Creative meeting spaces appeal to today’s customers

It will really be music to his ears if Mark Bragelman hears, “We’re meeting in The Vault.” The president and CEO of Liberty Bank Minnesota in St. Cloud, who doubles as the town’s lead concert promoter, thinks a creative new community meeting space entered through a vault door will be the highlight of the bank’s new headquarters now under construction along a north-south corridor of I-94, roughly 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis. [Continue]

Nicolai family walks the talk of true community bankers

Any account of the good deeds of Dan Nicolai is written without his permission. It is enough for the president and CEO of the more than 100-year-old Castle Rock Bank to know his contributions to his community; otherwise he’d prefer the world not know the good he’s done. Go visit Castle Rock, though, or talk to his customers and the organizations supported by the Nicolai family over the years, and it’s clear: Dan Nicolai is one of the best things to happen to Castle Rock, Minn. [Continue]

Comeback tale for east Michigan bank

In 2007, First State Bank of Eastpointe, Mich., was faced with some tough decisions. “Our loans were deteriorating, brought on by large measure by what was becoming a difficult economy in southeast Michigan. I don’t know if the recession hit southeast Michigan earlier than the rest of the country or if we just felt the effects of it. But in 2007, we looked at our balance sheet and could see the need to recognize some losses,” said Gene Lovell, president and CEO of the bank, which has $664 million in assets. [Continue]