Community Banking Month Spotlight: Royal Bank-USA

Community Banking Month Spotlight: Royal Bank-USA
Today’s Member Spotlight focuses on Royal Bank-USA from Elroy, Wis. In the following interview, Brand Development Manager Natalie Adams explains what is unique about this local community bank.

What is unique about your community bank?
Our employees. We have an extremely dedicated and knowledgeable staff with tenure that almost doubles the industry average. Our team continues to grow, which has resulted in a great balance of youthful energy and valuable experience.

How does your community bank uniquely serve your local community?
We have 15 branches located in rural communities of Central and Southwest Wisconsin with average populations of 1,300 people. Many residents travel to work, school or for shopping, and our geographic footprint allows customers convenient access to any one of our locations along the way. In addition, we’re big enough to invest in the latest technology for convenient banking, but remain small enough to offer a personalized customer experience.

What is the quirkiest, strangest or funniest thing you’ve seen at your community bank?
We found a lost tooth when counting a customer’s coin once; had a 6-year-old boy ‘water the bushes’ outside the front door while his mother finished up banking inside with a teller; and had a car run into the side of our building in Gays Mills. Each day brings a new surprise!

What is your proudest moment from your time at your community bank?
Last year, our presidents were featured on the cover of Northwestern Financial Review magazine. The article highlighted the unique structure of our bank leadership and gave a great voice to the personality of our bank. It was an honor to be featured on the front cover and extremely humbling for the bank and our executive team.

What is your favorite project you’ve ever worked on at your community bank?
After following many banks on social media, we decided to join in on the fun and launched our Facebook page in December of last year. This has given us a great outlet to connect with customers in real-time and has really helped to humanize our brand.

How do you celebrate Community Banking Month?
We have treats in our lobbies from local shops, teach about financial literacy and expand on ICBA’s #GoLocal and #BankLocally campaigns. Each branch has signs that say “I {heart} My Community Bank Because…” for customers to fill out and take a selfie with. There have been so many good ones already, including “because they helped me buy my house 5 years ago today!” We heart Community Banking Month!

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Community State Bank from Wisconsin

csb_iconCommunity Banking Month Spotlight: Community State Bank
Today’s Member Spotlight focuses on Community State Bank from Union Grove, Wis. In the following interview, Assistant Vice President and Marketing Director Gregory Wall explains what is unique about this local community bank.

What is unique about your community bank?
We have a stated core list of values that we use as a guide when we come to work every day, and when we’re out serving our community, friends and neighbors. As an organization, we ask everyone to live these values every day. We believe that by doing so, we have the ability to make our communities better places to live, work and do businesses. When our communities succeed, we succeed.

OUR VALUES:
We are passionate and dedicated to…

  • Engaging with and building the communities we serve.
  • Creating a memorable experience every time.
  • Making the ordinary “Extraordinary”.
  • Honoring and respecting the trust people place in us.
  • Acting with honesty and integrity.
  • Embracing and driving change.
  • Lifelong learning and striving for excellence in everything we do.
  • Holding ourselves and each other accountable.
  • Encouraging and inspiring each other.
  • Education and financial literacy.
  • Having fun and making a difference every day

How does your community bank uniquely serve your local community?
CSB team members take leadership roles throughout the communities we serve. We have dedicated staff who serve on local school, county and municipal boards in addition to local, regional and national service organizations like the Kiwanis Club and the United Way.

But for an example where we literally “serve” our customers, our Ag team at CSB is second to none (Vice President Dave Moyer, Assistant Vice President Rachael Crane and Crop Insurance Specialist Cory Jones). They are such a large part of the agricultural community in southeast Wisconsin. In the fall, during harvest time when the farmers are at their busiest, our Ag team delivers them lunch in the field. It’s a nice break from the hard work everyone has been doing.  I’ve also seen them close loans on the hood of a pickup truck out on the farm. This is a remarkable group of individuals and only a small example of the team at Community State Bank.

What is the quirkiest, strangest or funniest thing you’ve seen at your community bank?
The Great Duck Rescue of 2014 has to be on the top of that list. The story goes as follows. A mother duck and her ducklings were wandering through our Mt. Pleasant office parking lot on a Tuesday afternoon last spring. They were on the way to the pond across the street. When they got to the other side of the parking lot, the ducklings couldn’t make it up the steep curb with Momma Duck. So, the ducklings walked down the parking lot trying to find a way around the curb and encountered a storm drain…OH NO! The ducklings fell through the grate and into the storm drain…Momma Duck wasn’t very happy! Some of our customers saw what had happened and jumped into action. They coaxed the ducklings through the storm drain to the culvert on the other side of the road, where Momma Duck was very happy to see them. The final challenge for this new family was getting across the highway to the pond. Again, our customers stepped in. They helped stop traffic on the road and then escorted Momma Duck and her ducklings across the street to the pond.  High drama for a Tuesday afternoon! The entire event was captured here.

What is your proudest moment from your time at your community bank?
CSB has developed a comprehensive interactive financial literacy program called “MyLIFE” (My Local Interactive Financial Education). MyLIFE is a program for high school students designed to demonstrate the importance of sound money management skills. It’s a unique learning experience for the students, and an opportunity to promote a partnership between the local business community and local schools.

In 2014 Community State Bank received the Governor’s Financial Literacy Award for the MyLIFE program. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker presented the award to representatives of CSB. The ceremony was held in the Governor’s Conference room inside the State Capitol in Madison.

MyLIFE has been introduced at four local high schools so far and has benefitted nearly 1,000 high school students. The program has been so successful we’ve developed a MyLIFE Essentials program for middle school students.

MyLIFE Kris Bernstein

What is your favorite project you’ve ever worked on at your community bank?
CSB is very involved in leadership roles throughout southeast Wisconsin. We often ask ourselves, “If not us, who?” and “If not now, when?” One of the core values mentioned earlier was “engaging with and building the communities we serve.” Our recent Business Economic Forum Breakfast Series was a great example of that.

In March, CSB hosted two business economic forums. Business leaders were invited to join us for breakfast, listen to some great speakers, and talk about the economy on a county, state and national level. Day one of the event featured Racine County Executive Peter Hansen and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (most of our branch network is in Racine County). Day two of the event featured presentations from Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce (RAMAC) President Jim Ladwig and U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. We had more than 250 guests over the two-day event.

Do you celebrate Community Banking Month?
We like to say at CSB we celebrate Community Banking Month every month! In April we traditionally have banners up at our locations announcing Community Banking Month, and we serve treats that were bought from local businesses.

Want to know more about the Community Bankers at CSB? Check out our “Get to Know CSB” section on our website. You can find fun facts like “Who used to teach disco in college?” or “Who wanted to be a racecar driver when they grew up?” It’s a really personal and fun section on our website.

Financial Literacy Twitter Chat

Join ICBA for its financial literacy Twitter chat on Friday, September 5 at 2 p.m. (eastern). This chat will feature Joel Chrisler, consumer economics teacher at Sauk Prairie High School in Prairie du Sac, Wis. Joel and his saavy high school students will be joined by @BankofPdS, @NatlJumpStart, @PracticalMoney, @JA_USA and numerous community bankers from around the nation.

YouthFinLit Promo2

Follow #YouthFinLit to join in the conversation on Friday. For additional information, visit ICBA’s website.

Bank @ $chool with Citizens National Bank

For the past six years Citizens National Bank of Bossier City, LA has implemented “Bank @ $chool” programs at several elementary schools in their community.

bookkeeper

Josie completes the passbook by entering the interest earned and updating the balance which she tells that amount to Ella Kate who is excited to watch her savings grow!

The Bank @ $chool program is based on the Louisiana Banker’s Education Council’s Bank @ $chool program. Citizens’ program has two complimenting components:

  1. First, the Bank provides financial literacy curricula to each school’s fourth grade teachers. The curricula is real world based and developed at an age and grade appropriate level.
  2. Second, once a month during the school year Citizens staff members visit the school for “Bank Day.” Bank Days give opportunities for students to serve each other as tellers, bookkeepers, security guards and branch managers; as the entire grade level brings their saving deposits. Tellers accept the deposits, while bookkeepers balance the account and calculate the interest earned.

At the end of the school year, students can convert their school account to a real Citizens savings account or get a check back for what the accumulate during the year.

staff-banner

Kennedy, Davis, Logan and Molly are prepared for our First Bank of Legacy deposit day. They were chosen to be security guards and Branch Managers through an application and interview process just as you would have done in the real job world.

Since beginning the program, Citizens has worked with more than 2,000 Bossier Parish students.  The believe – and hope – is that these students are developing a solid foundation in financial literacy.

korbin -molly deposit

After Molly’s deposit slip is complete, she proceeds to the teller, Korbin, who verifies the money and gives her a receipt.

“Our Bank @ $chool programs have had immeasurable benefits, not just for the students we serve, but our staff team as well,” said Jason Smith, executive vice president at Citizens National Bank and former president of the Louisiana Bankers Education Council. “The staff members that participate bring back stories of lessons learned and taught. It boost morale and gives the team an added sense of the value community bankers bring to the areas they serve”

molly-logan smile deposit

Molly and Logan fill out deposit slips before making their deposit with the tellers.

Throughout the month of August, we’ll be posting regular posts highlighting financial literacy information, including community banks who are active in their local communities’ financial literacy programs.

Have a story to share? Reach out to either Audrey Wright-Cipriano at audrey.cipriano@icba.org or Jessica Wallace at jessica.wallace@icba.org.

Marlborough Savings Bank: Financial Literacy Program

Marlborough Savings Bank has been actively involved in a Financial Literacy Program for middle school students since late 2012. The program began at Trottier Middle School in Southborough, Massachusetts and expanded to Immaculate Conception (IC) School in Marlborough, Massachusetts in the fall of 2013. Through this program, representatives from Marlborough Savings Bank teach eighth grade students how to manage expenses, balance a checkbook and how to properly use different bank accounts and bank services. The class is conducted in a simulated real-life environment in which students are given jobs and salaries, living expenses and a budget sheet to aid them in managing their finances.

Rick Bennett, President & CEO of Marlborough Savings Bank, answers students’ questions about banking and the responsibilities of a bank president.

Rick Bennett, President & CEO of Marlborough Savings Bank, answers students’ questions about banking and the responsibilities of a bank president.

“We understand how important it is to set a solid foundation for money management. These real life scenarios will help bridge the gap in knowledge of banking products and services,” said Tracy Bartucca, AVP/consumer lending officer of Marlborough Savings Bank in Marlborough, MA.

In addition, the program offered at IC School in Marlborough is part of a mathematics course, dedicating extra attention to the calculation of interest rates on bank accounts.

Upper left corner, L to R: Tracy Bartucca, Marlborough Savings Bank AVP/Consumer Lending Officer, Stephen Maintanis, Marlborough Savings Bank Commercial Loan Assistant, and Jennifer Marble, Marlborough Savings Bank AVP/Commercial Portfolio Manager

Upper left corner, L to R: Tracy Bartucca, Marlborough Savings Bank AVP/Consumer Lending Officer, Stephen Maintanis, Marlborough Savings Bank Commercial Loan Assistant, and Jennifer Marble, Marlborough Savings Bank AVP/Commercial Portfolio Manager

President and CEO of Marlborough Savings Bank, Rick Bennett said “It’s encouraging to see the level of interest these students have in day-to-day finances, as well as high level banking concepts.”

Trottier Principal Keith Lavoie is pleased with the partnership formed between the school and the bank. “The program has added depth to our course of study that will prepare our students for the ‘real world.’ Combining a hands-on experience with an academic application gives our students a wonderful opportunity,” he said.

On the ends, L to R: Jamie Belmore, Marlborough Savings Bank Marketing Coordinator and Judy Bell, Marlborough Savings Bank Branch Manager, Southborough

On the ends, L to R: Jamie Belmore, Marlborough Savings Bank Marketing Coordinator and Judy Bell, Marlborough Savings Bank Branch Manager, Southborough

Throughout the month of August, we’ll be posting regular posts highlighting financial literacy information, including community banks who are active in their local communities’ financial literacy programs.

Have a story to share? Reach out to either Audrey Wright-Cipriano at audrey.cipriano@icba.org or Jessica Wallace at jessica.wallace@icba.org.

Montana Based American Federal Savings Bank: Commitment to Financial Literacy in Local High Schools

American Federal Savings Bank, located in Montana, offers employees the Financial Wellness program as well as offering members of their local communities access to Financial Peace University. Specifically, American Federal reaches out to more than 450 students at 11 area high schools as part of its Foundations in Personal Finance. 

American Federal is the first bank in Montana to have initiated this practice and sponsor in local high schools. Sponsorship was the idea of the bank’s CEO, Pete Johnson. In 2010, the program began in Helena, Bozeman, Butte and Townsend, and in 2012, the financial literacy program expanded into Missoula, Hamilton, Big Timber, Livingston, Billings and other eastern Montana communities.

Throughout the month of August, we’ll be posting regular posts highlighting financial literacy information, including community banks who are active in their local communities’ financial literacy programs.

Have a story to share? Reach out to either Audrey Wright-Cipriano at audrey.cipriano@icba.org or Jessica Wallace at jessica.wallace@icba.org. 

Maine’s Machias Savings Bank Hosts “Future Promises” event

Since 2003, Maine community bank Machias Savings Bank has hosted Future Promises for students throughout Washington County, one of the most rural counties in the state which face a high level of poverty. The program starts with an annual job fair hosted by MSB at the University of Maine at Machias. All students in grades 3rd-6th in Washington County are invited to attend the fair. The bank invites various professionals to attend as well to discuss their jobs with students. Some of the professionals include: bankers, construction workers, vets, broadcast reporters, law enforcement and many others. Each of the professionals has a booth where they speak to the kids about their job and what it took for them to get into their chosen profession. Many of them provide engaging activities for the children to help spark their interest.

Traci Sanborn interviewing little boy

In addition to hosting the event, there is also have a booth staffed by MSB employees. At the MSB booth, staffers distribute financial literacy materials and discuss banking careers with the students. Each teacher is provided a series of financial literacy games to use in the classroom.

After the fair, students are encouraged to write an essay on what they want to be when they grow up and submit it to the bank. A committee reviews the essays and selects 20 winners. The recipients and their families are invited to an awards banquet where MSB provides dinner and presents them with their award. Students receive a certificate, a complete set of financial literacy games and a $250 voucher that can be applied to a savings account or a 529 college savings account.

Future Promises Bags

 

This program has achieved tremendous growth in the past several years with more than 900 students attending the Future Promises Job Fair in 2013. Currently, Machias Savings Bank is exploring the expansion of Future Promises to include two additional counties.

Throughout the month of August, we’ll be posting regular posts highlighting financial literacy information, including community banks who are active in their local communities’ financial literacy programs.

Have a story to share? Reach out to either Audrey Wright-Cipriano at audrey.cipriano@icba.org or Jessica Wallace at jessica.wallace@icba.org.