Rising to meet unprecedented challenges

In late March, community bankers were handed what seemed an insurmountable task: To design and implement processes to execute the U.S. Treasury and Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. And they did, all across the country. While this article recounts the experience of the PPP lending team at Investors Community Bank in Manitowoc, Wis., it also honors all the PPP lending teams that lit the sky the way stars do when darkness, or the absence of certainty, spreads. [Continue]

North Dakotan embodies empathetic leadership

Though Jeremy Skoglund is a North Dakotan, he’s always been a Cubs fan. As a baseball player growing up, he played in any position he was needed. “Shortstop, pitcher, catcher — wherever.” Skoglund, currently a trust officer at First Western Bank & Trust, Bismarck, N.D., has taken a similar approach to his career in banking. [Continue]

Montana banker touts education as the path forward

Heather Malcolm wants people to understand that ag lending is more than a subset of commercial lending. In fact, Malcolm believes ag lending is different enough — and the ag relationship important enough — that she invested time and talent to advocate resurrecting the agricultural track within the American Bankers Association’s Commercial Lending School, including writing some of its curriculum. [Continue]

New app rewards savers with cash prizes

Chris Campbell, senior partner at Centier Bank, Whiting, Ind., was introduced to the 50-30-20 guideline to savings as a kid mowing lawns and babysitting in his Ohio hometown. At that point, however, the “essential” 50 percent of the loot often comprised candy bars and baseball cards, and the other two categories were for charity and savings.  [Continue]

Your brand and your data are on the line after a cyber attack

Whether it’s a data breach that exposes private information about your customers to the public, an attack that locks up your servers, or even a full-fledged strike that wipes clean all of your data, bankers need to defend against a range of threats. As the number of devices on which customers expect instant access to their data proliferates, the number of opportunities for bad things to happen notches upward. [Continue]

Architects help bankers weather the worst

Natural disasters are nothing new, but climate scientists are predicting more extreme weather events, which will continue to affect entire geographic areas. And while it’s not realistic to think that all losses can be prevented, architects and engineers can design a bank with features that can limit losses from flooding, fire, snow, lightning and tornadoes — and keep employees safe. [Continue]