After 15 years on the job at Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law LLC, Michael Miller says he took an uncharacteristic action when he left the Queen City firm last year to begin work at Mid-Missouri Bank.
“By making the move, I did something not normal to me – I took a chance,” he says of the April 2019 career move to become the Springfield bank’s chief operating officer. “It has proven to be a great decision. I have grown as a leader, as a manager, and learned about a whole new industry.”
Some of the learning Miller says he’s accumulated came under unexpected circumstances.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created issues that many have never before had to address,” he says. “With my legal experience, I have taken a leading role at the bank in making operational decisions related to COVID-19 and continued planning about how we will operate.”
With input from the bank’s executive committee and chief information officer, Miller drafted the company response plan, which established protocols for reopening and operating its 13 branches using split staffs and teleworkers. He also worked on bank policies and forms for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.
“The bank has successfully navigated the pandemic and I believe I have played a role in that,” he says.
Aside from his chief operating officer role, Miller is the bank’s general counsel, as well as president of Mid-Missouri Insurance Agency.
The desire to lead carried with Miller to Mid-Missouri Bank from Lowther Johnson, where he served as managing member for seven years. At the law firm, he developed and implemented performance standards for 20 attorneys and roughly 50 staff members.
“I also managed the day-to-day operations of the firm, led all member meetings, headed hiring efforts of staff and attorneys, and developed firm strategic planning,” he says. “During my leadership, Lowther Johnson was the largest office of attorneys in southwest Missouri.”
Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Columbia, before beginning work in 2004 as an associate at Lowther Johnson. He was named member in 2010, before rising to managing member two years later.
Miller’s leadership roles don’t end in the workplace. He has ascended the ranks of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association and its foundation. In 2019, he was president of the SMBA, which comprises over 850 attorneys. This year, he’s serving as president of the bar’s charitable foundation.
Outside of the legal field, Miller’s community involvement is diverse. He’s served on the campaign committee for Children’s Miracle Network since 2013, joined the board of directors for Springfield Ballet Inc. in 2016 and been a board member with The Victim Center for six years. An alumnus of Leadership Springfield, Miller is finishing a three-year term on the organization’s board of directors.
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