Features

Collaboration helping banks fill short-, long-term staffing needs

As community banks continue to grapple with a worker shortage, a micro-internship program is matching banks with college students and recent graduates to fill both short- and long-term needs. The BankTalentHQ micro-internship program, a collaborative effort between the career hub and business-to-business platform ParkerDewey, allows micro-interns to take on projects that would otherwise be handled by overloaded full-time employees. Those projects, which usually take 10-40 hours, can include creating content, data cleansing, generating leads, and other work. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Rich Eckert

Rich Eckert wasn’t planning to be a community banker. Only seven years ago, Eckert had no banking experience. His unexpected entry came through “a little bit of dumb luck,” said the 35-year-old president and CEO of the west-central Illinois Beardstown Savings Bank. The former college faculty member was leaving small-town Wisconsin and moving to where his wife was from as they started their family. From former president/CEO Travis Schroll, Eckert learned of an opening at what is now a $73 million bank. He started as a loan officer.  [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Nicole Evenson

“I’m very passionate about what I do, and I’m not going to not do it,” said Nicole Evenson to her future husband in 2016, once she’d decided to move to Garrison, N.D., to become an ag lender. Though the two had dated for just 10 days, she felt the need to be direct. Evenson relocated to the 1,500-person town a few months later in a move that would catalyze her career at TruCommunity Bank. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Aaron Siegle

When First Resource Bank celebrated crossing the $300 million asset mark last year, President Aaron Siegle gave each employee $300. The money came with a condition: Half had to be spent on the employees’ families and half had to go to a cause, whether a formal nonprofit or simply a neighbor in need. The success of the Lino Lakes, Minn., bank was built on the success of its people and its community, and the fruits of that success should be shared. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Lynn Rhodes

As both a hiker and a banker, Lynn Rhodes is conditioned to navigate rocky terrain. After 15 years in banking, Rhodes has navigated the ups and the downs of the industry while working at a number of banks, including one that failed. Rhodes is now on steady ground as executive vice president of risk management at Flagship Bank Minnesota, Wayzata. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Kevin Forristall

When considering a community banking career, most people would do their research, maybe take a class or two, or talk to a lender or analyst. But cold-calling the head of your local institution? That’s the strategy Kevin Forristall opted for when he was considering a move from Wells Fargo to a smaller bank. He’d found the bigger company a less than ideal fit, but stuck it out for two years learning as much as he could.  [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Emily Boardman

If there’s a thread that runs through Emily Boardman’s banking career, it’s growth. She left the public accounting field to join Crossroads Bank in Wabash, Ind., because she wanted to bring her growing family back to her hometown. In her 15 years in banking, she has taken opportunities to develop and stretch her skills to fit into ever bigger and different roles. Yet, Boardman isn’t focused only on her own growth. She makes a point of fostering the professional development of others, too.  [Continue]

Attention to merchant services can deepen commercial relationships

In life cash is king but in commercial lending it is cash flow that rules. Bankers interested in helping commercial customers improve their cash positions, therefore, may want to take a fresh look at those companies’ merchant services, says Marnie Ochs-Raleigh, CEO of Evolve Payment. Her suggestion is not without precedent. [Continue]

How community banks solve problems with data

Banks have always had a lot of data to wrangle. Core processors handle transactions by the millions. Loan applicants have their data compared to underwriting standards. Banks reach outside of their walls to obtain credit scores or verify a customer’s identity. Yet the need for data — complex data — is growing. [Continue]

New approaches to core strategy

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the need for third parties and non-core vendors to connect to the core has skyrocketed. Speed is also essential: Bankers can’t wait months to years for a core vendor to add a new feature or for a core to make an integration with a fintech possible. It also raised the question: Is a single, primary product still the way of the future? [Continue]