Amazing Outside Directors 2022: Dennis Everson

Helping to run a community bank and an artisanal cheese shop may seem like two very different responsibilities. To Dennis Everson, director of the Yankton, S.D.-based First Dakota National Bank and co-owner of Dimock Cheese, the attraction in undertaking both roles stems from the companies’ similarities: Both have overcome potentially fatal challenges during their long histories and both have embraced a community-centric approach.  [Continue]

Amazing Outside Directors 2022: Marcia Malzahn

On the northern side of the Minneapolis suburbs, Village Bank is building a community: Employees and customers alike are invited to partake in building something a little more personal. Lending a guiding hand is banking consultant and former banker Marcia Malzahn, who has been on the board for just under three years and a part of the local community banking industry much longer. [Continue]

Amazing Outside Directors 2022: Dan Kadrmas

Leading the prominent North Dakota manufacturing firm TrueNorth Steel is more than a nine-to-five job for Dan Kadrmas. The North Dakota business leader’s day usually starts with check-ins between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m., and doesn’t end until the evening — and sometimes not even then. [Continue]

Amazing Outside Directors 2022: Don Johnson

When Don Johnson retired from public accounting in 2019, two Minnesota community bankers were, lickety-split, at his door inviting him to join their boards as an outside director. But Johnson was resolute about taking a break from the industry he’d served for 31 years. Though he was 56 and hearing comments that he was “a little young” to be retiring, Johnson and his wife, Wendy, wanted to travel and try new things. [Continue]

Choosing a resource to manage your online presence

A social media presence can be many things, but haphazard isn’t one of them. We’ve all seen the blogs that feature posts from three years ago or the Facebook page that has an update once a month. One of the many challenges of social efforts is the number of channels to manage. [Continue]

Say goodbye to tedious data entry

A major leap for community banks has been receiving the documents electronically. Dual monitors allow a speedy credit analyst to have the tax return open on one screen, the spreading system on the other, and enter a tax return within minutes — saving the “look down, look up” movements of transferring data from paper to computer. But a step further is not to manually enter a tax return at all. [Continue]

Bank, fintech partnership focuses on wealth management

There was a day when customers were willing to wait a week or more to get a face-to-face appointment with an investment advisor. Those days, well, “they’re over,” said Joe Salomone, vice president of Bankers’ Wealth Management, a division of Madison, Wis.-based Bankers’ Bank, which recently announced the release of a digital platform through which community banks can provide “on demand” investment advice. [Continue]

Social engagement for the anti-social

Have you gotten weary of people advising you to master social media? I get it. I often shake my head in disbelief at the fatuous comments I find in my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds. I do accept, however, that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not important. (Exercise comes to mind.) You need to engage on social media because that’s where the customers are. [Continue]

Weighing the costs and benefits of establishing an ESOP

Community banks that have implemented ESOPs credit them with boosting employee morale and performance, furnishing liquidity to shareholders, and raising capital by turning employees into investors. ESOPs also offer attractive tax breaks to small community banks, particularly S corporations. But community bankers considering an ESOP should weigh the obligations along with the rewards of employee ownership. [Continue]

Success at social media requires minding reviews, policies

When a bank enjoys active social engagement, negative posts or a customer review of a misfiring product is inevitable. Addressing these posts takes a multipronged approach: Though your first instinct might be to delete the message or respond defensively, only remove reviews that clearly violate company policies on harmful content. [Continue]