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: 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]

Wisconsin bank finds novelty in simple innovation

Before Bank Five Nine simplified its name last year from First Bank Financial Centre, it was the 23rd “First Bank” in the state of Wisconsin. Founded in 1859, it claimed to fill a niche by “partnering community involvement with competitive rates and exceptional customer service.” Most community bankers would find this language familiar, but most community bankers don’t have a bobblehead replica of the CEO in the nation’s Bobblehead Hall of Fame. [Continue]

GSBC president prepares leaders for changing world

When the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado was formed 70 years ago, the original banking principles drafted by the board of regents were likely sketched in black-and-white on a 10-column pad — financially oriented and predictable. “We’ve just continued to expand what it means to be a banker,” said Michael Stevens, who replaced the retiring Tim Koch in August as president at the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2021: Iowan tours community, advocating education

Holding his drumsticks, Kyle Baker peered out at the crowd, absorbing the rhythm of the din. It was mid-summer in 2010, and he and his band, the Superunknown, were backstage at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, opening for KISS during their “Hottest Show on Earth” tour. The atmosphere shifted when the lights dimmed, and Baker stepped onstage with a rush of energy.  [Continue]

Rising Stars 2021: Indiana banker envisions growth, potential

When Amanda Morris-Feldman met Don Groenleer, she was a 25-year-old CPA working for Crowe Horwath LLP, her first job out of college, and he was chief financial officer at First Federal Savings Bank in Rochester, Ind. At the time, she had no reason to envision herself in his role. But five years later that’s exactly where she was.  [Continue]

Rising Stars 2021: Minnesotan defines community banking on home turf

A lot of people talk about being a community banker, said Nate Lloyd, “but I don’t think you’d know what a community banker is and what it entails until you actually do it in a community that you care so deeply about.” By banking in his hometown, Lloyd, vice president of business banking at Minnesota’s Grand Rapids State Bank, has found fulfillment in the puzzle of understanding his community. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2021: Michigander delivers service ‘behind the screens’

From a hillside barn in Litchfield, Mich., a calf gnawed on Scott Ferry’s finger. He held up his phone, livestreaming the scene for his banker, Stephanie Brummette. “It’s almost feeding time,” he told her. “Oh my gosh. Best job ever. I’m glad I needed a signature,” Brummette said, beaming through her computer at Union Bank’s digital call center in Odessa, Mich. The two had been sorting out the paperwork for the fourth-generation Ferry Farm’s Paycheck Protection Program loan. [Continue]