Design-build firms offer retail knowledge, third-space trends

The customer experience reigns supreme, but so does how a bank differentiates itself by its choices in location and design. Today’s design-build firms emphasize a full-service consultative approach to bank architecture that takes into account retail trends, community needs, and yes, bricks and mortar. [Continue]

New bank revitalizes downtown space, retiring banker’s career

Alan Baldwin was all set to retire from a 30-year banking career in Pacific, Mo., when he  found a unique opportunity with a competitor bank. A little more than a year later, Baldwin finds himself re-energized in the role of executive vice president of First State Community Bank, headquartered in Farmington, Mo., greeting customers and giving tours of the historical décor featured in the bank’s newly-opened branch. [Continue]

Mix of disciplines is the value proposition at Stonier

Historic in its legacy since 1935, the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking holds special appeal for its unusual partnership. The respected Ivy League Wharton School of Business hosts the program on its campus at the University of Pennsylvania, and executives successfully completing the courses and a capstone project graduate with both a Stonier diploma and a Wharton leadership certificate. [Continue]

Cultural capital: ROI through intangibles

The arts, at first glance, don’t seem to be a banker’s “Field of Dreams.” But like the movie that turned a rural Iowa cornfield into a baseball destination, investments in creative economies offer banks a way to grow, or at least sustain, their communities. [Continue]

15 Towers of York dazzle Nebraska town

Arts sponsorship needn’t break the bank. In fact, just a $500 investment each by all five locally-owned banks in York, Nebraska, added tens of thousands to the city’s Firecracker Frenzy fund for its annual Fourth of July celebration. All it took was creative ingenuity, and a coming together of community, to spark a plan. A … Read more

Great American Think-Off invites success and failure

2017 Great American Think-Off Finalists

Farmers and Merchants State Bank in New York Mills, Minn., sponsors the city’s Great American Think-Off, an annual essay contest and debate which this year asks, “Which plays a larger role in shaping one’s life: success or failure?” [Continue]

Hospitality is trending in bank remodels

If the technology had existed in 1905 surely master architect Frank Lloyd Wright would have created a mobile app for the landmark bank he designed in Dwight, Ill., as part of his signature organic effort to bring the outside indoors. A century later technology informs design, prodding banks to reinvent customer convenience in redesigned spaces reminiscent of Wright’s prairie-style living room lobby and meeting room with a Roman brick fireplace. On Main Street and, more frequently in new strip mall branches, anyone is welcome for fresh coffee, password-free Wi-Fi and, oh yes, financial products and services. [Continue]

Creative meeting spaces appeal to today’s customers

It will really be music to his ears if Mark Bragelman hears, “We’re meeting in The Vault.” The president and CEO of Liberty Bank Minnesota in St. Cloud, who doubles as the town’s lead concert promoter, thinks a creative new community meeting space entered through a vault door will be the highlight of the bank’s new headquarters now under construction along a north-south corridor of I-94, roughly 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis. [Continue]