the typical, day-to-day expectations of a private client advisor team leader by driving business growth during the transition of retiring employees, becoming a resource for other divisions of the bank, and mentoring new employees in the Commerce Trust Company.”

Outside of work, Kirkenmeier volunteers with the United Way, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leadership School. He also is a baseball coach for his son’s team.

“Chad is Mr. Reliable, in and outside of the office,” said his nominator.

Kirkenmeier is married to Kolette, and they are the parents of Caden, Charlotte and Chloe.

Childhood ambition: “Growing up, I wanted to be a U.S. Secret Service Agent. I gave that path a go early in college but gave up on it pretty quick.”

Advice to 20-year-old self: “Know that education in all forms will be a lifelong journey.”

Unknown to colleagues: “Some people know this story in the office, but in 2000 I was on board a United Airlines flight that crashed in Virginia.”

Bucket list priority: “I would love to be able to take my wife to Italy.”

Best advice ever: “Rule #1: Always look out for yourself. No one is going to hand anything to you. You’ve got to earn it every step of the way in your career.”

Biggest challenge: “I feel like I’ve lived with varying degrees of Imposter Syndrome most of my adulthood.”

Definition of a great leader: “A great leader is someone who’s willing to be down in the trench rather than (up on) the perch.”

Peoria needs: “TopGolf.”

‘Chad is Mr. Reliable, in and outside of the office’ — Chad Kirkenmeier nominator