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!

State Bank of Cross Plains from Cross Plains, Wis.

Community Banking Month Spotlight: State Bank of Cross Plains
Today’s Member Spotlight focuses on State Bank of Cross Plains in Cross Plains, Wis. In the following interview, Megan Crowson explains what is unique about this local community bank.

What is unique about your community bank?
Every year, The State Bank of Cross Plains tries to come up with unique ideas to celebrate Community Banking Month. We have held online community contests, Pinterest contests and Local Hero contests. We are bold enough to try anything to make a statement that we are THE community Bank in Dane County!

How does your community bank uniquely serve your local community?
We donate both employee time and monetary funds to organizations big and small. We even host a bake sale and bratwurst sale, where employees bake homemade goods and all proceeds go to a local charity.

What is the quirkiest, strangest or funniest thing you’ve seen at your community bank?
Our bankers are up for anything. Our superhero ad campaign stretched the limit to feature our business lenders. As you can see, these heroes did not look like your typical banker.

SBCPInBusinessAd-Commish1d SBCPInBusinessAd-Hoops1d Layout 1

What is your proudest moment from your time at your community bank?
The enthusiasm our staff has shown for our newest campaign—our Kindness Crusade. Throughout Community Banking Month, each of our banking offices will do one to three small acts of kindness each week and one or two larger acts for the month. But it doesn’t stop there! We also are challenging all employees and our customers to do acts of kindness throughout the month to people they know and love—or even those they work with!

Our ultimate goal is to get into our communities and incite positive change. Without our employees, none of this would be possible.

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.

Community Banking Month Spotlight: Foundations Bank

Foundations_BankCommunity Banking Month Spotlight: Foundations Bank
Today’s Member Spotlight focuses on Foundations Bank from Pewaukee, Wis. In the following interview, Vice President of Retail Banking Catherine Kolton explains what is unique about this local community bank.

What is unique about your community bank?
Foundations Bank is not just a community bank. We are a family, and when our customers visit us, they feel like they are amongst friends and are welcome to come on in, have a cup of coffee and visit with a staff who not only knows their name, but knows them. We do not just handle banking transactions. We hold events for our neighbors to come and meet other neighbors and share ideas for new ventures. We make it a priority to make sure our customers know that we care about them and their future success.

At Foundations Bank we are more than just a bank, we are an advocate for the business owners, non-profits and individuals in the community. We believe that we have to serve our community by volunteering, sponsoring events and providing loans to businesses and individuals in our community. We truly make Pewaukee a better place to live and work. Our bank president sits in the lobby with his door open to allow customers to stop in and say hello.

How does your community bank uniquely serve your local community?
Foundations Bank hosts an event every quarter called “For Women by Women,” where women in the community can come enjoy dinner and listen to speakers on different topics. This event allows women business owners the opportunity to spotlight their own business by presenting education on various topics, networking, and providing recognition from other women in the community. The event is free and is open to the public.

What is the quirkiest, strangest or funniest thing you’ve seen at your community bank?
One of the funniest and most fun things that Foundations Bank does is hosts an annual Trick or Treat Event in October for kids 13 and under. Everyone from the bank dresses up, and of course all the kids do too. We decorate the whole bank and have an office decorating contest, costume contest and pumpkin carving, where the kids judge the best pumpkin. We provide a safe environment for kids to roam and trick or treat while the parents can relax and have treats too.

What is your proudest moment from your time at your community bank?
As a manager, my proudest moment is also one of the hardest. We have had two employees hired by our customers, and although it hurts to lose an employee, it is wonderful to know that the tellers are providing such excellent customer service that the business owners are thinking about Foundations Bank as the best place for them to hire people from.

What is your favorite project you’ve ever worked on at your community bank?
When we updated our website in 2014, it was challenging and fun because it completely overhauled our look and feel. We have had numerous compliments about the website.  www.foundationsbank.com When we first opened the bank in 2005, every employee participated in strategic planning sessions on Saturdays. We had five sessions on Saturdays to outline a SWOT analysis and set goals. This enforced ownership at every level of the organization and set the culture of who we were and what we wanted to achieve. We saw the benefit of the entire staff delivering the same message and working toward the same goals.

Super Saturday: Wisconsin Community Bank Hosts Superhero 5k

“Superheroes unite!” was the shout that went up from the crowd for Community State Bank’s 3rd Annual Super Saturday Superhero 5k, part of a local celebration in Union Grove, WI known as “Super Saturday.” On Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, nearly 150 runners and volunteers walked and ran up and down the historic streets of Union Grove.

WATCH: Super Saturday 5k 2014

This family friendly event is designed to bring local businesses together in a unique way, and draw interest from individuals who might not be familiar with Union Grove.  The race was presented by Community State Bank but also featured donations and sponsorship efforts from other local businesses. All proceeds from the event were donated back to Super Saturday for the promotion and expansion of the community event.
For additional information about the Super Saturday 5k, contact Community State Bank Marketing Director Gregory Wall (gwall@communitystatebank.net) or Community State Bank Communication Coordinator Eloissa Heigl (eheigl@communitystatebank.net).

If your local community bank has community-focused events, please let ICBA know so we can share.