Tradition of digging in, plowing ahead

Enebak Construction Company started in 1905. Tip Enebak is a third generation leader, shepherding his sons as the fourth. He’s being recognized as one of BankBeat magazine’s 2021 Amazing Outside Directors. Tradition Capital Bank was founded in 2005, when Enebak, his son Jake, and his son-in-law, Erik Hendrickson, began to etch the blueprint of the de novo. [Continue]

‘All in’ is modus operandi for Bank Midwest board chair

From Brownie Scout on up, Becki Drahota has always put 110 percent into everything she’s done. “It’s evidently impossible for me to be part of an organization if I can’t be fully engaged in it,” said Drahota, founder of Mills Marketing and board chair of Spirit Lake, Iowa-based Bank Midwest. “I’m not good at sitting on the sidelines.” [Continue]

Time to up your security game with a password manager

Consider a test run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2011. Thumb drives were scattered around the parking lots of government and private buildings. In this test, curiosity led to 60 percent of the devices being plugged into office computers, giving DHS access to systems and entire networks. If a company or government logo was on the drive that level hit 90 percent. [Continue]

Vekich embraces reputation as ‘Mr. Fix-it’

Michael Vekich has become known among politicians and the press as the fix-it man, or the go-to guy. “I’ve been fixing organizations for a long time,” he said, whether it’s governmental, public, private companies or banks, as an accountant. The firm he bought in 1978 ultimately led him to practice in nine foreign countries. He’s being honored as one of BankBeat magazine’s 2021 Amazing Outside Directors. [Continue]

Fleck brings urban flair to rural bank

On the wall behind Fran Fleck’s home office desk in Des Moines, Iowa, hangs a quote by the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg: “If a woman is short, bend down and listen to her.” At 4 feet 11 inches, Fleck jokes that when she started lobbying, she was six-one. “Being beaten down all those years, I just got shorter and shorter.”  [Continue]

Toward a safe workplace

At the beginning of February, the state of Indiana lowered the eligibility threshold for COVID-19 vaccinations to age 65. One day later, Mark Fogt, president and CEO of Garrett State Bank popped into a vaccination site in north Fort Wayne to get his first shot. Noah Wilcox, chair, president and CEO of Grand Rapids, Minn.-based Wilcox Bancshares, who admits to never having had a flu shot in his life, is chomping at the bit to get his inoculation. “I’ll be first in line,” he promised. [Continue]

DCI’s Fankhauser leverages people skills to navigate challenges

When Sarah Fankhauser became president and CEO of core provider Data Center Inc. — the first woman to lead the Kansas-based company in its 57-year history — she faced an unfolding and historic pandemic that spurred the industry to become increasingly reliant on technology. Having come up through company ranks on the customer support side (after beginning her career at a bank), Fankhauser’s people skills proved consequential. These are skills hewn by experience. [Continue]

Customer experience adaptations that will likely stick

It is undeniable that COVID-19 has changed the way people live and work. The hallmarks of community banking — the one-on-one interactions and personal touch — have been redefined. How can bankers maintain strong relationships with their customers while lobbies are closed and social distancing measures are in place? [Continue]

Economic recovery hinges on more people trusting science

It has been one year since the coronavirus upended our lives and transformed our businesses. If you are reading this, you escaped the worst — though you likely know people who became ill; perhaps you became acquainted with COVID-19 personally or knew someone who succumbed to the virus. There have been more than 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States since this all started. [Continue]

Is FedNow the future of payments? Yes, and no

Gone are the days when a new technology solution or platform could be implemented and then left to run for a decade or more. Nowhere is that more true than in the world of payments, where rising customer expectations and increasing competition from both bank and non-bank actors require a level of foresight and responsiveness that smaller organizations may find difficult to build into their planning. [Continue]