Heritage Bank of the Ozarks Plato announces new lender

Elijah Dowden

Heritage Bank of the Ozarks welcomes Elijah Dowden to the lending team. The locally, owned and operated bank made a commitment to the Plato community nearly a year ago. That commitment began with simply providing banking services to the rural area, but the goal was to also hire a local full-time lender. 

Kim Light, President and CEO, Heritage Bank of the Ozarks, said, “We are very fortunate to have a young man that grew up in that area and graduated from Plato High School join our team. Elijah’s commitment is to his hometown and he is anxious to serve the friends and neighbors he and his family have known for years.

Dowden grew up on a beef and dairy farm in Northern Wright County and still farms with his family. He graduated from Plato High School and received his Bachelor’s in Agricultural Business from Missouri State University.

“I knew I wanted to go into agricultural lending after going through the process of receiving my first cattle loan,” said Dowden. “I realized helping people in my community pursue their passion to start a business, build a home or farm is important to me, and as a community banker that’s what I’ll get the opportunity to do.”

After training in Heritage Bank’s home office in Lebanon, Dowden is officially working in Plato and ready to serve his community.