Fourth-gen banker stewards century-long legacy

As the fourth generation of his family involved in leadership at Peoples Bank, Munster, Ind., Ben Bochnowski knows he has a responsibility to carry on a proud legacy of excellence almost a century deep. A key part of that work has been putting together a stellar team inside Peoples Bank and fostering the development of qualified banking employees in the broader industry. [Continue]

Navigating SBA guidance for PPP processing fees

The Paycheck Protection Program established as part of the CARES Act provides that the Small Business Administration pay processing fees of up to 5 percent to lenders based on the volume of the PPP loans disbursed. Until recently, however, the SBA has remained silent on further guidance, leaving many questions regarding the reporting requirements, fee recognition and timing of receipt of the processing fee unanswered. [Continue]

Novice SBA officer leads PPP charge

When the first round of funding from the Paycheck Protection Program opened the floodgates in April, Nikki Walker sat with fingers poised over the keyboard, ready to wrestle with the Small Business Administration’s E-Tran portal. Walker put in 16-hour days entering applications during the initial rush, working at the head of a team of six reviewing files after lenders had turned in paperwork. All told, the St. Francis, Minn.-based Village Bank processed 329 applications totaling more than $55 million by the time the initial funds ran out. [Continue]

The hidden cost of bad policing

Cities and counties now budget for huge payouts to cover police misconduct. If you don’t think police brutality affects you, your time has come. [Continue]

Shift into banking becomes lifesaving move

Chris Lee traveled a lot when he worked for accounting firm Eide Bailly. Criss-crossing North Dakota in a car brandishing Future Farmers of America license plates, his boss Darrell Lingle in the passenger seat, a young Lee chatted politics, family and weekend plans ­— the most important things to him at that time. [Continue]

Bank supports local restaurants

Bank First in Manitowoc, Wis., spent $100,000 on restaurant gift cards from more than 140 restaurants in its footprint to be donated to those in need. [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]

Bank Iowa hosts virtual Easter egg hunt

With the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling large gatherings left and right, Bank Iowa wanted to step up and fill the gap during the Easter season. The Des Moines bank had sponsored local egg hunts over the years and decided to take the event digital across its footprint this year. [Continue]

Inclusive leadership proves effective and meaningful for Black entrepreneurs

Specific to lending, numerous reports show that small, Black-owned businesses were largely shut out of the Paycheck Protection Program. The unfortunate fallout over PPP lending provides a recent example of the economic inequity too often experienced by African-Americans. Now legislators and organizations are pushing for set-asides in potential future funding rounds to ensure minority entrepreneurs gain access to PPP funds that were intended for all entrepreneurs in the first place. [Continue]